The school counselor of a local school searched on-line for Yoga classes to help the students reduce stress before and during the state tests. She found my website and requested me to train the students in grade 3 to 5 in the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique (1) as an optional after school activity. I conducted two classes on April 17 and 24, 2013 for 9 students.
In the first class I demonstrated different modes of the technique and we all practiced each of the modes on one hand. In the second class I asked for their verbal feedback on how they practiced the technique after the first class. I asked each of them to demonstrate any one mode and corrected the wrong demos. Several of them said they liked the ‘Staring mode’ (3) or the ‘911 mode’ (4).
At the end of the first class, I collected feedback from them in a simple form with 3 open ended questions. The scanned images of the completed feedback forms are presented at (2). A summary of their responses is presented below.
When I practiced the breathing in today’s class, I felt …
- Calm and relaxed – 3 responses
- Calm/ Really calm – 3
- Good and happy
- Relaxed, Calm, Focused
I want to try this technique when I …
- Go to sleep – 2
- Am mad – 2
- Mad or tired
- Stressed with school
- Mad at my sister or stressed
- Mad, angry and stressed
- Am taking a test
I think this practice will help me for ….
- NYS test/ Tomorrow before the state tests – 2
- Calming down, Stop being stressed, angry and mad
- After being bullied
- Getting up in the morning
- When my sister is mad at me
- Settling down
- Falling asleep and calming down
- A lot of things
The principal also participated in the class and gave the following feedback in the same form –
During the class she felt relaxed, calm, focused and stress free. She wanted to try this technique when she needed to refocus, before running a race and after a stressful day. She felt that this practice will help her in refocusing and training.
Feedback from the school counselor after the first class: “I heard great things about your class from the principal and the students. You will be here again next week for the conclusion. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to provide a stress free learning opportunity for our students!”
Honorarium: Before doing the classes the counselor inquired about my charges. I said I loved teaching the simple technique to children and if the school was happy with the classes, they could offer me whatever they like. I am thankful to the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) of the school for the generous compensation they offered me. My plan is to follow up this group of students till they adopt the technique as their own, practicing it whenever they needed to calm themselves or maintain their focus.
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