As technology continues to advance its hold on everyday life, parents, employers and schools have been finding ways to unplug from the internet and social media networks. Although many have been successful at limiting actual use of electronics, the desire and feeling on needing to be attached to others through electronics continues even after phones and other devices are turned off. At Milford Central Academy (MCA) one teacher has offered the opportunity for students to not only unplug but to relax their mind from the constant demand of the information age.
Eighth grade English teach Samantha Buford with help from several students began the first Yoga Club in the Milford School District. A registered Yoga instructor, Buford has been practicing the discipline for over 10 years. In her own life, Yoga brings Buford a sense of stability and regeneration at work and at home. “I find it strengthens my body, balances my mind and reboots each day so that I can take on new challenges.”
MCA students meet every Monday afternoon in the band and choir room for their weekly session. The seven and eighth graders have pursued the discipline for three months now and most find that it helps to balance pressures in the classroom, on the athletic field and at home. Morgan Petty, eighth grader at MCA, states that it has helped her to concentrate on her school and life goals.
“I get overwhelmed a lot and think lot,” said Petty. “It has helped me so much as it releases stress. I am physically stronger and during the week I am calmer when its time for big assignment and tests.” She is on the Milford school and travel softball teams in addition to her academic career.
Grace Sekscinski, eight grader at MCA, says that Yoga has helped students build a community that can rely on each other. It has given her tools to stay calm and comfortable in her own skin and build physical strength. “I am a lot stronger now,” said Sekscinski. “Earlier this year when I was on the swim team I could not do the butterfly stroke because I was not strong enough because it takes a lot of upper body strength but now I can.”
Participant Andrea Davis, also Choir teacher at MCA, says that students have benefited in several ways including the way they approach each week. “The students really start to see that they have control of how they view every day and how they react to the external;” something she says is important for this generation of students. “There is a need for all of us to slow down, unplug and take more responsibility for our own actions.”
In addition to serving over 20 students, the club has also helped Davis prepare for each week. “For me it’s a really nice way to start the week with a more accepting mindset,” she said. “I am certainly more calm.”
Growing up in a generation where screens are at almost every turn, Morgan Petty has enjoyed the lesson that Yoga has taught her about learning to disconnect. “It is nice to get away from electronics and focus on yourself and come together in your own body.”
The Milford Central Academy Yoga Club is encouraging other students to get involved and discover the benefits of the discipline. Students that are interested can contact Yoga Club advisor Ms. Buford.