On the 8th November I opened the Our Girl Can day of sport for girls aged 9-11 in the Wadebridge area, teaching yoga to almost 200 girls. It was a great way to set them up for a day of fun filled activity! As well as more yoga (in smaller groups!), the girls got to mountain bike, dance and ride a smoothie making machine! Well done to the organisers for arranging a great event and inspiring young girls to be more active.
I have been teaching lots of girls recently, including a small group with special needs and some Year 11 PE classes – both entirely different, and yet both sets of girls gaining so much. The Year 11 girls enjoy the chance to do something different in PE, where they don’t have to run around and can stay on their own mat space. The group with special needs get to develop their mind-body connection and have some time out.
Yoga can be effective in so many ways, for so many people – invite someone to practise yoga with you and inspire them.
As a child I remember sitting in the back of the car heading home at night and trying to think of nothing… The best way I came up with was to picture black space and stars whizzing past… I didn’t know at the time that this cessation of thought was meditating. Questions also arose in my mind about why we are here – I saw myself like a brain with a mind, in a body that was looking out on everything… but what are we really? Are we really here and why? I didn’t know that I was connecting to my inner spirit, or higher self – the part of us that is who we really are – the only part that never changes and is the same as every other living being.
As a teenager I was naturally quiet and introvert, but as this is too often viewed as shy, I felt the need to be louder. I used to sit on my bed before going to school and breath deeply, this I found gave me greater confidence and let me find my voice more confidently throughout the day. I didn’t know this was being ‘mindful’, that people practise breathing techniques called Pranayama – and I certainly didn’t connect it to yoga!
I don’t know how many children and teenagers do these things like finding ways to think of nothing, considering our presence on Earth, and consciously breathing deeply for confidence – I know some do because I love to hear their individual ways of calming their minds, but I suspect most don’t and I want to introduce them to these ideas and more – to help young people feel a peace and a sense of calm and happiness in an ever stressful world.
It is the start of the new school year and I am thrilled to be about to teach yoga and mindfulness in two new secondary schools as part of the curriculum and after school, as well as returning to schools I have regularly visited over the last couple of years. In addition, I have new Yoga for Children and Yoga for Teenagers classes starting, that will give kids and teens a chance to practise yoga outside of the school environment. Encourage young people to listen to their breathing and to look at their thoughts, they don’t need to be doing yoga to do yoga…
I’m really excited to announce that I will be back at Lime House Yoga teaching yoga for children classes again from next month! It has been over a year since I last ran kids yoga classes, as I wanted to take some time out to concentrate on the work that I do with yoga in schools. Now I feel like the time is right to bring back children’s classes to the public and I can’t wait!
This time the classes will be divided into different age groups – 5 to 7s and 8 to 10s, which will allow me to pitch the class more appropriately to their age needs and be so much better for them. We are also asking that children are signed up for the whole term so that classes can develop each week and progress can be seen more effectively.
If you aren’t sure of the benefits of yoga for children, here are just a few: Yoga helps to maintain a child’s natural flexibility, which can be lost through sitting at desks and computers. Yoga improves posture by strengthening back and abdominal muscles. Yoga can improve behaviour by balancing energy levels. Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques improve concentration, memory and sleep patterns, by bringing stillness to the mind. Yoga releases daily anxieties and stress and increases self-confidence in your child.
Classes start on Wednesday 23rd September:
- 4-4.45pm 5-7 years
- 5-5.45pm 8-10 years
- £50 for 10
Contact me to book
Yesterday a newly qualified group of Teen Yoga teachers went out into the world to share the wonders of yoga with teenagers! I had a fantastic group of like-minded people, all with the desire to improve the lives of the young people in their communities. A wonderful mix of yoga teachers and school teachers, they all shared their experience and knowledge of working with young people. We took ourselves back to our teenage selves in role play yoga classes, where everyone’s skills shone through and everyone gained new skills – from finding the most appropriately pitched tone of voice to teach teens or the confidence to instruct the yoga itself.
I am hugely excited at the prospect of them all sharing yoga with young people but was most impressed and delighted by the attitude and aptitude of two male PE teachers, who were completely new to yoga. Despite their keenness, initially they had some trepidation at the prospect of a 5 day yoga course, yet they absorbed so much within just a few days, became hooked on practising yoga, and by the end of the course were able to teach a simple yoga for teenagers class that was clear and authentic; I think they even surprised themselves! It was such a pleasure for me to guide them all through the Teen Yoga course, offering my own knowledge, experience and guidance in the theoretical discussions and in the practical classes.
We spent 5 days at Merchant City Yoga studio for the intensive course in the heart of Glasgow, a very cool city, with an aspiring yoga scene. The feedback from the students was immensely positive, with everyone excited to get out there and teach with a new found confidence. I absolutely loved teaching the course and look forward to the next chance to offer it in Bath this August.
Over the past few weeks I have been busy providing yoga weekly to five different secondary schools in Cornwall, as part of lunch time or after school provision. With help from the Cornwall Sports Partnership, I have been able to provide these classes for no cost to the school or the pupils, so that all can take part.
The benefit to the young people is immense. Primarily they need to relax and unwind – so many of them are stressed over exams, which is made worse by having stressed out teachers! They need a form of physical exercise that has no element of competition, and that everyone can do, anywhere. Yoga is great for improving focus and concentration, as well as fitness and flexibility. It increases bodily and self awareness, therefore can increase self confidence. Plus it can be great fun and a welcome break in the school day!
If you would like to train with me and Teen Yoga to teach yoga to teenagers please get in touch.