Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Worrying stress levels in our children...and how yoga can help

Last week’s Sunday Times documented the rise in stress levels of our children, due to unprecedented workloads and pressure at many of the UK's top schools and colleges.
Many schools across Europe have an enrichment programme, where children can unwind, let off steam and explore a non-academic environment.
The aim is to provide something different to the normal classroom experience and enable students to:
  • Learn skills they could not acquire in a classroom 
  • Have opportunities for leadership 
  • Develop new interests 
  • Serve the wider community 
  • Learn to cope with new challenges

Perhaps we should be introducing more of these programmes in our schools and teaching our children in such a way as to allow them to questions, grow, develop and learn whilst reducing their stress levels...

I am passionate about the diverse and numerous benefits of yoga within the realm of education. There are many articles documenting these benefits, below is just one of them:

Children face different levels of stress in the classroom environment. These difficulties, problems, conflicts, distractions and dissipation of their energies affect their learning and well-being.

Within Europe, many schools have a psychologist who monitors the performance, behaviour and aptitude of the children. Children practising yoga display a marked improvement in their responses, creativity, receptivity, memory, willpower and behaviour. The children were more relaxed, focused, and tranquil than their counterparts who were not practising yoga (these children were more destructive, restless, violent and distracted).

And yoga is not just for the children...Our society is too stressful, violent and fast-paced for many of us. How can stressed, overworked teachers ever hope to meet National Curriculum demands and achieve their learning objectives when their pupils are equally stressed, agitated, aggressive, overly emotional, and mentally exhausted? 

Yoga has an impressive array of methods for managing the energies of pupils and teachers alike, and for preventing the kind of stress that is becoming increasingly synonymous with the teaching profession in this country.

If you would like yoga in your child's school (through weekly yoga classes as a part of their PE curriculum, part of their enrichment program, an after-school activity, etc.) please tell your Headteacher.

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