Happy Mind… Happy Teacher!
Each Wednesday afternoon a group of The Glenleighden School (TGS) staff come together to work on their body and mind. We stretch, pose, sweat, breathe and relax. To put it simply, we do yoga. It’s something the group and I look forward to each week and always come out feeling tranquil and clear minded. This feeling remains with me throughout the week and definitely helps me to stay calm during stressful times within the classroom and my everyday life.
Yoga has many physical benefits. Regular yoga practice helps to normalise blood pressure, improve blood circulation, speed up a sluggish digestion, improve posture and reduce back pain. But perhaps the most beneficial part of yoga is the effect it has on the nervous system. The easing of muscle tension and the act of focusing the mind on the breath all combine to soothe the nervous system. Long-term benefits include reduced stress and anxiety levels, and increased feelings of calm and wellbeing (State Government of Victoria, 2012).
Our teacher, Vivek, is amazing. He has been practising and teaching yoga for the past 12 years. Vivek understands each of our abilities and has high but achievable expectations of us (much like we do of our students). He presents us with challenges that will push us to our limits, and it’s amazing the pride you feel when you find yourself actually doing the pose! Since regularly taking part in Vivek’s lessons, the staff at TGS have improved a lot. Our flexibility during stretching has increased and we are all surprising ourselves at our ability. However, without a doubt the best part of Vivek’s lessons is the relaxation. Vivek takes us through the steps to concentrate on our breathing, clear our mind and meditate to the sound of his voice. We come out of the meditation feeling rested and reenergised.
Yoga is a beautiful way to end the working day and I would encourage everybody to engage in yoga at some point in their lives. You won’t regret it!
Emma Juleff – Teacher – The Glenleighden School
State Government of Victoria (2012). Yoga – Health Benefits