Find mindfulness through yoga on Zoom


Staci Bina, the instructor of LBHS’s yoga/core fitness program! She has over 10 years of experience working with kids and teens in studios, schools, homes, and events.

Madison Duong, Public Relations Manager

Just last school year, LBUSD added the yoga/core fitness course as a physical education option for students to promote flexibility, breathing and mindfulness through different yoga postures and exercises. Despite the ongoing pandemic, students still have the opportunity to hop in on Zoom three times a week for an hour-long, relaxing yoga session.

“My greatest take-away from yoga has been successfully learning how to ground myself. Learning to just be and let go has been a very ethereal and meditative experience. I have no doubt that I’ll be utilizing it more even after yoga ends,” says LBHS sophomore Marlene Schaffer.

Like many other classes, yoga had to adapt to the distance learning aspect. An experienced teacher with over 1,000 hours in yoga and meditation education, Staci Bina teaches this course. One of the difficulties Bina faces is that yoga will only last one trimester this school year. 

“I wish that every student could take yoga all year-long!” said Bina. “This is a very unique time, and I think we are trying to adapt and make the best of it. If trimester means that more kids get exposed to yoga, then that’s a positive.”

The biggest challenge this year was having to teach and learn yoga entirely online. Back when school was held in person, students would form a massive circle with their mats in the LBHS gym and practice yoga together while Bina instructed. Now, students switch on their cameras and follow along by watching the screen.

“The biggest difference transitioning from in-person to virtual yoga is the atmosphere. Before, we got to listen to the echoes of the gym and the connection to each other, and that’s been kind of lost on the screen,” said LBHS sophomore Chloe Duong.

While students adapted to online yoga sessions, Bina worked hard to build a relaxing ambiance for students, which is incredibly challenging through a Zoom screen. To do this, the instructor sometimes practices outside and plays music. Typically, a yoga class starts with pranayamas, which are breathing exercises. These are followed by asanas, which are the yoga poses, and then about 10 to 15 minutes of shavasana, a resting period, at the end.

“I love teaching both [ways.] [Zoom] is more of a one-way conversation, which can be a challenge, but it is also nice to see everyone in one place and for kids to be in the comfort of their own space. The biggest challenge is not being able to feel the energy of the group,” said Bina.

Yoga, an ancient practice, has become more prevalent in today’s society. Because of its meditative and self-reflective properties, people can find relaxation within chaotic times, especially during the pandemic.

“All schools should have yoga classes! [That] is my goal. Every school that has quality yoga programs reports lower stress, better sleep, lifted mood, increased focus, raised self-esteem, improved physical strength and flexibility, and the list goes on,” said Bina.

Many students have expressed positivity towards this yoga class as it provides an escape and allows them to unwind from the stress and soreness of sitting in front of a computer screen all day. Yoga improves physical and mental health, which tend to get neglected with packed schedules.

“Even with all the differences on Zoom, it’s still easy to feel a sense of community with other classmates, and it’s not difficult to follow along with the lesson at all. Yoga has helped me tremendously this year, and I’ll always be happy I took it!” said Schaffer.

Staci Bina is the owner of Bala Shala, a yoga program for kids that promotes self-confidence, self-love and mindfulness through poses and fun activities. To learn more about Bala Shala, visit