After the hallways and offices have cleared, a small group of educators relax in child’s pose on the gym floor. Together, they breathe in and out, focusing on their breath and releasing the tension from a long day at school. This scene is replicated at several YES Prep campuses; educators gather weekly to practice yoga and build their resilience to stress. The classes are free and led by fellow YES Prep educators.
Tiffany Steele, the Athletic Director at YES Prep Fifth Ward, teaches her class on Wednesdays after professional development, giving her fellow educators the chance to wait out traffic and finish off a mentally-draining day with the physical yoga practice. “As educators, we’re thinking about how we can best serve kids, parents, and the campus and the last thing that comes up is how we can serve ourselves. We still need to do things that are for our own benefit and enjoyment,” she said.
In-Powered, a local non-profit that aims to increase health and career sustainability for teachers and richer learning experiences for students, trained Steele and other YES Prep educators to teach yoga at their campuses. In-Powered teaches its participants Forrest Yoga, a type of yoga that is designed for people who have been exposed to trauma– either directly or secondarily, as caregivers. For Steele, the training was life-changing. “This was about more than learning how to teach yoga, it was about learning to be complete and whole in myself in order to be able to teach others,” she said.
- Learn more about the effects of yoga on students and teachers.
- Attend a class by reaching out to the YES Prep yoga instructors below for a schedule. YES Prep staff members are welcome at any campus.
- West: Cynthia Luna, John Galvan, Kaitlan Peterson
- Home Office/Southside: Kyrlyn Chatten
- Northside: Olivia Drake
- Southwest: Lauren Handlin
- East End: Alicia Dickson
- 5th Ward: Tiffany Steele