It doesn’t matter how old children are, they all face some kind of stress in their life. To us, as adults, the things children dwell on may seem trivial, but learning to cope with life’s stresses is part of the process of maturing.
Often, children find it difficult to verbalise exactly how they are feeling, and so, pent up emotions can have a negative impact on their schooling. This is where yoga can help.
One of the many benefits of incorporating yoga into a school day is its focus on mindfulness. Mindfulness teaches children to be present, as well as providing them with a place to go to in their mind if they are struggling with feelings of anxiety, stress or worry. All of which can be present during a school day.
Yoga provides children with a set of essential tools they can use when needed. The mindfulness aspect of yoga is only part of the story!
By combining the key aspects of yoga - movement and mindfulness, children are given the space and time to develop physically and mentally in a group setting but also personally.
ZenKids has developed a movement and mindfulness curriculum-led programme that follows curriculum based areas of learning and development, while simultaneously improving motor skills, functional movement, and helps with personal, social and emotional development within children.
The programme has been specially designed by a specialist yoga teacher, Jackie Heffer-Cooke, and is supported by education consultant and primary teacher, Hannah Betts, and Children’s occupational therapist, Nicola Albert-Worman. It is suitable for all ages of children, from tots right up to teens.
BT Sport presenter, Jake Humphrey is the ambassador for the course, which can either provide qualified and insured teachers to come and teach in your school, or train your own teachers to be able to safely teach children’s yoga.
Of ZenKids, he says “As a parent of two children, I think ZenKids is a great idea. My daughter Flo is only 5, but already does yoga at school and loves it. As parents we are so focused on our kids numeracy and literacy skills, but yoga uses mind and body like nothing else and I think it’s fantastic...whatever your age.”
Another huge benefit of including yoga in a school day is that by having external teachers come into schools to teach yoga, teachers are given back valuable time in their day to observe students for curriculum based assessment, and PPA.
By enabling teachers to watch their students, they can see how they are interacting with their fellow students and how they are engaging with the task at hand.
For the students, fun and engaging yoga classes that can see them pretending to be monkeys in the jungle, or astronauts exploring plants can give crucial time in the day for them to exert energy; meaning improved focus on the rest of their studies.
Overall, yoga is a brilliant addition to any school day, and can massively benefit mental and physical development of the children who practice it.
ZenKids are offering Pupil Asset schools a discount. Instead of £70 an hour for yoga in schools taught by ZenKids teachers, Pupil Asset schools pay £50 an hour, or they are offering £50 off course fees to train teachers to teach children’s yoga.
For more information visit their website: https://www.zenmuma.co.uk/schools