A short while ago we asked several of our school subscribers for feedback – the response was simply incredible. Below is a wonderful example of how Class Yoga is a positive force for change in a school environment. We will let Michelle tell you in her own words…
My name is Michelle Grant and I am the Year 3 & 4 Class Teacher and PE Coordinator at Cardinham Primary School, near Bodmin, where we currently have 70 pupils on role.
Having practised Yoga myself for over three years, I was extremely enthusiastic to introduce it across our school. I first came into contact with Helen and Dougie of Class Yoga, at a PE Conference, held at The Eden Project, back in October 2016. This meeting got the ball rolling and we haven’t looked back since!
Our first step was to trial Class Yoga. We loved what it had to offer us as non-specialists; the perfect tool to provide everyone with the confidence to deliver Yoga. Helen presents a large variety of classes for children from the age of 5-11. The website is easy to navigate and the presentation of the sessions is second to none. She has expertly ensured that her tone of voice is appropriate to the age and style of the class. Using our Sports Premium Funding, we signed up to Class Yoga and to ensure high quality teaching, we committed to a two hour yoga training session for all staff.
Inspired by Class Yoga and Helen’s training session, yoga sessions were firstly introduced to small groups (6-12 children). The short energising classes were used first thing in the morning and the relaxing classes after lunch. When short of space or time, we used the ‘chair yoga’ sessions. During PE sessions and PSHE sessions longer sessions were taught. We also set up an after school Yoga Club, open to pupils in YR-6. The response from the children was fantastic. At the end of a session, when asked to describe how they feel, their responses included,
calm and sleepy,
relaxed yet energised,
…like a cloud and
…like my brain has been refuelled.
The children LOVE the fact that they are allowed (and actively encouraged) to take time out of their busy days to relax. In fact, many children report that their favourite part of the sessions is the guided relaxation. The sessions are having a positive influence on the children’s behaviour and self-esteem. If a child becomes frustrated or uptight, we remind them to use their Yoga breathing to help. Some children even report to be practising yoga at home. We have woven Yoga into our PE Curriculum Map and it is our aim by September 2017, for every child in the school to access a minimum of two yoga sessions per week.
Realising the numerous health benefits to the children, in April this year, I successfully completed Helen Clare’s five day course called ‘Teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Children’. This inspiring and motivating course has given me the knowledge and confidence to lead whole class groups of up to 24 children. We have even recently started taking yoga outside and teaching lessons in the beautiful setting of our school field.
Yoga is fantastic because it is accessible to all; everyone is equal. It not only improves balance, coordination, strength and posture but it is proven to raise self-esteem, boost confidence and reduce stress and anxiety. What are you waiting for? Embark on your Class Yoga journey today…