Tuesday evenings have become a medley of treats at Bromsgrove International School Thailand. The prefects run a boarding shop, where both students and staff spend their pocket money; the school counselor, Miss Anna Kharaz, offers time for the students to talk in their relaxation time; and now she has added two yoga classes to her repertoire, one for secondary students and one for primaries. Little did we know that, amongst her many hidden talents, Miss Anna has trained as a yoga teacher.
The sixth form were keen and quick to sign up for the secondary class, aware of the relief yoga would give them from exam stress and anxiety, but the benefits for both primary and secondary students, not just in Bangkok, but globally, are endless. It is a great way to take their minds away from the blue lights of electronic devices. Yoga requires a mind-body connection – it is a form of exercise that develops focus and concentration, which will also help our boarders with their studies.
For children dealing with emotional, social and physical challenges or conflicts, yoga encourages self-discovery and inquisitiveness, building up self-esteem, confidence, and self-respect, giving these young people a stronger sense of who they are, and where they belong. It is important for children to develop healthy body awareness, mental and physical balance, stability and co-ordination, but yoga has also been proven to reduce various symptoms of students who struggle with their behavior, social withdrawal and hyperactivity.
Yoga is a great option for the shy, quiet students, providing a form of exercise for those who fear being picked for teams. There is no competition, they only have to challenge themselves, working in a healthy non-competitive group, and less active students can practice without any previous experience. However, yoga is flexible – it also compliments the competitive sports played by more active students, stretching and replenishing muscles, enhancing physical ability, and strength.
Children who practice yoga have told parents that they are able to concentrate better during the day, focus better on activities and pay attention to their tasks. They learn to self-manage their stress through breathing, self-awareness and healthy movement. In boarding, we support our students with their studies by separating their activities throughout the evening. Miss Anna has created a yoga practice that calms and relaxes our students before bed, as well as teaching them focus, a balance of mental and physical well-being, and self-awareness.