BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Hundreds of students in Beaufort County will be doing yoga this year as a part of their physical education classes.
The new program is being introduced to teachers at the district's yearly summer institute.
WTOC spoke with some educators to find out why they think the exercise will help students to better perform in the classroom.
The Summer Institute is held every year in Beaufort County, and about a thousand educators take part in hundreds of workshops.
"There are a lot of opportunities for teachers to pick up those little subtle things that help with classroom management, that help with technology, that give them ideas on how to integrate this stuff into everyday education with the kids," said Bradley A. Smith, Biomedical Science Teacher, Beaufort High School.
This year, teachers are learning something new.
"We have this program that we're teaching; it consists of what we call best practices in health and wellness. We have an exercise component, which includes some stretches from yoga, some stretches from cardio, and some stretches from things you might find in physical therapy," said Eddie Stern, Director of Curriculum.
One instructor says yoga influences positive change in classrooms.
"When included inside the school day at least two times a week, it has been reducing students' stress levels, improving attendance in some circumstances, and readily reducing disciplinary actions suspension rates have been falling in the districts we've been teaching," said Stern.
Teachers are ready for the new exercise to hit the classrooms, so that they can see how much it really works.
"I'm very excited. I think it's going to be great for my kids. They take a lot of tests and they're required to do a lot of more stressful activities in the classroom, and I think this is a great way for them to alleviate that stress in their day," said Ann Pinelli, Dance Teacher, M.C. Riley Elementary School.
Schools will open to faculty and staff on Monday, and students will begin classes the following week, on Aug. 17.