Pilot Project

Prior to the opening of the school, the project was piloted in partnership with the Village Tods Educare School in Garden Village, Maitland.

About Village Tods

Village Tods was born in November of 1985. A group of the residents of Garden Village played a pivotal role in starting the conversation to establish a Pre-school in Maitland area of Cape Town, South Africa. The Residents Association approached the Rotary club of Table Bay. Mrs Porter from Porter Sigma was hands on in conjunction with Grassroots Education Trust in establishing the School.

As an Independent NPO (Non Profit Organisation), Village Tods recently partnered with Ananda Kutir Education Trust as a pilot project which aims to introduce ‘Integral Yoga’ into young children.

Background to the Project


A strategic planning session was held in October 2013 with the view to invite individuals from relevant organisations to contribute towards the plan of realising the establishment of the Children of Light School. Individuals from the following organisations participated in the discussion:

  • Western Cape Department of Education
  • Montessori Schools
  • Montessori Training Programme
  • Representatives of the community of Maitland
  • Yoga teachers
  • Principal of Village Todds Educare
  • Academics from the University of the Western Cape and University of Cape Town

Task Team

The outcome of the discussion was the formation of a task team to establish a Pilot Project at Village Tods Educare in Garden Village, Maitland.

Composition of Task Team

Marchelle Whitebread Task Team Coordinator
Hilary Harker Yoga Teacher
Estelle Raymond Yoga Teacher
Caroline Booysen Principal of Village Tods Educare
Triveni Fredericks
Maitri Makan
Amit Makan

The objectives of the Task Team are :

  • Consultations with the Community and School Governing Body in Garden Village, Maitland
  • Consultations and engagements with Parents and Teachers at Village Tods Educare
  • Implementation of the ‘Life is Yoga’ Programme with children and teachers
  • Development of the Business Plan with Budget
  • Management and co-ordinaton of Research Programme, and develop the Terms of Reference. The aim is to assess the impact of Integral Yoga on the children
  • Raise awareness by developing a Yoga Brochure

 Consultation

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The community consultation and school governing body meeting took place on the 4th February 2013 and the Parent and Teacher meeting was held on the 11th February 2014, which was lead by the principal, namely Caroline Booysen. The philosophy of the Life is Yoga programme was shared with the participants.

The key message shared to all was that the programme promotes universal teachings of values and is not faith based.

At Village Tods Educare

Hilary Harker and Estelle Raymond, as Yoga Teachers, have voluntarily committed and dedicated their time in implementing the programme. The programme is aligned with the Village Tods Educare times and learning outcomes.

A Typical Lesson

  • Awareness and settling in – 2 to 3mins
  • Introduction/discussion relating to weekly living value – 2 to 3 mins
  • Breathing and/or singing – 2 to 3 mins
  • Visualisation(using the imagination and story- telling) – 2 to 3 mins
  • Asanas (Physical  movements) – 20 mins

 Times

  • 10h00 – 10h30                       3 to 4 year old
  • 10h30 – 11h00                       4 to 5 year old
  • 11h00 – 11h30                       5 to 6 year old

 Values

  • Be good, do good
  • Be truthful at all times (veracity)
  • Have a big heart (generosity)
  • Love all (adaptability)
  • Share with all (charity)
  • Be pure in heart, word and deed (purity)
  • Avoid becoming angry (non-irritability)
  • Respect everybody (humility)
  • See good in all (absence of vanity)
  • Be calm and peaceful (equanimity)
  • Stick to your goals (tenacity and fixity)
  • Be regular in your daily practices (regularity)
  • Be joyful (serenity)
  • Harmony in thought, word and deed (sincerity)
  • Have a simple life (simplicity)
  • Have high principles (integrity)
  • Ignore the faults of others (magnanimity)
  • Appreciate the good qualities in others (nobility)
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Inspired by Swami Sivananda