Yoga Education in Schools

Priceville, Ontario, Canada
By Nilmini 

I began teaching yoga classes for kids in the elementary school where I teach in Collingwood. Ontario. The classes began as a regular part of the physical education program but due to popular demand I formed a yoga club and children from grades 2 to 6 participate in the program. Children with autism, Downs Syndrome and Spin bifida are an important part of our club. The high needs children have educational assistants that work with them who help me to understand the children’s strengths and vulnerabilities. I spend a lot of time on deep breathing because all the students lack the ability to do this. We always begin our classes with a short meditation. This is difficult for most of the students; however, I continue to encourage them to find that quiet place deep inside them. There is one particular student with Downs Syndrome who loves to sing Baba Nam Kevalam. He sings it at the top of his lungs. Now, whenever he sees me in the hallways of the school he breaks out singing Baba Nam Kevalam.