The Life is Yoga Programme has just entered its 3rd year at Village Tods Educare and School Principal Carol Booysen told parents at the PTA in February that she hopes it will continue for many more years. Saying good bye at the end of 2015 to kids who had done yoga for 2 years at Village Tods left me with the feeling that I was the one who had probably learnt the most! The physical and emotional development in the kids, especially those challenged with autism and low growth percentiles, has been wonderful to witness in the yoga lessons. The children very quickly realise that they can all do yoga and the shifts in self-esteem and resilience shine through like sunbeams.
Last year on 3 November Patience Chimwaza, Shanen Smith and Retha Laubsher, three Occupational Therapy postgraduate students studying at the University of the Western Cape, were very excited to present their research report, titled; “Stakeholders’ experiences and perceptions of the ‘Life is Yoga’ Programme at Village Tods Educare Centre”. The study used a qualitative research approach and they explained that three themes emerged in their findings; “Taking to yoga like bees to honey, Benefits: From mats to everyday living, and Loving and Caring for others by transforming the negative and becoming one’s self”. The full research report is published under the research tab.
Also wanting to know more about the Life is Yoga programme was Pule Moswani from Grounded Media who was filming a programme for Bonisanani, a TV programme on SABC1. He based his story around 5 year old *Sarah, a pupil at Village Tods Educare. The 30 minute programme which was aired in January this year explored ways of reducing stress and fears in our daily lives and included studio interviews with a number of teenagers and adults. Also featured were pre-recorded interviews with school principal Carol Booysen and AKET Managing Trustee Maitri Makan, and some clips of me with the kids doing yoga at Village Tods. Sarah and her friends beautifully presented some of the life skills which the Life is Yoga programme has helped them to develop. (*Not her real name)
From the mats: In my Life is Yoga basket this month I had ………….…. a mirror so that each one of us could smile at our reflection; a small teddy bear for each one of us to hug and afterwards to reflect on that ‘hug feeling’ while sitting in easy seat with our eyes closed; clouds telling their silent stories during relaxation; and wet wipes to thoroughly remove the mischief of last year from our mats!
Feb 2016 – Devi (Hilary Harker)