The general reaction of people I tell about my new venture of teaching yoga and mindfulness to children is really positive, however some folk do look rather puzzled. Actually I can tell you that not only does it work, but children tend to thrive both physically and emotionally from practising yoga. After 14 years as a primary school teacher, I have a strong awareness of the pressures that pupils face in a modern school and I am delighted to have this opportunity to engage in the holistic side of education.
My aim is that through teaching yoga and mindfulness I will enlighten the children with the necessary tools to relax, de-stress and enable clarity of mind. The postures are balancing and grounding, as well as promoting core strength. I often bring attention to which muscles are being used according to the posture we are doing.
My lessons also focus on children’s well-being, encouraging us of emotional intelligence to express themselves.The important backdrop to these lessons is to have fun, laugh, work collaboratively, and enjoy songs, dance and games.
As a former Literacy Coordinator I have a love of creative writing and drama, which is reflected in my classes. I encourage children to think creatively, invent their own postures and sometimes perform a sequence of postures they have put together themselves.
I always include breathing exercises at the start of the lesson, to calm the mind and body, followed by a warm up, which may well be to some contemporary tunes (yes I take requests).
We then continue with the posture work through a story or particular theme, a yoga related game and then some well-deserved relaxation. This is usually done through a visualisation session, where children can create a safe, warm nest under a soft blanket and learn to relax their minds and bodies. This is where the positive affirmations and breathing techniques come into play and the atmosphere in the room is usually serene, whether it’s with the toddlers or the older 8-12 year olds.
Some may have to see this to believe it, but it happens and it’s a humbling position to be in every lesson.
I am currently running classes at The Yard Studio in Alderley Edge every Wednesday between 4pm and 6pm, please contact me for further enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter: @greenshootsyoga