An initiative first introduced in September 2018 is helping young learners around the Western Cape de-stress with frequent breathing and mindfulness techniques as well as yoga.
Since its inception last year, the Mindful Living programme introduced by the Western Cape Education Department as part of their Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative has had 900 learners and 160 educators participate.
The programme teaches yoga, breathing and mindfulness practices to both educators and learners. It addresses the mental health risks shared by those living and working in impoverished areas in the Western Cape.
In the province’s poorer communities, many children face daily challenges that include being exposed to daily violence, drugs and gangsterism. Practicing yoga and mindfulness gives them tools to help them cope with stress by tapping into their internal strength and ability to maintain resilience.
Recent studies show that mindfulness-based stress reduction programmes and breath work have had excellent results. Educators and learners have reported feeling happier, less stressed and more able to focus after completing the programme.
Lotus Production Management is the only team in the Western Cape Province which offers a complete Mindfulness programme that includes, yoga, breath work, meditation, Human Values Education, knowledge points on managing stress through healthy nutrition, managing emotions, and fostering healthy interpersonal relationships.
Elizabeth Beer, Francois Beer and Nomvuyo Ntantala are assisting with the lessons given at each school. They hail from the Art of Living Foundation, an international NGO whose sister organisation (the International Association for Human Values) has done extensive work within communities in the Western Cape. They have all been trained as Breath Water Sound Teachers and Elizabeth and Nomvuyo are trained Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!) teachers.
The programme is currently running at 18 schools across the Western Cape:
1. Boundary Primary School Bonteheuwel
2. Arcadia High School
3. Bonteheuwel High School
4. Windmere High School
5. Mary Kihn School for the Deaf
6. Observatory Primary School
7. Athwood Primary School
8. Factreton Primary School
9. Good Hope Seminary High School
10. San Souci Girls High School
11. Bramble Way Primary School
12. Vista High School
13. St Pauls Primary School
14. Tenderton Programme with Learners with behaviour problems
15. Modderdam High School
16. Klipfontein Primary School
17. Sentinel Primary School
18. Golden Grove Primary School