Inside the Story: Unusual class is helping West Jordan students change their attitudes

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Inside the Story: Unusual class is helping West Jordan students change their attitudes (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Sometimes life can be very difficult, especially for a junior high student.

But the school psychologist at West Jordan Middle School has come up with an idea to help relieve some of the stress students are experiencing.

"They need a lot of help right now," said Dr. Olin Levitt.

Monday through Thursday, Dr. Levitt turns his office into a yoga studio for 30 minutes.

The "studio" comes complete with music, battery-operated candles and mood lighting.

And according to the students, it works.

"It helps me do better in school and do better at home," said Cairan Desmond.

Another student, Mercedes Zeitman, had a hard time focusing on her homework because of life's challenges.

But she has benefitted from the yoga class.

"I think that really helps when you get the good energy and just download it into your body," she said.

Elena Bunker, who also attends the yoga class, has noticed a change in her attitude and school work.

"I started to realized that I was being more calm and I was able to react with other people," she said.

Dr. Levitt isn't surprised by the results; he's been doing yoga for 50 years.

But it was only about three years ago when he decided to get certified and take on the task of seriously teaching this class to help kids.

"You'd like to at least give them the opportunity to put a new tool in their tool box, and that's what we offer with this," Levitt said.

Principal Dixie Garrison believes yoga is making a difference with many of her 880 students.

"I think it's awesome," she said. "They've been able to change their behavior. They've been able to manage their anger better."

The yoga class has been so successful, school administration wants to integrate it with the detention program.

"It could maybe be a release for those kids," said Garrison. "Maybe get them thinking about their behavior more."

Incorporating yoga into detention has proven successful in the eastern United States.