Yoga: helping teens tackle stress

September 29 2017

Teacher Anne Gallien has started a crowdfunding campaign to improve mental health and wellbeing for teenagers at school, Yoga Tribe for Teens.

Teacher Anne Gallien has started a crowdfunding campaign to improve mental health and wellbeing for teenagers at school, Yoga Tribe for Teens.

Anne works as a cover teacher at Cotham School, where mental health is a safeguarding priority, and she has successfully introduced free weekly yoga sessions for the pupils and staff. 

Pupils find the sessions provide a welcome break from the noise and activity of the school day, and a way to get rid of stress and energy, as these Year 9 pupils explain.

“The sessions run at lunchtime and sometimes the playground can be a bit too loud. It’s a nice place to go for a break,” said Will Jarvis.

“Friday is a quite a stressful time because I think about all the homework. Yoga gives me half an hour of relaxation to get it all out of my system,” added Dan Everington.

Sam Swain said: “It’s helped me get to sleep. I focus on my breathing and imagine myself somewhere else.”

Joshua Hyland added: “The first time I went, I felt pain, and I would ache. It’s a break away from school and a way to be aware.”

Anne would like to be able to offer the sessions to the wider community and has launched a crowdfunding page to cover her costs to train as a specialised yoga teacher at Yogasara Bristol this year. 

She said: “I will carry on running the free sessions at Cotham School and in an another local school with a view to a longer term project once the pilot is over. The pilot project  includes a day of yoga workshop as part of Year 11 wellbeing prior to exams and Sports Day at the end of the academic year 2018.  

"Cotham School has been supportive by investing into yoga mats and letting me use the venue but the resources are limited. Therefore I am taking the initiative to find additional fundings through our community to make 'Yoga Tribe for Teens' a reality. I have been a yoga student for the last 15 years and have completed my Foundation Yoga Course at Yogasara in 2016. 

“I include a mental vacation as part of the class, with pictures of waves, to give the students a little break. I feel that young people are so open and receptive and willing to explore new ideas - they are able to make a lot of really positive changes in their lives. The breathing helps to get rid of anxiety and yoga is about giving you skills for coping with stress.” 

To find out more see www.crowdfunder.co.uk/yoga-tribe-for-teens/