I truly believe that yoga is beneficial for everyone regardless of age, gender, size or ability. I have just completed my first term teaching yoga to children at local school and I am so happy that the children enjoyed it. The classes were so successful that they are adding another next term! Read on to see what they had to say....
Excerpt from Bede's Prep Newsletter:
There is no doubt that in this busy world there are moments where some quiet contemplation is much needed. At Bede’s, we recognise that this does not just apply to adults.
Throughout the academic year, children’s lives are filled with demands and commitments, both at home and at school, which can result in fatigue and stress. That is why we made the decision to enlist the help of Lou Lovegrove, a specialist yoga teacher, who provides a completely holistic approach to wellbeing, to introduce Yoga to the Co-Curricular programme.
Lou is a fully qualified yoga teacher and physical therapist with an education degree and a background in teaching dance. Her classes incorporate the physical practice of yoga, which she adapts to suit the age and abilities of the children, together with breathing, relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
Asanas (postures) are taught using traditional methods and through games. The children learn physical yoga in a fun environment including the principles of practising peace in their thoughts and actions, showing respect to themselves and to others, and learning about their bodies and how they work.
In addition to the obvious physical benefits there are educational benefits such as improved attention, self-confidence and relaxation and a reduction in stress too.
“Yoga is a different type of physical activity that may appeal to those students not drawn to the more traditional sporting activities on offer,” Lou explains.
“The children are taught basic and easily accessible breathing and meditation techniques, discussing how the breathing makes them feel and how it could be helpful to them. Whatever their age, being able to pause, breathe and think before acting or speaking is a valuable skill.”
As part of the programme, the children are also given the opportunity to ‘be the teacher’ and lead the games, which they love, building their confidence and self-esteem.
Our flexible School day means that Yoga can be run during Options times twice a week for Years 5 and 6 and once a week for Years 7 and 8; in the long term, the hope is to expand this provision and make it accessible it to the younger and older children too.
Since we started offering Yoga this academic year, the classes have grown in popularity with many of the older children benefiting hugely from Lou’s calm and tranquil approach. They love the postures and games and equally love the breathing and meditation techniques. And, of course, the relaxation at the end of the class when they snuggle up under blankets!
Lou herself says, “Yoga is fun, it makes you feel good and everyone can do it. I think yoga should be a daily part of school life. Who wouldn’t benefit from an opportunity to centre themselves, collect their thoughts and refine their focus?”
"I’ve always thought we could do with having Wednesday’s off, splitting the week into two more manageable chunks with a lovely little break in the middle. Lou Lovegrove has got the right idea in that case! She offers mid-week yoga retreats at her home studio in Eastbourne, for a mini-reset and escape from the 9-5 (or the kids!). I was incredibly lucky to be invited along last week to join five other ladies for a blissful few hours of yoga and personal attention."
I was thrilled to welcome Beki (aka Miss Wheezy) to one of my recent Midweek Retreats - to read Beki's full review and get a flavour of what these days are like, take a look at the blog post over at Miss Wheezy's Blog. If you'd like to come along to the next one you'll find all the details on the Retreats & Workshops page!