Virtual School Launches Proprietary Yoga Program – Fun Addition to Physical Education Curriculum

Engaging and easy-to-follow lessons present yoga basics in a thoughtful, age-appropriate way; convenient DVD format

yoga video screenshot

Baltimore, MD, December 9, 2008 – This week, students who attend full-time virtual (online) public schools using the Connections Academy program around the country, are receiving a fun addition to their physical education curriculum – yoga instruction.

Students in grades three through five receive a special Yoga: Stretching and Strengthening Exercises for Good Health DVD developed by Connections Academy to serve as a complement to their existing physical education curriculum.

The proprietary DVD consists of ten easy-to-follow yoga lessons. Each lesson presents an everyday virtue, such as compassion or thankfulness, and teaches basic yoga exercises that support the virtue. For example, students learn mountain pose in the self-esteem lesson; the instructor encourages students to, “feel tall and strong like a mountain.” Each lesson begins with a series of warm up exercises and a handy “Library of Poses” offers quick review of poses learned over the course of the program.


“Yoga offers children numerous benefits – both physical and mental,” said Sarah Schain, Certified Yoga Instructor and founder of Yoga Tales, a Maryland-based yoga studio and program for children. “Yoga develops strength, coordination, flexibility, as well as focus and concentration. Yoga is a non-competitive activity that teaches students to reflect, to take a moment to breathe, and to manage stress – skills that are increasingly important in our fast-paced society. I think it is wonderful that Connections Academy is offering yoga as a physical education option – a progressive offering that is in line with their progressive schools.”

Connections Academy’s guidelines for physical education include 30 minutes of activity per day. Students may participate in one or all of the following:

  • The Connections Academy Physical Fitness Program provides a strong, more traditional, overview of health and fitness and includes the Presidential Fitness Challenge
  • The Personal Fitness Program is comprised of physical activities that occur outside of school or home such as soccer or swimming
  • Yoga: Stretching and Strengthening Exercises for Good Health

Students are required to record descriptions of the activities they complete in a Physical Education Log and to complete an assessment at the end of most lessons.

“The Connections Academy Yoga Program is a high-quality, age-appropriate program that delivers yoga instruction in a thoughtful and fun way,” commented Patricia Hoge, Ph.D., Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction for Connections Academy. “Our instructor, Tonya Bennett, is lively and positive and sets the perfect tone for the lessons. The individual lessons are engaging and creatively organized; extremely accessible for all types of learners. And the DVD format means that students can take part whenever and wherever they want. We’ve already received some early feedback – kids love it!”

Connections Academy is a leading national provider of high-quality, highly accountable K-12 virtual public schools operated in partnership with charter schools and school districts. Connections Academy virtual public schools offer an alternative public school experience – public school from the comfort of home. Students work with state-certified teachers over the Internet and on the phone while an adult “Learning Coach” monitors progress in the home. Connections Academy schools provide personalized K-12 education that combines certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences to create academic and emotional success for students.

A wide range of students take advantage of Connections Academy schools, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom, students who want more individualized instruction, individuals living in isolated rural settings, or those who want a more flexible learning schedule or need a learning environment outside of the traditional classroom.