TKO CP Students Discover the Wonders of Yoga and Mindfulness
Between two addition tables, first exercises to decipher syllables and learn how to write in cursive script, our CP TKO students had the great opportunity to be introduced to yoga and mindfulness for 12 weeks.
Week after week, children learnt to become aware of their environment and develop their self-confidence and self-awareness: their body, strength and flexibility. They worked on their breathing as a tool of relaxation and management of emotions.
All this led to evident progress and positive changes: Children who couldn't sit quietly for a few minutes, who had trouble concentrating on one thing, and who didn't know what being with oneself means gradually began to take pleasure in feeling calm, strong, respected and relaxed.
As for the teachers, they noticed that students got to work faster when returning from recess, but also learned how to better manage stress and fear of failure and take some perspective and suggest solutions.
A wonderful project, beneficial for all and very appreciated by both students and teachers!
Isabel Parra, who ran the sessions in collaboration with the TKO CP steachers, tells us more about the project.
Can you explain what yoga is about?
Many studies show that yoga helps maintain a healthy, strong and flexible body. The internal organs and the nervous system are stimulated, reducing the risk of certain illnesses and addictions and promoting good memory and concentration at school. It lowers stress, helps to obtain better academic results, supports creativity and sporting level.
In other words, yoga enriches people and enables a better quality of life.
Yoga helps to build good relationships with others and to feel empathy, thereby fostering respect and solidarity.
What about the project with CP students?
Yoga and mindfulness go together. We sometimes practiced mindfulness without necessarily doing yoga, however we practiced mindfulness every time we did yoga.
We therefore decided to name the project “Yoga and Mindfulness” to be very clear on the fact that our sessions were not only focused on the physical aspect, but were rather:
- a space for self-discovery;
- a space to feel, reflect and release emotions;
- a space to reflect on attitudes and behavior at school, with friends or at home;
- a space to refocus on oneself;
- a space to grow in harmony and confidence;
- a space to discover tools to get to know each other, manage emotions and stress, live in harmony with others.
How was each session conducted?
In each session there was a section devoted to:
- a portion of time to reflect on oneself, on one's behavior, on nature, one's surroundings, etc.
- physical activity (warm-ups, stretching, yoga postures, etc.);
- meditation or refocusing of attention.
All this through games and activities... applying ourselves but always with a good spirit!
What were your objectives for this project?
During this project I tried to make the children aware:
- of their environment (focus their attention on one thing at a time, recognize the things that can disturb them...)
- of their ability to commit (giving the best of themselves in teamwork)
- of who they are: aware of their body, strength and flexibility; of how breathing can be a tool for relaxation and managing one’s emotions and thoughts; of the importance of feeling good and being happy.