, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 143–154 | Cite as

Promoting Stress Management and Wellbeing in Educators: Feasibility and Efficacy of a School-Based Yoga and Mindfulness Intervention

  • Alexis R. HarrisEmail author
  • Patricia A. Jennings
  • Deirdre A. Katz
  • Rachel M. Abenavoli
  • Mark T. Greenberg


We evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of the Community Approach to Learning Mindfully (CALM) program for educators. CALM is a brief daily school-based intervention to promote educator social-emotional competencies, stress management, and wellbeing. Two middle schools were randomly assigned to waitlist control condition or the CALM program. Participants included 64 educators. Intervention sessions included gentle yoga and mindfulness practices and were offered 4 days per week for 16 weeks. Pre- and posttest measurements included self-report surveys of social-emotional functioning and wellbeing, blood pressure readings, and diurnal assays of cortisol. Compared to the control condition, CALM had significant benefits for educators’ mindfulness, positive affect, classroom management, distress tolerance, physical symptoms, blood pressure, and cortisol awakening response. There were trend-level effects for two measures related to stress and burnout. No impacts were observed for relational trust, perceived stress, or sleep. Effect sizes for significant impacts ranged from 0.52 to 0.80. Educators found the intervention feasible and beneficial as a method for managing stress and promoting wellbeing. Initial evidence suggests that CALM has potential as a strategy to improve educators’ social-emotional competence and wellbeing, prevent stress-related problems, and support classroom functioning.


Yoga Teachers Professional development Education Mindfulness Stress management Wellness promotion Wellbeing 



This research was supported by grants from the 1440 Foundation and the Penn State Children, Youth, and Families Consortium. Harris, Katz, and Abenavoli were also supported by grant R305B090007, the TIES Pre-doctoral fellowship, from the Institute of Education Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexis R. Harris
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patricia A. Jennings
    • 1
  • Deirdre A. Katz
    • 2
  • Rachel M. Abenavoli
    • 2
  • Mark T. Greenberg
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.The Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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