Donna ISD elementary school teaching students yoga to cope with pandemic

By: Allysa Cole

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The physical education teachers at Donna ISD are implementing yoga into their program to help students cope with the challenges of the pandemic throughout the school year.

From downward-facing dog, to toe stretches, the elementary students at Salinas STEAM Academy are improving their skills of mindfulness.

Donna ISD director of academic support Diana Villanueva came up with the idea of adding yoga to the physical education curriculum as a small way to help young kids cope with the realities of the pandemic.

“There’s obviously a lot that has happened in the last year and a half with the COVID pandemic,” said Villanueva. “There’s a heightened level of stress and anxiety and fear that our students are currently experiencing.”

Yoga experts from UTRGV trained the district’s P.E. teachers on yoga poses and techniques.

“It makes me feel a sensation of calmness,” said 5th grader Jared Palomo. "I feel peaceful. And if anything bad happens in the day, it lets me get those things pass through and I focus on myself.”

The young yogis have only been mastering their new skill of mindfulness for three weeks, but they say it’s already helping them in class.


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