How School Yoga Lessons Are Stretching Pupils' Minds
Byline: Andrew Levy
AT such a tender age, they probably don't know their salamba kapotasana from their trikonasana.
But that hasn't stopped these primary school children benefiting from a spot of yoga.
Weekly lessons in the ancient discipline have helped to improve concentration and even raise academic performance among pupils as young as four, say their teachers.
The hour-long classes, which include guidance on how to control breathing using meditation techniques, are being trialled at ten infant and junior schools in Essex.
And while the use of a [pounds sterling]20,000 Government grant to fund the lessons will doubtless raise a few eyebrows, especially at a time of economic hardship, teachers insist they are having a positive effect.
Angela Hutchinson, head of Bournemouth Park Primary School in Southend, said the yoga classes - arranged by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council - teach children 'how to find their own space', adding: 'They think it's fantastic.' Helen Reader, the deputy headmistress at Thorpedene Infants' School, in Shoeburyness, Essex, added the classes were having a 'calming' effect.
Dave Read, 52, one of several instructors helping the children, dismissed the suggestion that bringing yoga into schools was an 'airy-fairy' idea. …