• A Survey of Youth Yoga Curriculums

      Swalm, Ricky L.; Sachs, Michael L.; Schifter, Catherine; Segal, Jay S. (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Yoga is increasingly recommended for the K-12 population as a health intervention, a Physical Education activity, and for fun. What constitutes Yoga however, what is taught, and how it is taught, is variable. The purpose of this study was to survey Youth Yoga curriculums to identify content, teaching strategies, and assessments; dimensions of wellness addressed; whether national Health and Physical Education (HPE) standards were met; strategies to manage implementation fidelity; and shared constructs between Yoga and educational psychology. Methods: A descriptive qualitative design included a preliminary survey (n = 206) and interview (n = 1), questionnaires for curriculum developers (n = 9) and teachers (n = 5), interviews of developers and teachers (n = 3), lesson observations (n= 3), and a review of curriculum manuals. Results: Yoga content was adapted from elements associated with the Yoga Sutras but mostly from modern texts, interpretations, and personal experiences. Curriculums were not consistently mapped, nor elements defined. Non-Yoga content included games, music, and storytelling, which were used to teach Yoga postures and improve concentration, balance, and meta-cognitive skills. Yoga games were noncompetitive and similar to PE games. Teaching strategies included guided inquiry and dialoguing. Assessments were underutilized and misunderstood. Lessons were created to engage students across multiple dimensions of wellness; cultivate self awareness, attention, and concentration; and teach relaxation skills. Spiritual wellness was addressed using relaxation, self-awareness, partner work, and examining emotional states. Developers adapted curriculums to meet HPE standards when needed. Yoga was considered appropriate across all developmental stages and could be adapted to meet specific needs. Developers tended not to manage fidelity; strict control was perceived as contrary to Yoga philosophy. Curriculum manuals were resources, not scripts. Continuing education included workshops, videos, and online forums. Emerging themes included attention, awareness, meta-cognition, and self-regulation as learning objectives; dialoguing as a teaching strategy; and the influence of mindfulness and positive psychology on curriculum design. These suggest additional areas of research. Curriculums need codification, defining, and mapping of elements including the alignment of teaching strategies with assessments. The benefits of Yoga, beyond the physical postures, need further study.
    • The Effects of Yoga on Cognitive Function in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

      Butcher-Poffley, Lois A.; Sachs, Michael L.; DuCette, Joseph P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)
      Yoga has been increasingly utilized as a potential intervention to improve cognitive functioning in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. However, evidence-based review is limited. Further, whether the observed yoga-related changes in cognitive function are systematically related to specific neuropsychological domains or specific neuropsychiatric disorders remains underexplored. Thus, the aim of this review is to systematically evaluate randomized controlled trials that objectively measure global cognitive function and/or other neuropsychological domains (e.g., attention, executive functioning, social cognition, etc.) in neuropsychiatric populations. Four broad clusters of neuropsychiatric disorder are discussed: focal neurobehavioral syndromes; major neuropsychiatric disorders; neurological conditions with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral features; and comorbid neuropsychiatric and neurological conditions.
    • Yogic Agency: The Yoga in Composition and Rhetoric

      Goldblatt, Eli; Walters, Shannon; Rey, Terry; Yagelski, Robert (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      Eastern practices have an increasing presence in Western locations of human services, such as mental health, hospitals, non-profits, prisons, K-12 education, among others. This trend includes the university and pedagogies of first year writing. The application of Eastern contemplative practice helps some people in certain circumstances, but its use raises questions. In the university classroom, methods like mindfulness meditation and yoga may offer perspectives that inform pedagogy. But, these interventions often lack concrete applicability to course content, oversimplify theoretical foundation of the original Eastern practices, and seem disparate from, rather than integral to, standard curriculum. My dissertation analyzes how yogic practice is already embedded in the discipline of composition and rhetoric. By resignifying rhetorical scholarship as yogic, I shape a new and amalgamated conception of agency deploying yogic and Western perspectives. I call this yogic agency. By constructing, defining, and unraveling the function of yogic agency in the writing classroom, I extract, analyze, and refigure the yogic philosophy and practice as always and already underlying scholarship of composition and rhetoric. My dissertation integrates yogic and rhetorical perspectives into one. I aim to sharpen and clarify of the role of yoga, as well as other alternative Eastern frameworks, in the Western writing classroom. There is sometimes an assumption that yoga is a pedagogical intervention replacing less effective teaching methods. This operates on the notion that our field is in a position of deficit. Instead, I generate yogic agency to illustrate the feeling of having control of one’s worldview as a means to embody a way of perceiving that one already has everything within in order to become rhetorical agents of one’s own life. I am not presenting a new way of teaching and learning but rather, a pronounced vision of the discipline as yoga surfaces within its theories.