Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Donna Gibson

Second Advisor

Dr. Abigail Conley

Third Advisor

Dr. Donna Dockery

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kurt Stemhagen


The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to explore the experiences of school counselors who implement yoga into a comprehensive school counseling program. Over the past decade, yoga has gained popularity as a prevention and intervention tool in public school settings. Prior to this study, the role of the school counselor in this process has not been explored. This study investigated the lived experiences of 10 school counselors who integrate yoga into a comprehensive school counseling program. Through data analysis, five significant themes and subsequent subthemes emerged: 1) intentionality (personal experiences with yoga impacts professional intentions, yoga intentionally tied with comprehensive school counseling goal); 2) yoga integration (organic commonalities between school counseling and yoga, methods of yoga delivery, overlap of yoga philosophies and ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors standards); 3) logistics of yoga integration (accessibility of yoga, managing yoga myths and stereotypes, program supports); 4) perception of yoga impact, (overall impact on school, impact on student, examples of students taking yoga “off the mat”); and 5) impact of yoga integration on school counselor (yoga as a self-care strategy, yoga is a meaningful aspect of school counselor role). Findings from this study suggest that yoga is a viable and valuable tool to include in a comprehensive school counseling program. Moreover, as the yoga in schools movement continues to grow, school counselors should be regarded as essential stakeholders in the development, implementation, and evaluation process. Results from this study provide a foundation for future research concerning school counselors and yoga.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission