Yoga class teaching students self-control

ByBrandon Marshall

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KIPP Kirkpatrick Elementary School has been helping kids learn how to focus on their breathing and self-control through the art of yoga.

The students have learned simple yoga poses, but teacher Dayna Perry said it’s more than just remembering how to do the caterpillar. Perry has seen how the poses can help her students outside of the classroom.

“There’s a lot in our brains, always something going on. So we talk about breathing, and how it helps our bodies down and also how it just helps to give our bodies time in space,” she said.

Perry said she’s seen her students use the yoga techniques before a test or even at home.

“We’ve seen kids taking like a computer test, and they just stop and you just look at them and they’ll be like… just breathing,” she said.

Third grader Christopher said he has enjoyed the class because it’s helped him improve his self-control.

“It makes me feel calm, a little better, of how I’m mad sometimes,” the 7-year-old said.

Christopher said he has even showed his family the different poses he’s learned in class.

Many of the students live in east Nashville’s poor areas.

Perry said she has hoped her class helps her students remove any stress from uncontrollable situations and leave it on the mat.

“I think support from a group to like, where you have people around you to help lift you up. If you’re falling down, they really support each other, which is really cool,” Perry said.

Perry said she has planned to teach a yoga class for parents and kids next January at the Martha O’Bryan Center.