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What’s it like to teach yoga to London’s school children with Puravi Joshi

image1 1 - What's it like to teach yoga to London's school children with Puravi Joshi
Written by James Langton

Q: As a yoga teacher working in schools and nurseries, are there some things that the children have taught you about their lives?

A: Absolutely, children want to tell you everything if they trust you. From them having a bad day missing their mum or the fact that they have mis-matched socks on. Both these details are just as important as each other to them and they need to share it!

Q: Do you offer yoga during the school day or does it tend to be an after school activity?

A: This totally depends on the school and their curriculum and budget. I accommodate both as an alternative to a PE lesson and as an after-school club.

Q: Do you have a favourite age group to work with? Can you say a few words about the joys and challenges of different school years.

A: I can’t really say a favourite, each age group brings something different and they all have such different amazing  personalities. It’s been great seeing a progressive calmness in the children as they let me know how the yoga breathing works for them to stay balanced in challenging situations. I know in some small way I’m making a difference! I think for me the most challenging part has been some of the kids being taller than me not believing I’m the teacher and having to mark my authority!

Q: Are you now finding some children have already practiced yoga and meditation with their Mum’s (or Dad’s) from an early age.

A: Some children definitely practice mindfulness with their parents with the help of apps such as calm. It’s even more great to see the children go home and teach their parents some of the yoga moves they’ve learnt in my classes 

Q: Do the teachers join in with their pupils if they can, or are your classes strictly for the children?

A: Depending on the school and if I have a teacher in the room with me due to ratios, they definitely love joining in if they can. I’m happy for them to join in too, however my children’s classes are tailored for children so it wouldn’t be a Vinyasa based class.

Q: Do you think yoga can help with young people’s body positivity or are there elements of competitiveness as to who can be more flexible?

A: Absolutely as part of the 8 limbs of yoga I teach children to be kind to themselves and to others. I try to take the level of competitiveness out of the room by engaging in partner yoga so they work together to achieve the same outcome.

Q: Any difference in attitude from boys and girls to learning yoga?

A: I was nervous at first that boys wouldn’t be so keen, however the boys seem to love it more than the girls in some of the nurseries and schools I teach in.

Q: How do you find different school’s attitude toward yoga classes at school any particular negative or positive experiences? In terms of feedback.

A: Nurseries and Schools are really recognising the benefits of yoga and mindfulness and pastoral care towards students. I think if incorporated into the curriculum there would be a huge improvement their mental health. Children take in an incredible amount of stress and more needs to be done to give them the tools to be able to cope with them in a fun and playful manner.

To contact Puravi and learn more about her private and group yoga classes as well as her work with school children contact her on : [email protected]