Research on the Effects of Yoga on Children in School Settings
Through years of yoga teaching, Deborah has seen many examples of the powerful benefits of a regular yoga practice: from improvements in physical health like weight loss and improved range of motion to shifts in perspective that bring about greater levels of well-being and, at times, lifestyle changes. In order to see these benefits more clearly and to communicate them effectively to others, she got involved in researching the effects of yoga on children in school settings.
These studies have been conducted under the supervision of three principal investigators, Kate McLaughlin, PhD at Harvard Pediatrics, currently at the University of Washington, Naomi Steiner, MD at Tufts- NE Medical and Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. With Kate McLaughlin, Deborah collaborated for two years on a research project with Boston Public Schools Health and Wellness Department and Children's Hospital training PE and classroom teachers to teach yoga to their students. With Naomi Steiner, for two years Deborah taught Boston elementary school students with ADHD and autism-spectrum challenges. With Sat Bir Khalsa, over the course of five years, Deborah worked as a research coordinator, an early developer of curriculum and as the lead yoga teacher for the Boston based school in Kripalu Yoga Center's Yoga in Schools research project. Through the work with Sat Bir Khalsa, for several years she became part of Kripalu's Institute for Extraordinary Living, an association pairing practitioners and researchers.