A primary school in a deprived area of Glasgow has adopted a new method to help its children to relax and control their aggression, with the aim to improving concentration and increasing classroom performance.
Year 5 pupils at Quarry Brae Primary are now given Pranayama yoga lessons in the morning, with teacher Miss Carr, who only recently become a yoga instructor. The children perform both yoga exercises (asanas) and chants (mantras) to help improve both mental and physical wellbeing.
Headmistress Miss Adam explains that many children come into school in a slightly stressed state and are not ready for school work straight away. It takes time to relax and become mentally prepared to focus on the work, and yoga helps to speed this process up.
One 11 year old boy explained in simple terms what the yoga sessions mean to him:
“I got hit in the face with a ball. Usually, I’d go up and start a fight with whoever did it but I don’t any more. I used to have a quick temper and yoga has calmed that down.”
Helping Quarry Brae Primary is a newly formed charity Patanjali Yog Peeth UK Trust that works with Glasgow council. There are currently 15 schools that have introduced yoga sessions to help improve classroom performance. Mr Poddar, who runs the charity, provides free training to teachers so that they can then run the yoga classes themselves. This means that it does not cost the schools any additional money to run the yoga classes.
“Children are our future and health is everyone’s business. Yoga can also build bridges between generations and communities. Often, in my classes you see a daughter, mother and grandmother sitting together. It’s all about good health, body and mind.” Mr Poddar, Patanjali Yog Peeth UK Trust