Alternatives to physical education class offered: students enroll in Yoga and Athletic Conditioning

Ryan Manesh, Business Manager

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Written by Ryan Manesh

At the end of the last school year, students learned that they would be able to take two new physical education (P.E.) electives: Athletic Conditioning and Yoga. Both of these classes, if completed, count towards a student’s physical education credits, and are available to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Athletic Conditioning is taught by Braumon Creighton and the Yoga elective is taught by Steve Ames and Diane Ichikawa.

Students in Athletic Conditioning focus much of their class time in the weight room, where they will have the chance to learn and advance their knowledge of weightlifting. The class will also have lessons on the track, but students will mainly be learning how to do some conventional weightlifting, such as Olympic lifts, bench presses, squats, power cleans, push presses and deadlifts.

Creighton is hopeful about the upcoming year. “I am more excited for this class than I have been for any class I have taught here at Gunn, which has been a short time, but it has really given me something that I can get creative with and stretch my knowledge and teach kids stuff that they would have never learned in a normal physical education class,” he said. Creighton also believes Athletic Conditioning is more focused than most P.E. classes. “We are so bound to teaching team sports as a unit, such as teaching traditional team sports, basketball, volleyball and football, we never get a chance to talk about the different types of training methods that aren’t typical to your standard ‘meat and potatoes’ P.E. class,” he said.  “I am thrilled that the people signed up for this class for the right reasons.”

In Yoga, students’ curriculum is broken into four different units: the first unit is one focused on ensuring students are in shape to prevent any future injuries. The second is centered around the brain and learning about how it works. After that, Ames and Ichikawa will be teaching their students how to connect the brain and the body, and how to maintain a healthy mindset. The final unit will be shorter, and focused on how to apply skills that students learn in class to the outside world.

Ichikawa is pleased by how the Yoga class is going so far. “We’re already starting to see some pretty good shifts in some of our students, the dedication that they are bringing to it and the level of reflection they have when we have conversations about what they are getting out of it,” she said.

Athletic Conditioning and Yoga classes hope to continue to diversify students’ options for physical education.