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Research suggests that a program for children consisting of yoga and meditation helps them feel happier and relaxed. So in order for our Middle Years students to start their day in a calm and positive mood, a vinyasa flow and breathing exercises are offered on two mornings, before school each week.

Every Tuesday morning, Head of Wellbeing, Mr Sean Inman, leads a guided meditation class upstairs in Pentreath. The aim of these sessions is to support student focus and concentration and to achieve a sense of calmness to begin their school day. Practicing mindfulness is a proven technique for dealing with depression and anxiety and can help people feel more relaxed. For children, mindfulness through meditation has been proven to benefit overall mental health but also has the potential to develop the ‘self-regulation’ required for good listening skills.

On Friday mornings, old scholar, Jamie Wetherell (YNG 2001) leads a yoga class upstairs on the Pentreath balcony. Jamie currently works as a qualified yoga teacher and physiotherapist at Active Bodies Power Living Adelaide. His optional yoga classes are aimed at beginners and keep in line with the current format of promoting mindfulness to the students. Jamie facilitates a 45-minute vinyasa class that moves students through their full range of motion while building strength and capacity throughout these ranges. Students explore held postures, movement coordinated with breath, arm balances and work towards handstands. Breathing and mindfulness exercises are also interwoven within the classes.

The students who have regularly attended the sessions have noted the difference in their mood and focus at the beginning of the school day after they meditate. They have also appreciated some of the other benefits of an early morning start with one student claiming that watching the sunrise whilst in flow on the Pentreath balcony, is a highlight and provides an exclamation point to the end of his week.

Newcomers are always welcome. It would be great to see more Year 7 and Year 8 students taking up this special offer in the final weeks of Term 1.

Mark Coventry
Head of Middle Years