Hello, Since Covid gave us the great pause, it allowed me to re-evaluate my classes and I decided to focus on helping schools bring yoga into the school day. In the last three years the likelihood of young people having mental health problems has increased by 50%. The 6th February 2023 is Children’s mental health week, this will mean a lot of schools will focus on your children’s mental health that week, they may talk about mental health, mindfulness, your children might even be lucky enough to have some yoga lessons (hopefully with a qualified yoga teacher) or your school may just stick on some Cosmic Kids yoga on YouTube to tick a box!!. Whatever they do, it’s great, a brilliant thing to be aware of but one week of “tackling” the issue isn’t going to solve the mental health crisis we currently have in the UK.
Now, five children in a classroom of 30 are likely to have a mental health problem.The Children’s Society.
52% of 17 to 23 year olds have experienced a deterioration in mental health in the last five years.
50% of all mental health problems start by the age of 14The Children’s Society
This has led to the number of children referred for specialist support increasing 134% from 2019/20 to 2020/21. With children on ever lengthening waiting lists to get support, early intervention is even more important, we should not wait for children to develop poor mental health we should give children the tools that will help them cope with when life gets a bit tough now. Children are among our most vulnerable citizens and we must do everything we can to support their well-being.
Yoga gives children a toolbox that they can use throughout their life not just in a yoga class. Yoga has undergone thousands of studies and it has been shown that yoga can help reduce stress & anxiety. It can help children learn to self-regulate their emotions. It encourages focus, improves concentration, coordination & balance. The physical side of yoga will strengthen the body & the stretching of the muscle’s releases Serotonin which is the chemical which helps to improve our mood – the Happy Chemical. For those children who do not engage with sport, the non-competitive element to yoga is very popular and allows children to work at their own pace, learning to become body aware as well as encouraging positive body image and a healthy lifestyle. Yoga teaches everyone to be kind, to be compassionate and to respect each other. It encourages children to be resilient and have a growth mindset.
The original goal of yoga was to provide a guide for happiness, wholeness & wellbeing.Feuerstein 2003/ Research paper on Yoga for children with anxiety.
I am part of a movement of yoga teachers who would like to see yoga added to the school curriculum so all children can benefit from classes and that the school has a whole school approach to supporting their pupil’s mental health. We are here, we are qualified, we are experienced – let us help!
CALL TO ACTION – I encourage you to go to your school, usually the SENCO is the best placed person to approach – tell then that you think it’s a good idea. You could research children’s yoga teachers near you to pass on their information to save the school time (I do recommend someone who has taken a Children’s Yoga teaching certification from a health & safety element plus we are already DBS checked & insured to teach this age group).
Yoga can be used as PE lesson (Sports funding can be used), PSHE (Wellbeing funding), or as PPA time (Teachers planning time). Yes, school budgets are tight, but I have state schools that I teach at – I teach the whole school in two 6 week blocks twice a year – they see the benefit, they have the budget!
Yoga is OFSTED approved 🙂 – In one setting it was noted in their Ofsted report that “funding was well spent on weekly yoga classes for the children”.
Independent schools – I was very happy to provide regular yoga classes that helped one of my schools get shortlisted for the Pastoral Care and Wellbeing award.
Email me on email@example.com if you have any questions or you would like help finding a local children’s yoga teacher. #yogaineveryschool.