Practising yoga will lift not only your emotional wellbeing but balance your energies and dramatically reduce stress levels. Join Kirsty as she explores how yoga can transform your life as a teacher today!
From juggling demanding deadlines, misbehaving children and stressed parents, teachers can end up burning the candle at both ends until there’s no fuel left to give.
After spending one day a week in a certain school with the kids I can see how much pressure our teachers are under, how much they have to achieve and all the different age groups they're dealing with. From this direct exposure, I really do feel that having yoga within the school benefits the teachers just as much as the children.
"...yoga teaches the children to be calm and gives them the skills for dealing with certain situations..."
One of the main benefits is that Yoga teaches the children to be calm and gives them the skills for dealing with certain situations in a different way in the classroom. This is something that does not happen overnight, nor does it happen in the first couple of weeks.
Eventually after week three the children start to enjoy it and begin to want to do it, asking to do tree pose, eagle or even the airplane!
It’s through the repetition and the recognition of the postures that they really start to develop and they come in already focused and calm. I see how relieved the teacher looks as well when we are in the class and how much it benefits the classroom dynamics.
Towards the end of each class, I get the children to sit back up, take a deep breath in, and then we all breathe out together as a group. More often than not I have to try and wake them back up because they're half asleep! What is really great for the teacher is that the children are grounded and relaxed for the remainder of the day, managing their classroom manner in a positive way.
I believe another really nice benefit for the teacher is that we're asking them to sit with people they wouldn't normally sit with and they're developing teamwork and communication skills as a result.
Such skills are invaluable as they are transferrable to any classroom situation. A second benefit is that children learn not to be co-dependent on certain children.
This is great preparation for the older children when they're going off to secondary school as they might all be going to different schools and not with their friends. They need these skills to be able to meet new people, interact effectively and engage in a really positive way.
Saving the best till last is that yoga teaches children that it’s rewarding to try something new. From speaking to teachers about trying to keep children interested, I can appreciate how tricky it can be.
P.E. teachers go through so much planning and exertion as they want to try and keep the kids interested in new activities. Teach Fit is something that's new to them but also keeps them really interested and really focused.
As soon as I mentioned that footballers like David Beckham regularly practise meditation, all the boys were sold and now love doing yoga! I don’t know about you but I think that holds promise for a positive and healthy future…
About our Community Expert
#TeachFit programme lead
Kirsty is a yoga teacher on a journey of empowerment, building confidence and pushing the boundaries of what traditional yoga is and can be.
She leads the TeachFit Yoga workshops in our partner schools.