Yoga in Schools Programme
The Yoga in School Programme was created in 2016 for the students of Galway Educate Together National School so that every child, regardless of age, gender, size, shape and ability would be able to avail of yoga in a supportive, non-competitive, and inclusive way that is both fun and empowering.
The Yoga in Schools Programme is a physical and mental health education programme, that aims to promote a more relaxed, comfortable state of being and support the child’s social and emotional learning through yoga.
The yoga classes take place in a small group setting which helps children feel more at ease, allows for more individualised instruction, and allows the teacher to ensure safety while practising postures. With less distractions, children learn to ‘stay in the moment’.
It meets many of the objectives of the SPHE curriculum, along with some objectives of the PE, English, Maths, SESE, Drama, Art and the ET Ethical Curriculum.
Within the YIS programme, we cater for children with more complex needs by offering a structured, tailored and inclusive individualised Yoga Therapy programme. This practical programme is seen as a therapeutic aid for the child, and gives the adult working with the child (SNA or parent) the confidence and skills to purposefully use the tools of yoga, on-going with the child.
Galway Educate Together Philosophy of the ‘Three-Legged Stool’ & The YIS Programme:
The YAS Programme supports the three legged stool in the following ways:
Cognitive Development: better concentration and focus for task work; reduces stress; helps children assimilate knowledge learned; enthusiasm for school participation; improves quality and duration of sleep.
Social Collaboration: enhances peer-to-peer relationships through paired work; de-emphasizes belief in stereotypes (e.g. ‘gender’/’ability’/athletic’); increases endorphins which elevates mood and positive emotions; non-competitive; encourages all children to explore their full range of abilities; dissolves social barriers.
Personal Growth: helps to develop the journey of inner discovery -builds self-esteem & self confidence; develops self-regulation strategies; reduces anxiety and stress; reduces levels of obesity; helps develop inner peace and calm, develops movement skills; increases body awareness, helps to develop a life-long interest in wellness.
Sara’s Personal Teaching Approach
- I encourage students to practice treating themselves and others with acceptance and kindness
- I offer a brief introduction to a select few aspects of yoga, specifically: poses, breathing, meditation/mindfulness, relaxation, visualisations, affirmations and values from the green wall.
- I accept and honour the possibility that some students, teachers, and parents/guardians may not support the programme and may limit or prevent some students’ participation.
- As an experienced yoga teacher, I can hold a safe space where students are encouraged and supported as they explore many yoga poses.