Yesterday, our newest International Volunteer, Genevieve, introduced the children to their first yoga class at our Half Day School (HDS) in Mae Sai! The aim of yoga for children is the stimulation of their physical, mental, and emotional abilities.
Genevieve, who recently arrived from the United States, has been doing yoga for years and plans to become certified as a yoga instructor through a professional course in Bali, Indonesia, after her volunteer commitment with DEPDC in Mae Sai. She says, “Yoga has many physical and mental benefits. Regular practice increases flexibility, strength, and coordination. It also helps improve concentration, provides relaxation, and, most importantly, it’s a lot of fun. I know I have benefited from all of these since integrating yoga practice into my life. I am hoping that the students at the centre will enjoy all of these benefits as well.”
Genevieve’s class adapted the traditional yoga postures and routines so that our students could do them safely and have fun! It was a great exercise for the children to practise physical self-control. It was also a good opportunity for them to review their English vocabulary as Genevieve called out the different yoga posture names, such as ‘elephant’, ‘happy baby’ and ‘mountain,’ etc.
The class lasted for 45 minutes and ended with relaxation, which helped the children to calm down, gather their thoughts, and rest from the exercise they had just done. It is fair to say that our first yoga class was a success! The students left the main hall feeling happy and had a large (relaxed!) smile on their face. We heard a lot of ‘sanuk maak!’ (‘very fun!’), so DEPDC is planning to have more yoga classes in the coming weeks.