Yoga in Schools

Promoting wellbeing for staff and pupils

It is important that yoga courses are designed and delivered by a qualified, experienced yoga teacher.  I have completed 60 hours specialist training with TeenYoga UK. This includes the study of adolescent anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, psychology and behaviour management. In addition, I have completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training with the British Wheel of Yoga.

Safe practice and guiding students to work within their own individual limits is at the heart of all my teaching.

Bespoke yoga courses for your school

Courses are flexible and schools can choose the length of yoga course, which can be tailored entirely to suit the needs of the staff, students and their timetable.

Yoga has already been adopted in many schools across the UK in a variety of ways:

  • Part of the PE curriculum
  • Part of the PSHE curriculum
  • An elective in an enrichment programme
  • A lunch time or after-school activity
  • An intervention to maximise the achievement of disadvantaged students

Yoga for staff

Yoga is also entirely suitable and positively recommended for staff in schools, as it can provide a welcome antidote to the demands of working in a busy school environment.

I believe it is important to help nurture young people and the people who care for them.

What will a yoga class include?

  • A range of postures – adaptable to suit individual needs
  • Breathing and relaxation techniques
  • Mindfulness and meditation (secular and suitable for all)
  • An introduction to yoga philosophy and psychology

The benefits of yoga practice

 Yoga in schools helps to support physical and mental health, and facilitates emotional wellbeing and resilience.

  • Suitable for all abilities – an alternative to competitive sport
  • Develops strength, flexibility and stamina
  • Reduces tension, stress and anxiety
  • Raises self-esteem and promotes self-efficacy
  • Develops clarity, focus and concentration
  • Creates awareness of emotional responses
  • Encourages self-management of behaviour
  • Promotes social, mental and emotional health
  • Increases emotional resilience
  • Develops compassion, patience and understanding
Contact me for more information

Research & Evidence

“Research has shown that the number of young people reporting feelings of depression and anxiety is rising (Collishaw et al, 2010) and there is a trend for the rates of these disorders to increase in the transition between childhood and adolescence.” (Costello et al, 2011)

Amy Morgan, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds

There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that yoga and mindfulness can and is helping to improve mental health and wellbeing in young people.

Teen Yoga Foundation supports research into the impact of yoga on young people.

For research and articles on the benefits of yoga go to teenyoga.co.uk/research

The future looks encouraging; a recent early day motion in Parliament stated:

That this House celebrates the 2nd International Day of Yoga, on 21 June 2016, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015; It recognises that yoga is a multi-dimensional approach to encouraging well-being, which appreciates the link between physical and psychological health and lifestyle; appreciates that yoga is a reflective and non-invasive practice, which is appropriate in all stages of life; recommends yoga to be included as part of mindfulness and well-being initiatives for NHS staff and for yoga to be integrated within treatment for patients; and urges the Department for Education to introduce yoga in the school physical education curriculum.

Contact me for more information

Research & Evidence

A growing body of research suggests that mindfulness could have a foundation role to play in providing evidence-based mental training for children and young people.

Following the publication of more than 50 promising pilot studies, the Wellcome Trust is currently funding a £7 million research project into the effects of mindfulness training on pupils aged 11 to 18, led by Oxford University. It is likely to confirm and strengthen the existing scientific evidence base for the adoption of mindfulness education programmes in schools around the world.

There is growing evidence for the efficacy of mindfulness interventions in schools. Mindfulness has proven to be effective for children and young people, with school-based interventions having positive outcomes on wellbeing: reducing anxiety and distress as well as improving behaviour, among other areas*. Evidence also suggested that children who used mindfulness practices more frequently reported higher wellbeing and lower stress scores.**

Kevanne Sanger and Dusana Dorjee at Bangor University, reported that 17 to 18 year old pupils experienced less mind wandering and hypercritical self-beliefs, and were more able to control their attention (measured using event related potentials, ERP) when they took part in a computerised distraction test. This study is part of Kevanne’s PhD.

Shadi Beshai, Lindi McAlpine, Katherine Weare & Willem Kuyken have published their findings on the effects of .b Foundations on school teachers. This study reported reduced stress and self-judgement, and improved wellbeing, mindfulness, and self-kindness.

*K.Weare “Developing mindfulness with children and young people: a review of the evidence and policy context,” Journal of Children’s Services 2013
**W. Kuyken et al, “Effectiveness of the Mindfulness in Schools Programme: non-randomised controlled feasibility study”, The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2013

Contact me for more information


Studies and articles on school-based mindfulness interventions

“Yoga is the unifying art of transforming dharma into action, be it through inspired thought, properly nurturing our children, a painting, a kindness or an act of peace. “

“Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun.”