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  • Stephanie Schultz

Spotlight on Yoga & Mindfulness Program at St. Paul Public Schools

We are excited to give an update on a new project we are leading at St. Paul Public Schools with their Flipside Afterschool Program! In January we began "Yoga & Mindfulness: Tools for Self-Care & Compassionate Leadership for Youth" with middle schoolers at Global Arts Plus Upper School in St. Paul. This project is made possible through the ARP Grant from St. Paul Public Schools.

Yoga and Mindfulness is an after school program offered to 5th-8th graders led by local yoga instructor Ka Zoua Xiong. Students meet weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays to practice yoga, followed by a social-emotional component and creative group activities. This time is dedicated to helping young people transition from school to home life, and helps them feel more calm and grounded. In the 90-minute after school sessions, students have the opportunity to release tension through Yoga Nidra, as well as express their feelings through journaling, venting, listening, and asking for advice. Students who attend these sessions often leave feeling relieved and happy, and they go home with more peace, energy, and clarity.

More about the instructor Ka Zoua Xiong: We are excited to be working with local yoga instructor Ka Zoua to lead these classes! Ka Zoua received 230 hours of yoga teacher training from the Yoga Center Retreat in Minneapolis. Since 2020 she has been trained in meditation, breathwork, gravity yoga, yin yoga, yoga nidra, and power yoga. Ka Zoua teaches to all ages and all body types. Her goal is to share yoga with 1,000 people in 2023. Ka Zoua is a mother of two, a youth advocate, and a student of life. Her purpose is to create spaces for collective healing through movement and play with the goal of remembering who we are to live out loud our Soul's purpose.

In the first two months of this program, the student participation rate has more than doubled due to Ka Zoua's positive energy and enthusiasm around the yoga and mindfulness programming. We are grateful to her and St. Paul Public Schools to be able to bring this programming to young people throughout 2023 and 2024. In fall 2023, we will begin this programming at Hazel Park Preparatory Academy in St. Paul.

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