Charlotta Martinus

The impact of yoga on connection for young people

Over the past 12 years, I have observed and researched the impacts of yoga on young people (11-18) What has become increasingly evident is that through practising regular yoga sessions including pranayama, meditation and asanam they are experiencing greater academic achievement on the one hand and on the other a greater connection and compassion with their peers. This seems not necessarily to be due to the teacher but rather, due to the practise of yoga itself.
One young boy explained it like this: “I feel good, so I do good and then I am good”.

Another explained that he had felt hostile at the beginning of the yoga sessions but after only 8 sessions he felt considerably more at ease with all his peers, even those who did not participate in yoga.

Some younger women have noticed their academic performance rise, and also explain their experience of yoga like this
Emily: “…gives you time to just focus on yourself. While I’m meditating I get this fizzy sensation within, then I feel like my body dissolves away. After I meditate I feel like I’m connected, like I’m part of everything.”

Georgie: “At the peak of your Yoga experience, you feel just yourself – your body, your mindset – reconnecting them. Afterwards you feel so much more alive.”

This talk will look at how a regular yoga practise within a school setting might encourage adaptive behaviour as well as appropriate expression of emotions which in turn may support the teaching and learning experience.