Teacher's mission to make yoga part of school curriculum
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A Suffolk yoga teacher who has been hosting Zoom classes for youngsters during the coronavirus lockdowns has said it is her "mission" to make the activity a fixture of the school curriculum.
Jo King has been broadcasting Joe Wicks-style online sessions from her home in Monewden, near Framlingham, to primary school students while they have been away from the classroom.
The 50-year-old was approached by the headteachers of Leiston, Easton and Aldeburgh primary schools and the Sunflower Montessori and Granary nurseries at the start of the pandemic.
The teachers were aiming to offer their students an alternative to traditional physical education while at home.
The classes have proved a huge hit with the youngsters, who have given their instructor the nickname 'Yoga Jo'.
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Mrs King said: "I teach yoga in all the local schools - I pushed for it to be in the curriculum years ago.
"When the pandemic started I had lots of teachers calling. Parents were concerned for their childrens' mental health.
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"Everyone has really made an effort with yoga and it's been amazing."
Mrs King, whose two sons also practise yoga, has received several pieces of artwork from the students as a thank you for her efforts.
In response, she has created a 'yoga frame' so the children can see their creations in the background while the lessons take place.
The classes have also proved to be a family affair as many parents have used the sessions as a chance to learn the basics of yoga, which Mrs King said has created a "beautiful bond" in families.
Mrs King spoke of the benefits of the activity and said she was eager for more schools to introduce it to their students.
She added: "My mission is to get yoga into schools. It's all about wellbeing.
"Yoga can help to ease anxiety, boost motivation, stretch and energise the body and mind so we can all feel more positive during these difficult times.
"It's so lovely to see family members joining in next to their children enjoying the yoga stretches, yoga dances and especially the relaxation at the end. Sometimes we have pet dogs, cats, rabbits and gerbils joining in."