Yoga and Well-Being in PE
It’s common knowledge that pupils (and staff) are feeling the strain of the recent changes in modern education. There are numerous reports and discussions that address this issue for teachers and pupils but that’s a separate issue. I was a form tutor to a year 11 group that left school this year and I have seen first hand how these teenagers are struggling with the increased pressure, workload, level of work and pressure of future choices than ever before. I wanted to do something more than verbal advice, I wanted to try and give pupils practical resources that they could use themselves for life.. tools for their own well-being.
This year I gave the option of Yoga to my KS4 PE group and to my delight it was incredibly popular and I then delivered it to year 9 too.
Yoga has lots of benefits and i’ve listed the following that I feel make it great for a PE lesson.
- Developing flexibility
- Proven to reduce stress
- Strengthening core muscles
- Beneficial for back and joint aches
- Beneficial for those with limited movement
- Non competitive
- Pupils are able to work individually and in pairs
- Pupils can work at their own pace
- Trying something new
- I find it improves confidence of ‘non sporty’ pupils
I ended every session with 10 minutes of ‘meditation’ and trying relaxing techniques that can help with sleep and insomnia. All you need, to try this out, is a space where you have mats (yoga mats are best but crash/gymnastic mats work well too) and where you can turn the lights off. I also find that being able to play music (meditation sounds) quietly.
I’ve added some tips and resources below for you to try out.
*start simple if you have little experience – don’t stretch your pupil’s too quickly*
** don’t attempt headstands unless experienced **
Beginner / no experience teaching Yoga: If you have IT resources and don’t have much experience with teaching Yoga, then YouTube videos are a great way of taking the pressure off and can also be beneficial for pupils to learn from a different method of instruction. YouTube videos can also be a good way to encourage pupils to practice in their own time.
Yoga with Adriene: click here to visit her channel you can search for keywords like ‘beginner’ or ’40 day challenge’.
Advanced teaching: create sequence flows that progress each week and encourage pair poses to work with others.
Apple and Android apps: ‘Headspace’ and ‘CALM’ you can get a month’s free trial, perfect for a scheme of work and pupils can download the app themselves for them to carry on outside of lessons.
Click to download basic meditation tips ‘here‘ this can be used easily over and over again and the repetition is beneficial for pupils to relax quicker and build up the technique themselves.
I’d love to know if you provide Yoga in PE too or if you run a club.. a great idea during GCSE period and this could be open to staff too.
I think it’s a great idea to support ourselves and our pupils practically through a different outlet to encourage well-being and exercise together.
Tweet me @thepediary for any questions and feedback.