The Yogi Group has launched a new countywide mental health initiative which will provide a free Mental Heath Day to primary schools in Greater Preston, Chorley, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, Lancaster, Morecambe and South Lakes.
The company’s founder, Laura Mitchell explained: “We go into schools, and we teach yoga, resilience, mindfulness and breath work as a mental health aid for children. We teach yoga through story for the Key Stage One, and then for Key Stage Two, we introduce the adult flows, so a lot of breathwork, work on self esteem, resilience, mindful movements, so it links to both the PE and PSHE curriculums, because mental health is key at the moment for children in schools after the pandemic.”.
Originally an English teacher, Laura set up The Yogi Group five years ago, and since then has taught in over 150 schools in Lancashire.
These new mental health days have been funded by local mental health commissioning teams, and will consist of activities such as guided meditation, breathing techniques, fun and inspiring yoga stories, resilience and mindfulness activities, and a positive affirmation circle.
The NHS has also bought yoga cards for the schools to embed The Yogi Group’s learning when they are not there
Laura added: "It's a tool for children to learn for the rest of their life, it's a really good way for them to calm their minds. We talk about mindfulness in classes, so it can help improve learning, improve sleep, it's just great all around for the body, the mind and their breath. We also talk about things like the fight or flight response, about how to react differently in anxious situations. We do a lot of work around SATs and exams, and the process from leaving primary school to high school.
"it's a really exciting project to be part of. I love what we do, working with children, embedding kindness and resilience because it's a tough world, so it's really important, and we hope that this project will carry on.”
The free sessions will be delivered in the next academic year, and any school interested should email [email protected]