Yoga in Schools

Why Yoga in Schools?

My dream is to give young people the tools and skills necessary to live an authentic, connected, whole life. I want to have an influence on young people and help them to make positive choices in their lives, coming from a place of authenticity, connection love and kindness. Being the change I wish to see in the world, this dream means the world to me. I want to see a generation of young people who are comfortable in their sexual orientation, gender, race, heritage, and background, I want to see a generation of young people filled with joy, confidence, motivation, and a strong belief in a better tomorrow. I want us as a society to be able to talk about our shame, our fears, our failures and our flaws, and instead of using them to keep us apart, use them to find our way back to each other.

Benefits
  • Increases balance, body awareness and coordination 
  • Relaxes the body, promoting better sleep 
  • Calms and clears the mind 
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Builds emotional vocabulary and awareness 
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My Mission

My mission is to create and implement a well-being programme for intermediate and high school students to learn skills and tools for dealing with life in a calm, mindful, connected and balanced way.

The programme includes breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, yoga, journaling, singing and relaxation exercises. These elements create a powerful avenue for fostering self awareness, self acceptance and self development.

By educating young people to take responsibility for the energy they bring into each situation they encounter, they are more likely to find fulfilling relationships, careers, social activities, hobbies and habits. My dream is to encourage, nurture and cultivate healthy, connected, well young people who are prepared to live their own dreams and make the world a better place.

Research has shown that regular meditation, mindfulness and yoga practices promote good mental health and wellbeing, positive self-image, high self esteem and resilience.

Imagine a world where young people reflect and sit with a particular emotion, where they learn to feel in their body what that emotion is and what it’s telling them, and over time, imagine them gaining the skills and experience to deal with that emotion, constructively, effectively and holistically.

As a society we medicate and become addicted in order to numb our feelings, in order to suppress or ignore them, and to distract ourselves with the next best thing. We focus our energy on acquiring more wealth, status, material things, people and so on. The distribution of energy in this way leads us to feel depleted, disconnected and isolated, so we medicate, distract, and ignore. This cycle is oppressive and debilitating. It needs to be broken.

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Nuture Inspire Grow

This programme has been created in order to give young people the tools and skills necessary to live an authentic, connected, whole life, and to help them to make positive choices in their lives, coming from a place of authenticity, connection, respect and kindness. It is one part in working towards a society able to talk about shame, fears, failures and flaws, and instead of using them to keep us divided, accepting them as a way to connect to each other. 

Your Own Growth Affirmed is a well-being programme for students to learn skills and tools for dealing with life in a calm, mindful, connected and balanced way. The programme includes breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, yoga, exploring emotions and learning to deal with them, journaling, singing and relaxation. These elements create a powerful avenue for fostering self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-development. 

By educating young people to take responsibility for the energy they bring into any situation they encounter, they are more likely to find fulfilling relationships, careers, social activities, hobbies and habits. In order to encourage, nurture and cultivate healthy, connected, well young people who are prepared to live their dreams and make the world a better place, they need to learn these skills. Research has shown that regular meditation, mindfulness and yoga practices promote good mental health and wellbeing, positive self-image, high self esteem and resilience. 

New Zealand has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the developed world1, one of the highest domestic violence rates in the developed world2, and the awareness of mental health issues is becoming apparent in all areas of life in New Zealand3. As parents, educators, employers, businesses and corporations, it is our responsibility to create a future for our children that supports, nurtures, and encourages them to be the best version of themselves. It is our duty to lead by an example of talking through problems constructively, listening to each other, having respect for different points of view, maintaining discipline, having courage and using initiative. 

As a society we have become habituated to allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by stress, pressure and emotions, when we cannot deal with these we medicate and become addicted in order to numb our affects, in order to suppress or ignore them, and to distract ourselves with 

1(https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/suicide-facts- deaths-and-intentional-self-harm-hospitalisations-2013) 2https://nzfvc.org.nz/sites/nzfvc.org.nz/files/Data-summaries-snapshot-2017.pdf 4Listening to Shame – TED Talk Brene Brown 

the next best thing. We focus our energy on acquiring more wealth, status, material things because we have seen the generations ahead of us believe that these things makes them powerful. The distribution of energy in this way leads us to feel depleted, disconnected and isolated, so we medicate, distract, and ignore4. This cycle is oppressive and debilitating. It needs to be broken. 

In order to offer schools a comprehensive package, it is necessary to provide professional development days for teachers on how to implement yoga and mindfulness practices into their classrooms, as well as in class yoga sessions for students. These can also be complemented by a subscription to an online resource consisting of yoga classes, guided meditations, mindfulness exercises and other tools for teachers and students to use in a school environment. 

Your Own Growth Affirmed offers the following components – 

  1. Professional Development Days for Teachers yoga in classrooms teaching tools for mindfulness, breathing, movement, relaxation . These sessions educate and empower teachers with the knowledge and skills to incorporate the teachings of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and self-compassion into the classes they are offering. There is also an opportunity to add the anatomy and physiology aspect of yoga into senior Physical Ed (for practical standards) and Health (opportunity for research) 
  2. In Class Yoga & Mindfulness Sessions 20 minute sessions for children and young people to experience yoga, mindfulness, meditation and relaxation in a classroom setting. Can be structured into the beginning of the day, midday or to wind down before the end of the day. 
  3. Online Yoga Programme for Young People in Schools A weekly subscription based programme with video tutorials, guided meditations, breathing exercises, relaxation and music for students to follow and use at school. Includes Anatomy and Physiology aspects of yoga looking at how the body works, muscles, joints, connective tissue, nervous system, managing stress, endocrine system and how to keep these healthy and well. 

About the Facilitator

Natalie Stettler holds a BSc in International Hospitality and is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) 800. She completed a Kids Yoga Teacher Training Programme in 2013, and has been working with children and young people in a yoga based way since then. She has been practicing and teaching yoga for over ten years. Her main areas of focus are teaching and empowering people of all ages to learn how to better manage stress, as well as 

  • Conscious movement 
  • Breathing techniques 
  • Meditation 
  • Relaxation 
  • Core strengthening 
  • Yoga Philosophy
  • Mindset

Click here to read more about Nat’s biography