RISE is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering at-risk teens through the physical practice of yoga, wellness education, and community building. With Yoga Dana's support, in January 2012 we began a pilot program at Mission High School. Its success has lead to the expansion of the program to eight additional middle school and high school sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. RISE's innovative curriculum has shown to increase attendance and retention rates, improve academic achievement, and help students manage stress. The curriculum incorporates physical exercise, breath work, and activities that foster social and emotional learning. Stress management techniques and mindfulness exercises are an integral part of each class, so students can lead healthier, happier, resilient lives.
Here is what a classroom teacher shared about the impact of the program on her students: I see a change in EVERY student who attends the yoga class. For some it improves their sense of self and their confidence balloons, for others it boosts their mood, still others gain a new level of control over their behavior and response to stressors. Many students gain peace-building skills and become much more adept at handling conflict in a nonviolent, productive manner. Most students open up in positive ways and demonstrate greater levels of compassion. All students gain focus and listening skills. As a yoga program team teacher and a traditional classroom teacher, it is abundantly clear to me that these impacts carry over from the yoga studio into the regular classroom.