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Child's pose, anyone? Meet the pupils using yoga to boost their wellbeing

PUBLISHED: 16:24 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 19 March 2019

Reedham Primary is one of three in Norfolk taking part in a pilot by Special Yoga to bring yoga, and its physical and mental benefits, to young pupils. Picture: Heather Collins

Reedham Primary is one of three in Norfolk taking part in a pilot by Special Yoga to bring yoga, and its physical and mental benefits, to young pupils. Picture: Heather Collins

Heather Collins

A new pilot is helping schoolchildren in Norfolk to look after their physical and mental health - through yoga.

Reedham Primary is one of three in Norfolk taking part in a pilot by Special Yoga to bring yoga, and its physical and mental benefits, to young pupils. Picture: Heather CollinsReedham Primary is one of three in Norfolk taking part in a pilot by Special Yoga to bring yoga, and its physical and mental benefits, to young pupils. Picture: Heather Collins

Pupils at Reedham Primary, Acle St Edmunds Primary and Freethorpe Community Primary have been taking part in the project.

Aimed at children with autism spectrum disorders and social or emotional challenges, the sessions teach mindfulness and yoga to help them cope better with stressful situations both inside and outside the classroom.

Reedham Primary School, which has a larger than average proportion of pupils with additional needs, in particular ASD, ADHD and communication and social problems.

Headteacher Chris Edwards said the sessions had a profound impact on the pupils involved.

Reedham Primary is one of three in Norfolk taking part in a pilot by Special Yoga to bring yoga, and its physical and mental benefits, to young pupils. Picture: Heather CollinsReedham Primary is one of three in Norfolk taking part in a pilot by Special Yoga to bring yoga, and its physical and mental benefits, to young pupils. Picture: Heather Collins

“They appear to be calmer and more at peace with themselves and their surroundings. By being more in control of their feelings, their behaviour and attitudes towards learning and life in general have improved,” he said.

The trial has been funded by a partnership between Acle Medical Partnership and the schools and is supported by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who has spent much of his political career campaigning for better mental health care.

Teresa Randall, business manager at Acle Medical Partnership, said: “Yoga was seen as a positive intervention to provide the child, the families and the schools some breathing space and the opportunity to support a referral to paediatrics, or in the best case to avoid it altogether.”

The project is being delivered by Special Yoga, a global non-profit organisation which designs and delivers yoga and mindfulness training courses.

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