Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Education (also CAGS)
Year Degree Awarded
Linda Griffin, Ed.D.
Kysa Nygreen, Ed.D.
Demetria Shabazz, Ed.D.
Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Psychology | Teacher Education and Professional Development
Teachers must acquire the appropriate knowledge, skills and dispositions to effectively meet the demands and challenges of the teaching profession (Darling-Hammond, 2006, 2010; Shulman, 2000). There is considerable research about how someone perceives they can perform effectively as a teacher, and what constitutes effective teaching (Bandura, 1995, 1997; Ashton & Webb, 1986). Research suggests that novice teachers feel unprepared, unsupported and ineffective; and 50% of novice teachers leave the profession within the first few years of teaching (Levine, 2006; Kaufman, et al., 2002; Kelley, 2004; Maciejewski, 2007)
This study examined the question, “To what extent do novice teachers’ experiences and perceptions of yoga practice influence their professional lives?” Yoga is a systematic process of self observation, self inquiry and self reflection (Iyengar, 1966/1979; Desikacher, 1995/1999). For the purpose of this study, a novice teacher is defined as a teacher who has been teaching less than 5 years.
The study was conducted at an urban school that services approximately 650 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 8. Five novice teachers were recruited using a network selection strategy. Formulation of the study utilized a variety of qualitative methods to gather rich, descriptive data. Strict adherence to Institutional Review Board (IRB) regulations were followed to insure that the participants’ rights and well being were protected. Several methods (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam 1998; Rossman & Rallis, 2003) were implemented to establish trustworthiness. Data analysis included methods from grounded theory and thematic analysis.
Results indicated that the novice teachers who participated in yoga perceived an increase in energy, clarity of mind and flexibility. Teachers reported the practice of yoga influenced their ability to relax, to release negative thoughts and emotions, and to be mindful. Participants identified the influences yoga had on their teaching practice, as the ability to deescalate emotionally charged situations and to differentiate instruction. Novice teachers perceived the practice of yoga influenced their teaching efficacy in the following ways; mindful reflection, increased confidence, courage to take action, recognizing when to release control, and when to take time for renewal.
Day, Danette V., "CYCLE OF RENEWAL: YOGA’S INFLUENCE ON THE PROFESSIONAL LIVES OF NOVICE TEACHERS" (2014). Doctoral Dissertations. 70.