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Teaching mental wellbeing from birth through to adulthood

This year the World Yoga Festival will be focusing on our specialist family area, where the focus is yoga and other wellbeing activities specifically designed for babies, children, and teens.

At a time when nationwide services are failing to fund key areas that can support mothers, and prevent mental distress amongst children and students, we are noticing how stress and mental ill health have taken their toll on our country’s future generation.

With an aim at preventative measures to help combat this epidemic, the World Yoga Festival will be utilising the expertise of senior teachers and practitioners who have years of experience supporting children’s wellbeing through classes, workshops and activities that include yoga, therapeutic arts, storytelling, mindfulness, and even looking at ways to reduce stress right from birth through the use of baby sensory, and baby massage.

We hope that teaching both children and their parents different ways to navigate the stressful world we have found ourselves in will lessen the need for crisis management people often face when they reach adulthood.

Some of the activities planned for this area by Gemma Alexander of Gotra Yoga include:

  • Yoga for teens, taught by Sue Davies who works with vulnerable young people, and is trained in family, mindfulness, and healing trauma through yoga.

  • Yoga for under 12s, taught by Ellen Clinch who has previously taught in a children’s refugee centre, and has a Special Yoga qualification with enables her to teach yoga to children with ADHD and Autism.

  • Baby massage and parent and baby yoga, taught by Leah McGrath who has a passion for yoga during the perinatal period, and supporting new mums during this special time.

  • Children’s yoga, music, and Story Massage, taught by Claire Hutchins who teaches yoga at a special needs school in Reading, and has experience working with children with mental health and physical difficulties.

  • Therapeutic art workshops, taught by Kate Shorey who works for Reading Arts, and specialises in creative art therapies.

  • Storytelling workshops with Jess and Helen who have set up their own storytelling club in Newbury

  • Workshops looking at the medicinal values of plants, taught by Laura Sanna who has a BSc(Hons) in Herbal Medicine, and creative workshops using nature run by Sarah Smith who specialises in all aspects of women’s health.

  • A baby sensory area run by Caroline Alexander, as well as children’s tipis from Tots Tipis that offer a colourful space for children to play and explore.

  • A giant Yogi named Bob from Genius Ideas of Reading to entertain families.

The World Yoga festival wants to address mental wellbeing from birth into adulthood and we have classes for adults taught by laughter yoga specialist, Joe Hoare, who looks at ways laughter can reduce stress and improve connection, and Ondy Willson, who will be looking at ways to manage the ego and unveiling the masks that create our self-defence systems, as well as many other specialist teachers giving classes in yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and wisdom for all levels of skill.

Everyone at this festival has the vision to create a more mentally well society, and believe that by working together to pass on specialist knowledge, we can achieve this. Find out more or book your tickets now.

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