Tantillo teaches yoga, mindfulness to P.E classes

Physics teacher Michelle Tantillo does yoga pose “warrior one” for a Lifestyles class. Tantillo is a yoga instructor outside of teaching at PHS, and hopes to bring attention to both physics and mindfulness with her in-school lesson. (photo courtesy of Cristen Sprenger) 
 
By Jenna Koch, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Physics teacher Michelle Tantillo taught a yoga class to both the Lifestyles classes and her own physics classes. She incorporated elements of physics and biology into her lesson so it would not only help the Lifestyles class, but also relate to what her physics classes are learning. 
“So it’s not just straight teaching of physics or yoga,” Tantillo said. “… it relates [to physics] a lot in terms of structure of the bones and building that strong foundation and being able to work to protect joints. 
Tantillo also relates yoga to biology, since she says it helps with circulation, detoxing and controlling breathing and heart rate. 
However, the scientific part of yoga isn’t what got her interested initially. Tantillo began practicing yoga in high school and college because she liked “the mindfulness in addition to the stretching.” 
Tantillo also teaches yoga classes outside of teaching physics. She got her yoga instructor certification in 2014 and started teaching at CorePower Yoga. However, she had to cut back on teaching because of her schedule, and now teaches once a week at Christian Church in Arlington Heights. 
“The class is pay what you can,” Tantillo said. “Which is very cool … it doesn’t restrict who can come to the class.”
All the profits from her yoga class go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 
Tantillo enjoys the mental health aspect of yoga and enjoyed being able to share that with a high school audience, and hopes to teach P.E classes again sometime. 
Her advice to students who are looking to be more mindful is to try breathing exercises for relaxation and to be more present with others. 
“Just chatting with friends that helps a lot with that mindfulness,” Tantillo said. “Even though that might not seem yoga-esque, that’s doing a lot to help to make connections and release stress.”