Yoga balls have replaced chairs for students at Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School. The move was made by Robbi Giuliano, who has called it one of the best decisions she has ever made.
Since changing the desk chairs to yoga balls, Giuliano has seen an increase in her fifth-graders’ productivity.
She says that the change has helped students focus better on lessons and improve their core strength at the same time, according to Yahoo! News.
Teachers nationwide are experimenting with yoga balls and, in doing so, are changing the face of the classroom. The giant stability balls come in different colors, sizes, and degrees of firmness.
They work by forcing muscle engagement to keep the user balanced. They also increase blood flow, leading to the students being more alert. Along with their introduction in the classroom, yoga balls have also been seen in offices after recent studies pointed to the dangers of desk jobs.
ABC News reports that Giuliano stated of her yoga ball experiment:
“I have more attentive children. I’m able to get a lot done with them because they’re sitting on yoga balls.”
Stability balls are used frequently in yoga, pilates, and physical therapy. Giuliano has used the balls in her classroom for three years after a suggestion from her husband. Student Ashley Hasson stated that the adjustment was difficult at first, though “it’s not that hard” once you get used to it.
For another student, the ball helps concentration and also keeps his back from becoming stiff. Now that he is used to the yoga ball, Kevin Kent said sitting in a chair is “weird, because you’re all bent up.”
And for skeptics who think that the yoga balls are a bad idea for young kids because of the tempting idea of horseplay, Giuliano’s students know they have to keep their bottoms on the ball and their feet on the ground at all times. But, they are permitted to bounce and bob as much as they would like.
Would you like to see children using yoga balls at schools nationwide?