I have worked in schools for the last 4 years. It is fun but at the same time it can be frustrating, because the time that is allocated for activity and yoga is significantly less than it should be.
Fun and play is the way children learn. When the kids play they are fearless, they try their best, without fear of failing. There needs to be no end product, just creation, imagination and fun.
Fun is also the binding element in my Yoga in The Classroom training and it uses it to engage children in the activity. We all know yoga is good for us and we all know veggies are good for us, but unless we cover veggies in sauce, kids may not consume them. Similarly serving yoga in fun makes it digestible to the children.
Yoga in the classroom uses many fun ways to introduce yoga to children where they need it most… in the classroom, because the classroom can be a stressful place at times; endless lectures, exams, expectations and sitting down all day causing physical tension.
Relieving physical tension through the practice of asana is also another reason why yoga is important in the classroom. Yoga poses can relieve physical tension, but at the same time they can relieve boredom and bring focus back to the lessons at hand!
Yoga in the classroom can bring focus back into the lesson at hand. As the day progresses and the lectures carry on, it gets harder to retain information. This results in disengagement and disruption.
A quick energising yoga game or a little bit of movement can bring the focus back & re-energising the kids, like a quick cup of espresso.
When yoga is practiced regularly it can truly improve one’ wellbeing. Yoga can teach us about ethos, values and mindset and yoga philosophy can open door to many discussions about attitudes, behaviour and wellbeing, teaching us how to care for ourselves and others and be happier in life.
By teaching yoga in the classroom we are providing endless opportunities to practice. Because we all know that a quick daily yoga practice is MUCH more effective than practising once a week, for adults and kids.
The inclusive and non-competitive nature of yoga can also be the element missing from a class of kids that never gelled well together. Inclusive games and doing yoga TOGETHER is in the heart of my Yoga in the classroom training, these can bring groups together and allow the kids to exist harmoniously in the classroom.
More importantly yoga teaches us to relax!!! In a world where everything is about doing and achieving, yoga can provide the tools to de-stress and appreciate the importance of just being rather than doing.
Relaxation and meditation may not be something the kids would choose to do, but they can learn and what they learn they can use for the rest of their long happy lives.
It is my dream to add yoga to the curriculum in the same way kids practice PE. Chair based yoga practices in the classroom require no extra space and should I dare say… no extra time!! So start practising now!