Here are some reasons why yoga, and Ashtanga in particular, seems to work well for high school kids (I'm sure there are many more so please add to this):
- Builds physical strength.
- Skill-building: Students learn and memorize the poses (and thus become potential future yoga teachers).
- Development of a self-practice: Students can practice at home on their own time (and teach their families/friends).
- Improves focus and concentration (as this school showed with their morning exercise program).
- Consistent: Students practice the same poses each class and know what to expect.
- Reproducible: Since all Ashtanga teachers teach the same practice, schools and students will not be dependent on one particular teacher.
- Cheap: No equipment or gym membership needed.
- Community-building: New people meet each other and practice next to one another, sharing vulnerability.
- Increases awareness of food and the body (brings more mindful eating)
- Pushes students to their edges: Helps overcome fear and mental limits. Love this quote:
“It is a tremendous thing for a person to get, to realize, that the things that we set as extreme limits for ourselves are just in our mind, and we have to be careful of the limits that we impose on ourselves. As human beings it’s amazing how prevalent this is in our society."