Local yoga instructor brings yoga to classrooms

Posted at 12:57 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 10:51:32-04

Local yoga instructor, Julie Leatherbarrow, is teaching the practice to teachers and therapists, so that they can take it to their respective classrooms and help children.

"Yoga means union," said Julie. "That strengthens the union. It strengthens the bond between the teachers and the kids. They're literally breathing together."

Her workshop aims to teach students mindfulness, and help them de-stress. These three-hour workshops are the first of many she wants to teach.

"It's going to make it easier for the teacher as far as their teaching abilities," said Julie. "It's going to make it easier for the kids to learn. It's going to reduce their stress so that they can manage the things that are thrown to them throughout the day."

Each class can fit 20 staff members, and so far, according to Principal of Special Education Programs, Lou Fial, the morning and afternoon classes have both been full. Occupational therapist Nancy Noud attended Thursday's workshop.

"So many of the kids have sensory processing issues and the techniques that we learned today would really help bring body awareness as well as an improvement in their attention to task," said Nancy. "I think that would be huge in a classroom setting."

They hope it is huge in the classroom, and also at home.

"I think the bottom line is to provide students with techniques and strategies that they can utilize not only at school but at home to reduce their stress and their anxiety," said Lou Fial.

Currently, Julie is only holding classes through BOCES. However, she says if a school district is interested, they can contact her through her website here.