Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Teacher Education

First Advisor

Alicia Stapp

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

In recent years, there have been rising expectations for students’ academic performance in the United States (United States Department of Education, 2016). As a result, many students experience stress and anxiety. Simultaneously, an increased amount of instructional time has led to more sedentary behavior in the classroom (Burns et al., 2015). Therefore, this study sought to alleviate students’ daily stress and anxiety while also giving students the chance to move and stretch through the utilization of mindfulness-based yoga interventions. Recent studies have found that mindfulness is beneficial for people cognitively, physically, and mentally (Blair, 2007; Folleto, 2016; Mendelson, 2010). This study examined the benefits in a fifth-grade classroom through the implementation of mindfulness-based yoga interventions. Fifty-eight students in three separate fifth-grade mathematics classes in a Northwest Mississippi intermediate school participated in the study, which took place between Monday, October 15th, 2018 and Friday, November 30th, 2018. The study consisted of three weeks of observations and three weeks of interventions. Interventions took place during the first five minutes of each class and consisted of guided breathing exercises and yoga poses. A pre- and post- intervention questionnaire revealed that mindfulness-based yoga interventions had a positive impact on most students’ perceived anxiety, stress, and ability to transition. Findings also suggest that these interventions may be particularly beneficial for remedial males.

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