If you stop by Denkmann’s gymnasium on a Thursday after school, you’ll see some downward dogs, half-moons and some upward dogs too.
Denkmann’s Yoga Club is new to the school this year and has an overwhelming response of students wanting to join. Any grade can participate.
The idea behind the club came from Gretchen O’Brien, a teacher at Denkmann.
“A friend told me about Breathe for Change, which is a program aimed at teachers to use in their classrooms and with staff. It is a full 200-hour yoga teacher training, with an emphasis on mindfulness and movement activities for children,” said O’Brien.
She received a Prime Grant from the Rock Island Milan Education Foundation and was able to purchase yoga mats, blocks, blanket, and bolsters.
Ms. O’Brien uses them in her room for her students and also makes them available for other teachers, counselors, and social workers if they have a student that could benefit.
Then, twice a month after school students meet for Yoga Club.
The club is about more than yoga though. The club focuses on mindfulness activities.
Students learn about mediation and practice different breathing methods that can help students when they need a moment to relax or destress.
Students leave feeling at peace!