Namaste in Teaching: How Yoga Practice Affects Novice Teacher Resilience




Fitzpatrick, Dana

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This phenomenological qualitative research study sought to understand how novice teachers perceive yoga practice as contributing to the development of resilience. The study’s design illuminated the novice teachers experiences by providing in-depth reflection on how their yoga practice helped to navigate their novice teaching experience and contributed to their perceived resilience. This study adds to the existing body of knowledge on resilience and yoga by providing a different lens on how to use what we know about both of these, individually and collectively, to apply them to the novice teacher experience. The research question guiding this study was: How do novice teachers view their yoga practice as contributing to resilience in the face of stressful teaching situations that might lead some to leave the profession? Data collection sources for this study included two 60-90 minute interviews with six novice teachers having no more than three years of full-time teaching experience, metaphorical representations of their teaching experience, and my researcher’s journal. Moustaka’s (1994) phenomenological data analysis method was employed as a data analysis protocol. Three themes emerged from this analysis 1) Reset, 2) Reflection, and 3) Non-Attachment. A conceptual framework was developed that considers teacher stress to lead to either two paths. In one direction that path leads to burnout, and as research tells us, contributes to 50% of teachers leaving the profession within the first five years. The other path offers a route to resilience through the practice of yoga. Findings from this study suggest that resilience is fostered in novice teachers through the practice of yoga. Developing resilience in novice teachers can help to avoid the pitfalls of stress, burnout, and ultimately premature teacher turnover. Yoga practice helps teachers to reset from daily stressors and allow opportunities for them to be more reflective practitioners. Findings from the study will add to the research of adult education in regards to teacher preparation in particular alternative certification and ongoing professional development.



Novice teachers, Yoga for teachers, yoga for resilience


Fitzpatrick, D. (2020). Namaste in teaching: How yoga practice affects novice teacher resilience (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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