As physical fitness is cut from many public school programs, Rancho Encinitas Academy does the opposite, by adding yoga to the mix of their students’ physical activities. The classes are taught once a week and are intertwined with the physical education program which includes hiking, running, and team sports. Nicole Baron, certified yoga teacher with a masters in spiritual psychology, teaches the courses for pre-k to fourth grade Rancho Encinitas Academy students. Since 1994, Baron has been teaching yoga to children, from age two to seventeen, and has taught yoga at numerous prestigious schools across the nation. Her 17 years of knowledge and experience is extensive and she brings a unique approach to the children's physical education regimen.
The yoga poses chosen for the students are aimed at increasing concentration, creative expression, focus, and self awareness, and assist students with decision making processes by allowing them the option to choose from more difficult poses. The poses allow children to stretch their muscles and help to prepare them for a day in the classroom, as well as to negate any tight muscles due to a sedentary lifestyle. “With the popularity of video games and television, students are in desperate need of stretching their muscles through a flow of yoga poses to allow for balance, strength, and flexibility,” says Nicole Baron. Benefits also include learning how to relax, promoting good coordination, and realizing the benefits of making healthy choices -- all which can be carried into their adult lives.
Rancho Encinitas Academy faculty say their students are eager and excited to participate in their yoga education, and come prepared to learn and develop their skills. While the poses are gentle and tailored to fit a child’s body, Nicole notes that the students are are usually willing to take their pose to the next level to better their practice. “It works because it feels good,” says a Rancho Encinitas Academy first grader.
As Nicole drops by the Rancho Encinitas Academy campus, students often ask, “Why can’t we have yoga today?” Positive feedback and increased concentration in the classroom have led the faculty to learn that yoga has reaped nothing but positive rewards for the students.
Additional quotes and pictures are available on request.
About Rancho Encinitas Academy
Rancho Encinitas Academy (REA) prepares students for high school in a hands-on, child-focused environment that encourages knowledge, creativity, and independence. The academy’s learn-by-doing approach fosters organizational and communication skills that benefit students for years to come. Opening its doors in 1995, REA serves students from kindergarten through the 8th grade, as well as pre-kindergarten for those age 3 to 5 years old. REA has a strict 10:1 student to teacher ratio and is located on a naturally beautiful learning environment in Encinitas, California.
Edison Academy, housed on the campus of Rancho Encinitas Academy, is designed to meet the needs of bright children in grades 3 through 8 who have mild to moderate learning difficulties. Students are taught methods and strategies that assist them in becoming mainstream, independent learners.
For more information about enrollment for both schools, visit: www.ranchoencinitasacademy.com