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St Gabriel’s

St Gabriel’s

Yoga Club

Since the beginning of the Spring Term Ms Ferretti has been running yoga sessions and clubs for Senior School students.   She began with morning sessions for Year 11 students during the mock examination period and then introduced a Year 9 Yoga Club after school.

Lockdown did not stop us! Year 9 continued to attend the weekly sessions via Zoom or Teams, and I also launched a Mindfulness Lunchtime Club, which appealed to the Sixth Formers.  It has been so popular we have also run yoga sessions with both Year 7 and Year 8 students during PSHE.

MS FERRETTI - HEAD OF MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

Why yoga? After almost 20 years of life in the classroom, Ms Ferretti felt she needed something else, something ‘different’ to help her students manage the levels of stress and anxiety that a busy daily schedule inevitably creates.  Alarmingly 1 in 5 children in the UK suffer with mental health, so she decided to attend a fantastic training course run by the Teen Yoga Foundation, which gave her a wonderful insight into the mind and body of teens.

Nowadays there is a lot of talk around mindfulness, which has its roots in the very old tradition of yoga. In the western world, yoga is often perceived merely as a sequence of movements, but there is much more to it. Yoga poses, or asanas, are only one of the eight limbs of yoga. Another crucial part of yoga is pranayama, or breath control. Whilst focusing on the breath alone can be quite challenging, associating it to physical movement makes it much more doable, especially for beginners. It is important to remember that, while we cannot always change some of the situations around us that cause us stress, we can change our breath. By controlling the breath, we can affect our parasympathetic nervous system and prevent it from being in a contact state of alert. We can learn how to switch from the ‘fight or flight’ mode to the ‘rest and digest’ one. The preventative power of yoga and its long-term effect on our mental health is considerable, so much so that even the NHS is now looking at prescribing yoga to patients with a range of mental health issues. In the uncertain time of Covid-19, yoga is not the solution but it is certainly a formidable ally.

MS FERRETTI - HEAD OF MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

 

Images sourced at: Teen Yoga  https://teenyogafoundation.com/