Youngsters can reap the benefits of yoga at new sessions

Youngsters across Staffordshire are being given the chance to reap the benefits of yoga by attending new sessions being launched by the county’s largest nature conservation charity.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will be running Yoga Squirrels for two to five year olds and Wild Yoga for five to eight year olds at its Wolseley Centre HQ, near Rugeley, and Hem Heath Woods nature reserve in Stoke-on-Trent.

The sessions will be delivered in four-week blocks to enable children to develop with their practise and experience the benefits of yoga. 

Two members of staff from the Trust recently undertook Children’s Yoga Teacher Training accredited by the Complementary Medical Association and will be running the yoga sessions outdoors this summer holidays. 

Over the course of the four weeks, children will experience an introduction to yoga and mindfulness outdoors. They will learn how to safely do yoga poses in a calming woodland environment, discover how to relax outdoors, and will also have the opportunity to explore the wonders of nature during our ‘yoga explore’ activity at the end of each session. 

Yoga has many benefits for children, positively improving their physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. Introducing yoga to young children helps them build a relationship with yoga and develop skills and mind-sets that they can carry with them into adulthood. Through regular practise children can increase their self-esteem and confidence, have a greater awareness of their emotions, learn how to calm their minds, and take part in physical activity in a safe, kind environment that is non-competitive. 

Laura Thomas, Learning Assistant for the Trust who will be running the sessions, said: “We are very excited to be able to offer these sessions to children to enable them to experience the many benefits of yoga.

“Nature has so much to offer us and the woodland environment is a beautiful setting for children to learn yoga with the natural sounds of bird song in the background.”

The poses taught during the classes are aimed at children of the specific age groups, so although younger siblings may attend with parents/carers they will not be able to participate. The yoga classes are insured for only children to participate, so parents/carers will not be able to join in whilst doing the yoga poses although will be able to enjoy the relaxation and exploring activities with their children.  

The sessions cost £22 per child for the four-week block and £14 per sibling, although siblings taking part must also be within the age range stated (two to five years old for yoga squirrels and five to eight for wild yoga). The first sessions take place at The Wolseley Centre on Tuesday 23rd July and Hem Heath Woods on Thursday 25th July. There will be spaces for 12 children in each session, and they can be booked online via www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/events