Promoting Teen Yoga
SPREADING THE WORD
Although 26% of schools are currently offering yoga in some form, many schools do not and are as yet unaware of the benefits that yoga could bring, or indeed what exactly yoga entails.In order to dispel myths and raise awareness of the current state of yoga in schools, Charlotta Martinus speaks regularly at conferences across the country, to around 3000 delegates per year, mostly Headmasters, SEND teachers, TAs, policy makers and Pastoral Leads. She also writes for the national Yoga Magazines and delivers Thought for the Day on BBC Bristol on a monthly basis.
POLICY – TEEN YOGA IN PARLIAMENT
As well as our work promoting the benefits of yoga for young people in schools, a key aim is for it to be available throughout the education system as part of the curriculum so that it is available to all rather than something schools need specific extra funding for.
To this end we work to raise awareness in Parliament and other policy arenas of the benefits of yoga in education.
On 27th June 2022 we took part in a meeting in the House of Commons about yoga for mental health in schools. This was the relaunch of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Yoga in Society, which is a kind of lobby aimed at raising awareness among MPs.
There were several MPs present at this initial meeting including the shadow school secretary, Steve Morgan. And Ben Bradshaw, a previous Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Charlotta spoke about the urgent need to address the mental health crisis in schools among young people and of the enormous potential that yoga has to address this. You can read the transcript of her talk APPG Charlotta Martinus Speech 270622. Dr. Jo Barker, one of our trustees, also spoke about the mental health crisis from the NHS perspective.
Various young people, Shivani, Kwesia and Tabatha also gave eloquent and moving testimony of their own experiences with yoga and their talks clearly had an impact on the audience.
This is the first meeting since normal business was resumed in Parliament after the pandemic and from here we will be moving on to collect data about the prevalence of yoga in schools in the UK and how it impacts mental health in order to make the case to MPs for a greater presence of yoga in schools.
As part of the process we will also be asking you to write to your MP to tell them about this new initiative and ask them to get involved. A draft letter will be ready in a couple of days and we will be putting it here on our website for you to use.
The Teen Yoga Foundation runs a conference every year in November in London. This conference takes a look at the current state of yoga in schools across the world with a special focus on the UK.
It attracts 100 delegates every year, ranging from headmasters to teaching assistants to seasoned yoga therapists and yoga students as well as the teens themselves.
Also, each year, a heterogenous group of enthusiastic teenage yoga practitioners present their perspectives on the state of affairs in yoga in schools and among youth in the UK and abroad. They are an essential part of our ongoing work.
In 2020 due to the lockdown Instill has moved online and is called the TEEN YOGA SUMMIT. It will take place from Dec 7th to Dec 13th and it is FREE. There is more information here