I hated PE in school. Absolutely positively hated it. Team sports and sit-ups are not a good mix for someone with CP. In fact, I didn’t engage in anything physical with any happiness or enthusiasm until I did a self-directed health & exercise program in high school. That was fantastic for me–that was the reason I purchased my first yoga tape (Yes, tape. VHS!). Getting out of PE into something self-directed and appropriate for me was a blessing–one I had to petition and fight to get–due in large part to my mother’s advocacy on my behalf (thanks, Mama*), but one that allowed me to approach physical activity from an entirely different perspective. I realized I’m not a PE class person, but I can enjoy some activities, I just need the format to be right. I wonder how many Americans never get to that place after years of miserable PE.
Which is why it’s amazing to see science catching up with lived experience. Check out Yoga Dork’s coverage of a recent study. This part made me nod my head in recognition:
“Teens taking yoga classes had better scores on several of the psychological tests. Specifically, while students in regular PE classes tended to have increased scores for mood problems and anxiety, those taking yoga classes stayed the same or showed improvement. Negative emotions also worsened in students taking regular PE, while improving in those taking yoga. “
*Seriously, she’s an awesome advocate to have in your corner. You should hear her tackle the phone company!