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I heard a story yesterday on NPR about using yoga with disadvantaged youth that just made me smile.  There are some researchers out of Stanford University who are working with kids in an east Palo Alto school to use yoga to cope with stresses.  The principal characterized the student body by stating:
"We have, by the 2010 census, as many as 50 percent of students who are homeless.

There are some very concrete things, like a telephone, a mattress, a refrigerator with food in it, an address that you are in charge — when I say children are under stress and duress, it’s the little things.

"

It is the little things, and the goal of the Stanford program is to use yoga and mindfulness to help students focus when they are under stress, as most of these kids are.

What made me smile, I guess, is that someone was looking at the whole child and saying "hmm, how can we help the whole child."  Whether this program impacts their academic outcomes, who knows?  And, maybe, who cares?  Wouldn't it be better for them to be able to be just a little happier or more comfortable just by having these coping strategies?  Or, of course, wouldn't be better if we provided the social supports so that the children didn't have to worry about the "little things" and instead could focus on being a kid and student.

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