What the Heck is Hip Hop Yoga? (And Schools Should be Using It)

What the Heck is Hip Hop Yoga? (And Schools Should be Using It)
September 15, 2016 Erika Panichelli

Ever find yourself sitting at a desk all day and then…your favorite song comes on. Your toe starts tapping, your shoulders start swaying and suddenly, you need a dance break. While it may not be appropriate to jump up from your desk in the middle of an office setting and start shaking it, Hip Hop Yoga gives kids in school the opportunity to do just that.

 

Hip Hop Yoga is just like it sounds; the chance to combine hip hop dance moves and yoga into one creative performance piece. And, it’s a growing trend. The Huffington Post called it, “Good for Healing Trauma.” ENews refers to it as a celeb workout (and if celebs like it, you know kids will). It’s good for your mind, body, and sense of rhythm and you can get it in your school.

 

But, why encourage your students or kids to try it? Well, music is inspirational. It inspires us to move. It can induce relaxation or get our blood pumping. It amplifies our mood and gets our heart rate up. Professional athletes are often banned from listening to music during competitions because it provides such a significant boost. And, kids are already listening to it.

 

They may be turned off by the idea of traditional yoga as it is often presented but it’s a pretty safe bet to assume they enjoy listening to music that gets their hearts pumping. So, why not meet them where they already are? They want to be inspired, so inspire them. Encourage them to let fun beats make them move while at the same time encouraging high-energy, athletic choreography. Meeting them in the middle may just be the best way to introduce them to the practice of yoga, a habit that could provide lifelong benefits.

 

Mindful Practices can bring Hip Hop Yoga to your students either after school, or during an assembly. Both sessions weave in Social-Emotional Learning Strategies into the program to provide students with stronger self-awareness, self-regulation and interpersonal skills. Each program works in different ways, and each has a time and place. The after school programs are a great, on-going way to promote dance, fun and relaxation and the assembly classes can provide breaks during stressful times, such as ongoing tests. Both help build student mind-body help and both can give them something look forward to during an otherwise mundane school day.

 

So, if you don’t think your child or student would be into sitting quietly and deep breathing, instead, encourage them to get up and move. Let them find what inspires them through the beats they area already familiar with.