The Dublin School of Yoga has provided modules in Wellbeing, including Mindfulness, Yoga and Meditation for students of Transition Year since 2008. All elements of the programme have been delivered with a student-centred approach and in a cross curricular manner, working with other teaching staff members. The Dublin School of Yoga welcomes the new initiative afforded by the Wellbeing Programme and includes here its proposal to participate in providing suitable modules/activities for the students in Second level.
Aims and objectives:
The Wellbeing programme designed by the Dublin School of Yoga aims to provide a safe space in which to develop the physical and mental/emotional health and wellness of students. It is intended as an aid to education and as a support for the curriculum rather than a stand-alone module, to create a sense of harmony within the whole school environment.
The programme is all-inclusive, accommodating students of all needs, both physical requirements and specialised learning needs and staff have experience of working within all-inclusive learning environments.
The main aim of the programme is to increase and improve the student’s ability to learn. Modules aim to develop:
- attention, concentration and memory
- improve listening skills
- improve focus
- bring students into the present moment – the most basic requirement for learning
- create awareness of learning strengths and opportunities
- promote inclusiveness and tolerance
- ease anxiety and tension (working especially on performance & pre-test jitters)
- promote groupwork skills.
- Modules further focus on whole person wellbeing elements, looking to:
- keep young bodies’ supple and strong – improving posture, writing muscles & ability to sit comfortably.
- improve confidence and gain respect for oneself and others (leading to better social interactions, supporting anti-bullying education)
- gain understanding of, and ability to integrate wellness concepts such as healthy eating, positive thinking and having gratitude, which ultimately support the health of the whole child.
- encourage regular guided reflection, encouraging students to increase self-awareness.Students will undergo continuous assessment and will be assessed on their engagement with the programme at each session. A reflective diary will also feature as an element of reporting for students. Each participant will work on a weekly reflection as part of the programme and diaries will include an online element. Reporting by the module providers will be achieved in the form of a comment on the student’s engagement and progress in achieving the goals of the programme.
Wellbeing Programme Content
Wellbeing in the Classroom Programme for Students
Includes the following practices:
POSTURES … simple postures to stimulate the body’s vital energies. They also learn how to develop an upright spine that is more conducive to learning and more comfortable for the student in the classroom. These postures have been modified to suit the seated position.
BREATHING… breathing exercises that demonstrate how to use the breath effectively, economically and efficiently; calming the nervous system. Students learn how to use the breath to help them to strengthen their focus on the topic they are engaging with in the classroom.
RELAXATION… simple relaxation techniques that can be applied in the classroom, based on the systematic practice of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a wonderful therapeutic deep practice during which students learn how to relax properly and fully. It involves lying on the floor covered by a cosy blanket and following instructions. It helps to lower stress levels by allowing deep rooted tensions to surface and leave. A Sankalpa (resolve) is encouraged during the practice which develops willpower.
CONCENTRATION… to improve mental health, we use Dharana techniques that concentrate the mental energies to one pointedness which develops a more focused, calm relaxed mind that is more open to learning. This also provides a firm foundation for better self-esteem and self-worth.
The above practices are taught in the following combinations:
Posture Awareness Class:
The focus will be on the body and correcting poor posture,(some students develop poor posture through prolonged time spent gaming) followed by a short relaxation and some concentration techniques …. – energizing body and mind.
Relaxation Awareness Class:
The aim here is a 30-45 min Yoga Nidra (relaxation) session, which is preceded by breathing and followed by some concentration techniques, – a deeper therapeutic practice which reached deep levels of held stress.
The Dublin school of Yoga is a member of the British Wheel of Yoga and is fully accredited and insured. All teachers are highly qualified and details of their CPD can be given on request.
Larkin Community College
Cormac Lennon from Dublin School of Yoga began working with us in September 2015.
Initially Cormac worked with a select group of students but as time went on and we saw the positive impact that we decided to try with other groups. Overall, the experience we have had with yoga, meditation and mindfulness has been very successful. Students are more relaxed, less inclined to be involved in negative behavior and enjoy their hour out during the week. They look forward to seeing Cormac. It has been noticeable that in particular boys have gotten a lot out of this experience.
Cormac was another support for us with a group of students who suffered trauma due to a sudden death. They were in need of different supports and the mindfulness helped to quiet their racing thoughts and catch up on lack of sleep due to post traumatic stress. They have restarted school in a positive way.
We look forward to continuing the relationship which we have begun and helping as many students as funding will permit.
Aoife Kelly Gibson