Letters to the editor
Yoga is the key to releasing stress
To the editor:
Re: “Mental health resources are lacking,” letter, Jan. 10
We agree with Councilman Oliver Koppell that schools need more mental health services for severely stressed young people. Adolescence is a very stressful time in life, particularly for teenagers in this city. In addition to focusing on severe stress, there is much that can be done to improve the wellness of the general student population.
We are very proud that at the Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, through Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps program, we are able to offer yoga classes to high school students. These classes focus not only on physical conditioning, but also on concentration, calmness and mindfulness. Many students find that they can learn to channel their negative emotions and find clarity in their daily routines that are often riddled with struggle.
High school juniors report, “When I come into the yoga room, I feel very calm and relaxed like all my worries are gone.” Another said, “Yoga really helps me with relaxing and releasing all of my stress from school and my personal life. It relaxes every aspect of me.”
Despite this progress, the current budget permits only two classes each month. Expansion of these classes to more students would be an invaluable gift to these young people as they develop life skills for adulthood. It is most unfortunate that in our society there is a pervasive stigma surrounding mental health issues. Therefore, we believe that it is crucial to the success of mental wellness programs that they are introduced in a gentle and positive setting. Yoga is an example of this form of non-invasive and comfortable intervention that brings balance not only to the body, but to the mind as well.
Physical education teacher, RKA
Yoga instructor, RKA
Keywordsolive koppell, stress, adolescence, yoga classes, mental wellness programs, kathy mcIver, dinesh kumar