“I like it because the day starts off with relaxing, starts off with peace.” Adam (Aged 7)
Yoga and meditation are integrated into the curriculum to support wellbeing. Children and educators are supported to expand and deepen self-awareness, learn about themselves and learn to connect with others.¹ Since both educators and students practice together it creates a common area of endeavour and discovery. It also enhances the teacher-student relationship as both parties are sensitive to each others’ time and space to think, reflect and express themselves. It allows us all to learn to be in the present moment.
Yoga and conscious movement
Yoga is a fun way for children to develop a variety of important skills in a nurturing, non-competitive environment. Our educators offer unconditional positive encouragement which helps create a nourishing environment. Children can relax and have fun whilst developing strength, coordination, flexibility as well as increasing their body awareness and self-esteem.
Children are encouraged to respect and pay attention to their bodies, making sure each pose feels good. As children grow and their bodies change, this becomes an important skill. Having the skills to listen carefully to the body and heart is not just a method to avoid injury; this also makes it easier to be self-reflective and make good choices when dealing with peer pressure.
We practice traditional yoga exercises, along with yoga-mat ball (a game invented by our students), tai chi, qi gong, dance, running, walking and many other mindful exercises.
‘What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us, and when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.’ Henry David Thoreau
Being in peace with yourself, in the here and now is the optimum condition for learning. Your mind is clear and awake to what is going on around you and you are able to engage wholeheartedly. Obstacles to learning disappear as mental and emotional blocks are surmounted and students experience the enrichment of learning in the here and now.
Meditation, as conscious imagination, is a powerful tool for any problem-solving. Just five minutes’ reflection before beginning a piece of work whether creative, analytical or mathematical can make an enormous difference to the success of the task. It taps into our huge reserves of knowledge, insight and memory, thus empowering us to perceive ourselves as creators and problem solvers.²
*Our meditation and yoga practices are non-religious. The aim is for each child to connect with their own thoughts, feelings and imagination, learning how to reach their own conclusions and to think independently.