Yoga for Young People July/August 2020
Yoga is a practise derived from ancient India, It is a non religious, systematic approach to total body health and mental well being. I teach a form of yoga known as Hatha, which is considered to be the original true form developed over 5000 years ago in ancient India.
There are many reasons as to why one might practise yoga on its own or as comlementary to other physical activity. Practising hatha yoga is great for teenagers in all the same ways that it is great for anyone. Its benefits include:
improved self confidence
greater flexibility and strength
increased concentration, focus and self-control
improved physical fitness
increased energy levels so productivity is higher
developing a personal philosophy, a sense of right and wrong reduced stress and anxiety
improved sleep quality
greater awareness of positive body image
The current global pandemic, local lock down and resulting school closure has seen young people’s lives disrupted and, for many, there is an increase in frustration due to fear of predicted grades and uncertainty over future further education. As the summer “holiday” looms there seems to be rising worry about the loss of the structure of guided online home schooling that many schools have worked so hard to provide. As travel abroad and “normal” summer holiday activities will inevitably not take place this year, like many parents, (I have a teenage daughter) I am concerned about how time will be occupied by young people once the formal guided learning process comes to a close for the Summer.
The impending school holidays, has led me to think about how to keep my daughter from endless hours on her phone. Having recently been invited to make a short yoga practise video for the 1st Chislehurst Guides Annual Festival, I have built upon this experience to develop an 8 week “Yoga for Young People” programme which I hope to run weekly from July through to the end of August. The online platform, Zoom has made it possible to broadcast “live” classes and I am confident that this programme can be delivered successfully in the same manner. As lock down eases, there is the possibility for some outside sessions, weather permitting and in keeping with social distancing guidelines.
The programme is suitable for all young people aged 13 to 19 years. We will begin with basic yoga postures and breathing practices moving through to more challenging postures, exploring ways to achieve them in a safe and playful manner. The approach will be staged throughout so that participants can progress within their own comfort zone. An introduction to the subtle energy that lies at the heart of Yoga in the form of Chakras will be explored in a fun and experiential way to see if our personal energy level can be affected. We will delve into modern mindfulness and experiment with meditation tools that will involve eating chocolate and candle gazing!
Each session will include yoga exercise, creative activities, a sprinkling of philosophy and the all important relaxation. There will be an opportunity for reflection and open discussion where participants will be invited to speak (if they wish) about a topic that is of importance to them. Example of topics may include current social issues, Personal health – is it important? Mental wellbeing – what is this? Eating, cooking & recipes, Good sleep – does this mean more sleep? Anxiety – what is it and do I have it?. The discussion part of the course will be led by the topics that participants wish to bring up and will be kept age appropriate.
My aim is to provide a structured weekly activity throughout the summer that young people can enjoy and actively take part in, for their overall personal well being. My hope is to equip teenagers with an easy to use tool kit to enable safe passage while negotiating teenage life, emerging as healthy young adults able to enjoy the physical and spiritual benefits that yoga philosophy has to offer.
The programme consists of 1 session a week beginning on Tuesday 7th July until Tuesday 25th August. Each session will conducted via Zoom and will last between 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the engagement, with the aim that 2 sessions may be taken out in the open with appropriate social distancing measures in place. However, this is completely dependent on the participants being able to attend in person and the weather.
“Yoga” is a buzz word. There are many different forms, styles and plenty of content online that can give mixed messages which are misleading and often perpetuate very stylised images of bodies contorted into unachievable shapes. My aim is to teach authentic yoga beginning at the physical level so that participants can get to know their body and notice how their limbs move. I encourage introspection to happen naturally within my students over time. Although greatly influenced by the ancient wisdom, I teach with firm knowledge grounded in modern science-based research and an in depth knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology. Having trained with the prestigious British Wheel of Yoga, a Sport England Governing Body for yoga. I hold the Ofqual RQF 500hour BWYQ certificate in Yoga Teacher Training.
I am a local resident, teaching yoga and movement for health classes from my home space in Chislehurst, Kent. I’m a part of the community and love to support local initiatives. Local is important to me, I have worked hard to get to know many Chislehurst residents. I’m a member of the Chislehurst Society, appearing on Visit Chislehurst website under “things to do in Chislehurst”. More recently obtaining membership to the Chislehurst Business Group, supporting various fundraising events in aid of the Christmas Lights and you can be sure to see one of my creations at the Prince Imperial Church Christmas Tree festival each year.
This 8 week programme is specially created with young people in mind, however, I believe that yoga is suitable for everyone and anyone is welcome to attend the friendly, small group, affordable online classes that run 4 times each week.
The cost of the Yoga for Young People programme is £100 for all 8 sessions. Participants will require a good quality yoga mat, 2 yoga blocks and a belt which are available as a bundle in a range of colours at £35 per bundle. All other materials for activities will be provided or can easily be found in the home.
The programme is limited to a maximum of 10 participants only, so early booking is essential. To register your interest and for further information please contact Priya by email: email@example.com or telephone: 07956 865732.