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Yoga benefits for the primary classroom 

Active Schools

As a primary teacher, you might often be in search of something that can help support children in the classroom, not only with their academic achievements but also their emotional needs.

We often find that some children struggle to concentrate, anxiety levels are increasing, and minor disruptive behaviour is on the rise. Teaching is difficult enough as it is with lots of pressures on the staff as well as the children! That’s why teachers need something that’s easy to implement, doesn’t take a lot of planning, doesn’t involve years of training and would help you to create a positive, happier learning environment that we can all thrive in!

Mini Me Yoga can be that solution. 

The foundation course provides flexible learning techniques you can use as a full PE lesson, as tiny chunks throughout the school day or with individual children to support their needs.

By using these techniques on a daily basis, you can see the change within the classroom, where children are being more mindful and caring towards themselves or others. Children can use yoga, breathing and positive mindset techniques to support them when they need a boost of energy or confidence.

Yoga for children can help them to develop their confidence and self-esteem. Through practising their yoga poses they are building their body awareness, spatial awareness, physical strength, flexibility, balance and co-ordination. There is a general unspoken understanding that we are not going to get it right all the time and that’s ok, we are meeting ourselves where we are at, in the moment and building on that every time we do them. We also encourage the children to adapt the poses if needed and to create their own version as we are all individual and it helps to develop self-expression alongside encouraging creativity, imagination whilst thinking outside the box to overcome challenges. These are skills that we are developing and translating as life skills, to help us cope in various situations and what a great way to be able to teach and encourage these.

Yoga itself has many benefits for kids, in regard to the classroom, it can support the skills needed for academic attainment such as: 

  • Improving focus –motivation & memory
  • Attitude to learning – coming from a positive and growth mindset
  • Increased confidence – which is needed to learn new concepts and helps with understanding
  • Increased self-esteem & happiness – enables them to have a go at something new or challenging
  • Reduces stress and anxiety levels – fantastic before tests or independent learning tasks, calmer approach to learning and therefore can focus and complete more or takes more time and attention to tasks

Not only are there benefits to support academic attainment but also emotional development and understanding: 

  • Develops self-regulation
  • Boosts self-esteem
  • Builds confidence
  • Allows children to explore emotions, feelings and thoughts
  • Creates links to physical and emotional wellbeing

We then, cannot forget on top of all these benefits, the physical benefits for children. We know that healthy habits, physical exercise and activity needs to be increased:  

  • Develops balance and co-ordination
  • Increases physical strength and stamina
  • Increases flexibility
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces stress hormone levels
  • Balances and co-ordinates the brain

It’s important to acknowledge that all of the benefits complement one another to provide an approach to support the child as a whole not just focusing on one element at a time and forgetting the rest. When we do this, we are more likely to see a lasting positive impact that is sustainable and achievable. Equipping children with these skills can really make a difference in many ways and the way it supports a child will vary depending on what it is they need at that moment in time.

So, how do we do it, how do we fit this in to our already ridiculously busy timetable…

We start by introducing a pose a day. Just one. Show the children the pose and throughout the day when you have 30 seconds, get them to practise. How about when we line up to come into school, before we sit down in our chairs between lessons/tasks, after lunch, before we go home.

Sit in your chairs and before each task, ask the children to take three deep breaths with you, in through the nose and out through the mouth! Less than a minute of your time and it introduces calm, approaching the task from a calmer, quieter, more relaxed place.

Starting slow and building up is key to the success and lasting impact.