THE WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH IN BANES

As we embark today on our second whole school approach to wellbeing through yoga at King Edwards School in Bath, I am continuously grateful and surprised by the insight and adventurous spirit of schools in the BANES area. A few years ago, Kingswood school embraced the whole school approach to yoga, starting with classes for certain age groups, expanding the provision, to include all students and the parents. In parallel the schools employed the Foundation to train 12 of their in-house teachers to deliver yoga to their tutees and students. All the while, we continue to teach the teachers and further their education in yoga. This approach has proved successful, as it is a non-invasive and gentle opening to yoga for everyone involved over a period of time, encouraging a culture of self care. It has increased the morale of teachers, who feel cared for and supported, it has improved the atmosphere in the staff room, with calmer staff and most importantly, the students have benefitted both directly through learning stress-busting techniques and indirectly through being taught by focussed and relaxed teachers, who are modelling optimal pro-social behaviour and mood due to their own practice. Previous to this, the insightful and fully trained Iyengar teacher and Head of Ralph Allen had been teaching yoga to all her staff at Ralph Allen – a tradition which the Foundation continued and expanded to 40 students per week as well and is now in its 10th year.

Other schools who also benefit from yoga especially designed for them are Hayesfield in Bath, St Greg’s Catholic School and Prior Park College. All have TeenYoga graduates sharing yoga. Norton Hill School and Writhlington in Midsomer Norton have both been offering yoga to their students now since 2003 to a smaller degree, but nonetheless it has been impactful. For many years Norton Radstock College (now Bath College) also offered yoga as part of their enrichment curriculum.

With the government endorsing a new move towards a focus on mental wellbeing among both teachers and students, heads and staff are finding yoga is ticking all the boxes. This is what John Chantry says at Ralph Allen:

“Young people experience a great deal of pressure, and consequently stress, to perform well in school due to the high  expectations on them both academically and socially. Yoga is a great way to deal with this & the teen yoga programme has been extremely well received by students at Ralph Allen. The approach taken is just right and has inspired our students not just to try yoga, but to stick with it. I recommend the programme wholeheartedly.” John Chantry, Vice Principal, Ralph Allen School

Simon Morris, Head of Kingswood says this

“We have been considering whole school wellbeing at Kingswood for some time and considering various ways in which we might support the whole school community in taking care of their physical and mental health”.

Various initiatives have arisen from this whole school approach, with yoga classes being one particular example which has really engaged both staff and students.  We have had incredibly positive feedback from staff who say that practising yoga releases the tension in body and mind and teaches them techniques which they can use in day to day situations to help them manage better at particularly busy times in the school term.  A number of staff have now trained as yoga teachers and this, in turn, is allowing us to roll out a programme to support the students.

Bath has long been known to be host to an impressive and constantly high quality group of forward looking schools, scoring high on the league tables and drawing students from all around the world, so their openness and awareness of the salutogenetic properties of yoga may be heralding an optimistic rise in yoga in schools across the nation as an affordable and smart therapeutic and preventative intervention for both staff and pupils.

Charlotta, at King Edwards School, on a foggy April morning!

UPDATE ON THE TEEN YOGA FOUNDATION RESEARCH PROJECT

As you may already know, we are working with Westminster University Psychology Department in a project that looks at the effects practicing yoga can have on young people’s stress and wellbeing. The aim is to get more evidence of the benefits of yoga for young people. This will be useful for yoga teachers when they talk to schools and parents, and for the Teen Yoga Foundation when we look for funding for further research. It would be great of you could help us.

We have had a good response so far, more than 200 on the first questionnaire (of two), but we would like to get as many as possible. The project has been working since January, but will continue till June so if you have a group starting after the Easter break it is perfectly possible to join. So if you have a group starting after Easter, we would love you to participate in this research. (If you have more than one group, even better!)

The research project

Our research will focus on a simple “before/after” questionnaire with as many young people who are doing yoga as possible. The questionnaire will be accessible by mobile phone (or paper if preferred) and take about 10 minutes. They would do it at the start of the first class and again after six classes.

If you would like to help to build the proof that yoga works for young people, please write a quick message to nick@teenyogafoundation.com

You can also help by sharing this message. We publicise on our website and Facebook and other social media but we know that Facebook will not show the post to everyone, and not all are on Facebook!  To that end, please could you share the message directly with the teachers that you know – ​through all the channels you use, not just through a Facebook share, although this is also helpful.

 

TEEN YOGA AT BATH HALF – IAN

One of the people running for the Teen Yoga Foundation at the Bath Half Marathon on the 4th March is Ian Watson. Ian is a Chartered Engineer working for the energy company E.ON.

 

This is Ian’s story.

 

“Having previously worked on all manner of power stations, I now focus on customer solutions, making sure everything we offer to our customers, from solar panels to electric vehicle charging points to Smart home technology is safe and reliable.”

 

“I’ve been running for about 6 or 7 years.  I’ve run 1 marathon (Yorkshire) and a few half marathons. I prefer cross-country and fell running, but I do like the occasional road race too. I run for Matlock Athletic Club where I’m also a coach for the junior section. My second club is Vegan Runners UK.”

 

“I took up yoga in 2016 purely as a means of improving my core strength and mobility (to aid my running).  However, as I’ve come to learn more about the mindfulness aspects of Yoga I now take a lot more from my practice other than the physical benefits. However, the biggest change to my life as a result of taking up Yoga was meeting my partner Wendy, who was (and still is) my Yoga teacher!”

 

“The Teen Yoga Foundation provides a range of amazing support activities for disadvantaged children and teenagers in schools, community centres and anywhere else it is needed (for example, following the Manchester bombing last year, Teen Yoga provided free training to school teachers to help those who were at the concert and who were suffering post-traumatic stress).  There is a currently a big focus on young people who have found themselves homeless and/or recovering from drug addictions.

 

This is Iain’s Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-watson101

TEEN YOGA AT THE BATH HALF – NICK

Some of the people coming to run at the Bath Half for the Teen Yoga Foundation are training together. This is the case of our Spanish runners, Lucia Huerta and Nick Kearney, who are coming over for the event. They have been training together over the past few months in Valencia, and are hoping for sun on the 4th March!!!

Here are some words from Nick:

“I’m currently deciding what to do with my life. Meanwhile I’m doing some part time jobs and taking English exams. I have also just passed my driving test.”

 

“I’ve always been active; I have run every now and then, but my fitness and resistance has been built from sports like tennis, football and cycling.”

 

“I’m not very into yoga. I’ve tried it a couple of times and it’s not bad at all. Nevertheless I have to say it looks like it’s doing a great job for a lot of people and it’s proven to be very good for mental health, so I support the practice of it.”

 

“ I’m running for the Teen Yoga Foundation because they help people like myself, the young, to develop tools and skills to fight anxiety and depression and that’s a topic I feel very connected to.”

 

Lucia and Nick have a Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paula-lucia-huerta-barbera

TEEN YOGA AT THE BATH HALF – SOFIA

One of the people running for the Teen Yoga Foundation at the Bath Half Marathon on the 4th March is Sofia Mason who works at Royal Holloway, University of London.

 

Sofia tells her story:

 

“I currently have two roles at Royal Holloway. From March I will be working as Academic Partnerships Officer – overseeing study abroad programmes. I also teach Mindfulness meditation to staff and students at the University.”

 

“This will be my 6th half marathon. After only really doing yoga throughout my 20s, I started running 3 years ago with the “Couch2 5k” app and never looked back!! “

 

“I started exploring the practice of yoga when I was 18 after a few classes as a child, so I knows first-hand how much of a valuable resource yoga can be for young people, helping them skillfully navigate life’s ups and downs.“

 

“I am running so the Teen Yoga Foundation can keep expanding their great work! It has been years since I ran a half marathon for charity, I’ve done 4 in the intervening time and not asked for a penny! But my sixth half marathon will be for the amazing Teen Yoga Foundation because they do amazing work resourcing teens with physical, emotional and spiritual tools that will help them survive and thrive for the rest of their lives. As you know, yoga saved my life and I’d love to help share this gift with young people.

Thank you for any donation! With love and gratitude! Namaste :)”

Sofia has a Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/s-mason6

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TEEN YOGA AT THE BATH HALF – LUCIA

Some of the people coming to run at the Bath Half for the Teen Yoga Foundation are training together. This is the case of our Spanish runners, Lucia Huerta and Nick Kearney, who are coming over for the event. They have been training together over the past few months in Valencia, and are hoping for sun on the 4th March!!!

Here are some words from Lucia:

“I’m a psychology student in Valencia (Spain), I’m enjoying my degree because it gives me the opportunity of understanding social behaviour and participating in research on well-being. Apart from my studies, I also have a part-time job to save money for the future (I’d love to do a postgraduate degree in the UK in the future). “

 

“I’m a good runner, as I have been part of an athletics club for the most part of my life. Although at the moment I’m not participating in any competitions, I’m training hard for the  Bath half-marathon. In the past I have participated in other sports, such as tennis, judo, rhythmic gymnastics and swimming.”

 

“Regarding my connection to Yoga, I am totally aware of all the benefits of it because I receive a lot of information about it in my university lectures. I know yoga is more effective when it comes to tackling certain mental health issues than some pharmaceutical products, giving all the advantages of curing the illness without the side effects.”

 

“I’m running for the TYF because I feel they’re working hard to address the mental health issues of the young and I think that’s a major social problem which needs to be addressed more actively.”

 

 

Lucia and Nick have a Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paula-lucia-huerta-barbera

TEEN YOGA AT THE BATH HALF – RUTH

One of the people running for the Teen Yoga Foundation at the Bath Half Marathon on the 4th march is Ruth Spencer-Carr. Ruth is a school health nurse working in a secondary school in Oxford.  She trained as a yoga teacher in August 2017.

She had never really run regularly before signing up for the Bath Half, except for the Race for Life 5K a few years ago, so this is a major challenge for her. Her training is going well though, and she has progressed up to 10 miles slowly but surely over the last months.

This is Ruth’s Story:

“If only I had been taught Yoga as a child……it could have helped so much especially in dealing with the loss of a parent so young, childhood grief and later on teenage anxiety and panic attacks, all of which Yoga has helped me overcome as an adult.”

“As a School Health Nurse, I am acutely aware of the struggles teenagers face in todays’ world and particularly in relation to their mental health. Yoga is a very powerful medium in which teens can look inwards (towards self) and learn about their mind and body, build strength and resilience, be peaceful and happy and spreading peace and happiness to others and the world. It is a subtle and deeply personal practice and can have a profoundly meaningful effect. If all children know yoga, the world will know peace.”

“Please donate to this amazing Foundation to support this wonderful work and to support me to take on the physical challenge of my life – running the Bath Half marathon 2018 in Roman/Georgian Bath-  the most beautiful city in the U.K. Thank you in advance.”

Ruth’s Just Giving page is here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ruth-spencer43

TEEN YOGA AT THE BATH HALF

The Teen Yoga Foundation is delighted to be participating in the Bath Half Marathon for the first time in 2018 and we have a fantastic team of runners. The Bath Half Marathon is one of the most popular and longest established mass-participation running events in the UK, and one of the leading warm up races for the London Marathon.

We are always looking for ways to support the work we do. Over £2.2 million pounds was raised at the 2017 Bath Half Marathon, and indications for the 2018 event are that this figure will be surpassed again. As the largest single day fundraising event in the South West, the Bath Half Marathon represents a valuable revenue stream for a number of charities and voluntary groups. This sponsored approach seems to work!

These are our runners. Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting about each of them individually, but you can donate at their Just Giving pages.

 

Sofia Mason: Just Giving page

Ruth Spencer: Just Giving page

Ian Watson: Just Giving page

Lucia Huerta : Just Giving page

Nick Kearney:  Just Giving page

 

Please let us know if you would like to be part of the team on the day – we’d welcome locals who would come and cheer on our runners, offering refreshments, smiles and hugs.

Contact Janet on 07951566119 or janet.macleod at teenyogafoundation.com if you’d like to get involved.

 

RESEARCH PROJECT STARTING– PLEASE JOIN US!

TYF LogoThis week Westminster University Research Ethics Committee gave the go-ahead for the our new research project with their Psychology Department. We are going to look at the effects practicing yoga can have on young people’s stress and wellbeing. It would be great if you could join us in this project!

The aim is to get more evidence of the benefits of yoga for young people. This will be useful for yoga teachers when they talk to schools and parents, and for the Teen Yoga Foundation when we look for funding for further research. And for this we need your help.

The research project

Our research will focus on a simple “before/after” questionnaire over a six-week period with as many young people who are doing yoga as possible. The questionnaire will be accessible by mobile phone (or paper if preferred) and take about 10 minutes. They would do it at the start of the first class and again after six classes.

In order to achieve this, we need to involve as many teen yoga teachers as possible throughout the UK. If you have a group starting in January or any time in the first half of 2018, we would love you to participate in this research. (If you have more than one group, even better!)

How you can help

The process is very simple: you get in touch, we send you instructions, yoiu ask any questions you may have, and then get the young people to do the questionnaire (and do one meanwhile yourself) .

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP TO BUILD THE PROOF THAT YOGA WORKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, PLEASE WRITE A QUICK MESSAGE TO nick@teenyogafoundation.com

In the message, please give

  1. your name,
  2. when you start the classes, and
  3. an estimate of how many young people you can reach

NEW TEEN YOGA RESEARCH – PLEASE HELP US!

We are about to start a new research project with Westminster University, and we need your help!

One of our main objectives at the Teen Yoga Foundation is to get yoga into schools and other places where young people are. We feel it should be part of the curriculum and the NHS. This would radically increase the reach of yoga and the demand for it among young people, which would be valuable for everyone, especially as Sportivate funding disappears.

Following on from our meetings in the House of Lords, MPs, civil servants and other policy makers are asking us to “prove” with research what we all know from experience, that yoga is transformative for young people. But there is a lack of really strong evidence (there are lots of small studies but no large projects in the UK so far)

However, when we go to large funding bodies to ask for funds to do this kind of work, they won’t provide them until they see stronger indications that yoga research is worth funding. So, we need to collect that initial evidence. And for this we need your help.

The research project

Our research will focus on a simple “before/after” questionnaire over a six-week period with as many young people who are doing yoga as possible. The questionnaire will be accessible by mobile phone and take about 10 minutes. They would do it at the start of the first class and again after six classes. The questionnaire will be centred on their wellbeing (and we would expect their sense of wellbeing to improve!).

In order to achieve this, we need to involve as many teen yoga teachers as possible throughout the UK. If you have a group starting in January or any time in the first half of 2018, we would love you to participate in this research. (If you have more than one group, even better!)

How you can help

The process is straightforward and simple: you get in touch, read the instructions, ask any questions you may have, and then get the young people to do the questionnaire (and do one meanwhile yourself) at the beginning of the course and after six classes.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP TO BUILD THE PROOF THAT YOGA WORKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, PLEASE WRITE A QUICK MESSAGE TO nick@teenyogafoundation.com

In the message, please give

  1. your name,
  2. when you start the classes, and
  3. an estimate of how many young people you can reach

Thankyou!