Megan Strong May 7-14, 2016 Vinyasa Yoga for Youth

During this week long workshop 25 people from all over the country attended a teacher training to be certified to teach youth yoga. During this professional development we attended 3 different community school throughout Saskatoon, and well as the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op, a place students can go to stay off the streets and complete homework. We taught yoga to youth ranging from ages 5 and 18 years old. We also learned different meditation techniques that work well for children. During this training we also took a look at the Saskatchewan Curriculum and identified various grades and subjects that yoga could be taught to meet outcomes and indicators. After looking at the curriculum we created different lessons using yoga as our focus and how it meets the curriculum in a variety of ways.
We learned many interesting things in this PD, key things we discussed were that the practice of yoga assists participants in learning how to feel safe in their bodies. Often youth experiencing addictions or trauma are in a state of fight or flight, but not a state we want to be stuck in permanently. This fight or flight state will significantly affect a student’s ability to learn The poses, breathing and meditations youth learn during yoga practice can be used anywhere and at any time, in and out of school.
The practice of yoga empowers youth to apply themselves in a challenging way and witness their own abilities. Youth are supported through “failing” at postures without judgement and are encouraged to keep working at mastering a pose. Yoga is a tangible, fun way to reprogram the brain and body holistically. Yoga can assist with the development of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. The mind is affected through the physical postures, the experience of mindfulness and the attention to breath.
Throughout this training, I learned a variety of techniques I plan to use and implement into my classroom and my school. Currently, since the training, I am practicing yoga in my class 2-3 times a week. On a daily basis my class are using new breathing techniques and calming techniques to keep the students at their optimal learning level. I would also like to go into all the classes in our school for the students to get to the opportunity to try yoga and the different poses, as well as the different mindfulness activities, I learned from this training.
I enjoyed this workshop very much and would recommend anyone interested in taking this training to do it. It was beneficial for my teaching style and a great learning experience.