Yoga Sessions for School-Starters

An image of a child practicing yoga
A calm beginning to school

A series of yoga classes for children beginning school

Watching my own son and his friends prepare to start school made me acutely aware of what an exciting, but also angst-provoking, time this can be.

It inspired me to develop a short yoga course for young children before they commence in grade prep, to try and help them to prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally for the enormous leap that they are about to make.

Parents are encouraged to drop their children off for the workshop (although where necessary, parents are of course welcome to stay. If your child is particularly anxious about being left alone for the yoga, it could be a great short term goal to perhaps attend part of the workshop without mum or dad!). There is a cafe within walking distance, and playgrounds close-by for little brothers and sisters!

I also encourage the kids to wear a small item from their school uniform (a t-shirt, jumper, shoes or hat) and if they are attending a school with no uniform, perhaps they would like to bring the bag that they will be using for school with a drink and small snack packed inside. Each child will be asked to bring a small healthy snack, such as fruit or cheese and crackers, that they can sit and enjoy with their friends during a break in the session.

The children will take home some “homework”, exercises or activities that they might like to explore with their parents at home, and which might be a great starting place for conversations about starting school.

The course will be designed around the concept of Yoga Therapy, which works with the body to bring it back into balance. This theory views the body within a framework of meridians (corresponding to various organs) which are governed by the five elements, and are thereby linked to the Summer, Autumn, Spring, Winter and the fifth state – “between the seasons”.

The first session will focus on strengthening the spine and the back body. The back relates to strength, stability, security, confidence, and having a strong sense of “Who I Am”. The back exercises will assist our children in finding inner strength, in connecting with a settled and stable energy, and in re-connecting inwards.

The second session will focus on a healthy digestive system. The connection between the digestive system and our general well-being is becoming increasingly recognised. Dysregulated gut flora has been linked to diseases ranging from autism and depression to autoimmune conditions and Type 1 diabetes. Sadly there are several features of the modern lifestyle which directly contribute to unhealthy gut flora: antibiotics and other medications, diets high in sugar and processed foods but low in fibre, and chronic stress among others. This session will include a short discussion about healthy eating and about the function of our large intestine. The exercises that follow will foster clear thinking, general clarity, clear decision-making, and healthy self-expression.

The third and final session will look at alleviating stress and anxiety, particularly important for those children who are finding transition to primary school a difficult time. The intention of this session will be to provide our children with methods which calm and still the mind, calm the nervous system, and guide children to feel centred, secure and strong. Our discussion and exercises will aim to build confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. The session will teach a number of tools to release anxiety and stress, to self-calm, and to quieten the mind.

The group will be limited to a maximum of 8 children and all yoga equipment is provided.

The next Prep Transition Workshop will run on January 22nd in 2019 (9.15am-11.45am) and will be held in The Studio at Ranges Integrative Health in Selby.


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