Mindfulness in Human Development (2017-2018)

This project brought together Duke and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill faculty and students, Y.O.G.A. for Youth NC and community educational partners to analyze the effects of a regular yoga and meditation practice on students’ mindfulness, emotional regulation, self-esteem, stress response, resilience, academic performance, social behavior and body image.

The presence of yoga and meditation in educational settings has quietly but steadily increased over the last five years, making its way from the periphery (after-school programs, yoga clubs) to a central part of school culture and curriculum in innovative programs springing up in different parts of the country.

In 2017-2018, this team’s goal was to move from analyzing a yoga intervention during after-school programming to embedding yoga and mindfulness programming and practices into the school day. The team piloted original scales and instruments developed by the 2016-2017 team to support the empirical study of yoga and mindfulness in schools.

Team members developed protocols for in-school daily 5-minute yoga moments and weekly 60-minute yoga classes and analyzed the effectiveness of their approach through pre-, mid- and post-surveys of the yoga classroom students and a non-yoga control classroom; pre- and post-individual class mood scales of the yoga classroom students and a non-yoga control classroom; individual interviews with the yoga classroom teachers; teacher observations of yoga teachers and of classroom teachers by team members; focus groups with yoga classroom students; yoga classroom students and a non-yoga control classroom academic and discipline records pre-, mid- and post-intervention.

The team also hosted a daylong Embodied Learning Summit in February 2018 that brought together educators, parents and students.


Fall 2017 – Spring 2018

Team Outcomes

Mindfulness in Human Development (talk by Anne Delmedico and Roxy Ghadimi), EHDx, April 19, 2018

Mindfulness in Human Development (poster by Sarah Jeffries, Mira Venkat, Annie Delmedico, Roxy Ghadimi and Julia Long), presented at Bass Connections Showcase, April 18, 2018, and EHDx, April 19, 2018

2018 Embodied Learning Summit (February 24, 2018)

This Team in the News

Pathways of Change 2018

This project team was originally part of the Education & Human Development theme of Bass Connections, which ended in 2022. See related teams, Mindfulness in Human Development (2018-2019) and Mindfulness in Human Development (2016-2017).

Bass Connections team members

Team Leaders

  • Keval Kaur Khalsa, Arts & Sciences-Dance

/graduate Team Members

  • Katherine McMahon, Psychology-AM, Psychology-PHD

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Anne Delmedico, History (AB)
  • Tiffany Ghadimi, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Sarah Jeffries, English (AB)
  • Julia Long, Computer Science (BS)
  • Mira Venkat, Biology (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Michele Berger, Department of Women's & Gender Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Liz Harden, Arts & Sciences-Dance

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Phillips Middle School
  • Y.O.G.A. for Youth