What is Namaste Kids & Teens?
Namaste Kids & Namaste Teens is based in Benenden, Kent. Its owner and teacher is Hayley Sanderson.
Hayley says: “ After practicing Yoga for 6 years I knew that it would be amazing to share the benefits with children, to give them a mindful toolbox that they could use anytime to help them mange stress or anxiety and to help balance out this non stop world we live in. So in 2014 I decided to train as a children’s & Teen yoga instructor. Wishing to ever expand my knowledge I have taken additional specialist courses on Trauma Informed yoga & I am a qualified Yotism teacher, Yotism is an adapted yoga therapy designed for people with Autism or Neruo Diversity plus studies into children’s mental health & well-being. I also hold a 200hr Adult qualification. “
“My biggest passion is bring yoga to the school curriculum therefore enabling all children to benefit from yoga & mindfulness regardless of ability or socio-economic background.”
Why Do Young People Need Yoga?
Yoga for young people is a fun way to develop important skills in a non-competitive environment. It is easy for girls and boys to become overly self-critical and to lose confidence as they grow and change. Yoga is a great remedy. There is no judgement in a yoga class about how someone does a yoga pose or plays a game. With young children It is not the aim of the class to have the child do a perfectly aligned yoga pose and this way of thinking helps to nurture a child’s inner strength and self-acceptance.
When it comes to mental health PREVENTION not cure is KEY.
The Important Serious Side
Sources suggest that young people are facing more stress now than ever before. Social as well as academic demands placed on them mean that:
- 5 children in a class of 30 are likely to have a mental health condition
Stat from The Good Childhood report 2022 by The Children’s Society.
Research shows that engaging in a mindfulness practice such as yoga and meditation has “beneficial effects on the emotional well-being, mental health, ability to learn and the physical health of school students. Such interventions are relatively cheap to introduce, have an impact fairly quickly, can fit into a wide range of contexts and are enjoyable and civilizing, for pupils and staff.” – Mindfulness in School Project, Exeter University, 2012.
By introducing your students to mindfulness activities such as yoga, you are giving them access to the skills needed to take charge of their own behaviour and emotional responses, which will see a positive impact on their self-esteem as well as their ability to motivate themselves academically. You will also see an increase in their ability to manage their own time effectively as this has been an experience reported by a number of young people.
There are many health benefits of yoga including
- Helping to establish resilience & encouraging a growth mindset
- Promoting body awareness & body confidence
- Improving strength and stamina
- Improving the immune system
- Exploring creativity and imagination
- Improving memory and concentration
- Teaching core values e.g kindness, compassion, respect, gratitude
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Improving sleep
Namaste Kids teaches yoga in a fun and accessible way through the use of stories, songs and games. Namaste Teens is a adult style class but delivered in a more age appropriate way adding music & games into yoga.
The Fun Stuff
People speak about the importance of health and exercise, the importance of education and the importance of discipline… but what about the importance of fun? Fun is an element in adults’ lives, and even in kids’ lives, that is often neglected and dismissed as unimportant. But fun has lots of benefits:
It makes you happy! …and therefore healthy! Woo-Hoo! Endorphins!
It provides a much safer environment to learn in, as opposed to fear
It helps to release tension
It creates space to explore and release unprocessed emotions
While having fun, because fun always involves interaction with other people, we learn to play, communicate and live under certain basic rules of mutual respect… which is the only way to keep the fun going!
So come on, have some fun!