Both James A. Garfield School 31 and Thomas D. Gregg School 15 are working with Mighty Lotus to offer yoga and mindful meditation to their students this year. Mighty Lotus is an Indianapolis-based organization that provides yoga and mindfulness programs to people in the community that might not otherwise have access to them.

At James A. Garfield, Mighty Lotus works with emotionally handicapped students to help them modify their behavior. Behavioral Specialist Guy Grubbs was instrumental in bringing the program to James A. Garfield. “It’s one more tool these kids can use to control themselves,” said Grubbs.

And it’s working. Grubbs has seen students use the breathing skills and positions they learned in class to calm themselves down.

Thomas D. Gregg Physical Education teacher Nathan Marquis has first, second and third grade classes taking part in the program. At first students were hesitant. But Marquis said that as they tried yoga more, they’ve become more confident and are willing to try new positions.

Classes meet once a week in the afternoon. Marquis said students are “a lot more attentive and focused” after the class.

It’s exciting to see the partnership with Mighty Lotus growing in Indianapolis Public Schools and to watch these strategies help students become more focused learners!