For First-Time Yogis, Increased Relaxation and Attention Abound

Ben Chipman '19
West Roxbury, Mass. In a world characterized by classes, homework, and extracurriculars, CM students are taking the time to learn how to stop and breathe. 
 
Ms. Kaplans Psychology 10 Class participated in a yoga classthatexploredthe psychological benefits of stretching, meditation, and reflection before school on Monday, October 29 in the Ronald S. Perry Gymnasium. 
 
Providing a welcomingbreak to the everyday routineat CM, Boston-based instructor Braxton Rosespread out mats across thegymnasiumandled the boys in a sunrise salutation.Mr. Rosehas aBachelorof Artsdegree in psychology andmore than 500 hours of training as ayogainstructor.He wanted toengage students’ minds and bodieswhilechallenging themto focus on their breathing and to let their thoughts flow freely.   
 
The student response has been overwhelminglypositive.   
 
Afterwards, I noticed throughout the day that I felt more alert than normal,” said sophomore TimChevrette.   
 
I had a test that afternoon too and I didnt feel as stressed going into it. I think the yogadefinitely hadsomething to do with that. 
   
Yoga has been proven to decrease stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression,according to the National Institute of Health. High school students in particular aresubject to these conditions. Unfortunately,yoga tends to draw an older demographic. Fifty-eight-percentof yogapractitioners are above the age of 40, as stated by Seattle Yoga News. By bringing yoga to her students, Ms. Kaplan has attempted to bridge this gap.   
 
Many of the students have never taken yoga or practiced meditation, so this was uncharted territory forthem,” said Ms. Kaplan.   
 
After the first session, many students reported feeling the most relaxed they have ever felt during the school day.”  
 
Ms. Kaplans Psychology 10 class focuses on Positive Psychology, hoping to show how positivityimpactstheirdaily lives. She cites mindfulness as one of the major points of positive psychology. 
 
I have asked students to engage inmindfulness practices including yoga andmeditationand reflect on the possible ways positive psychology can be incorporated in their own lives.”  
 
It is safe to say that Ms. Kaplan andMr.Rose have several newly-converted “yogis” on their hands. Although at first uncertain, the students have clamored for more.   
 
Honestly, the yoga first period helped me relax my mind,” said sophomore JackChachkes. 
 
I feel I was better prepared to tackle the day.”  
 
Mr. Rose is poised to lead a total of three classes at CM, as well as a private hot yoga session for Ms. Kaplan’s class at H.Y.P. Yoga Studio in Needham.Finaldates and timesareto be determined.   
 
In the meantime, students continue to discover the crossroads between positive psychology and yoga.  They plan onpracticing the Warrior Pose and Downward Dogin preparation for their next, more challenging, class later this month.

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Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, prepares boys for college, manhood and a world full of unknown challenges, ambiguity and complex problems and the importance of relationships.

CATHOLIC MEMORIAL SCHOOL

235 Baker Street
West Roxbury, Massachusetts 02132
Phone: 617-469-8000
Fax: 617-325-0888