Educating for Peace

Sannyasi Atmakiran, Caxias do Sul, Brazil

Using yoga techniques for prevention and health promotion in schools is a project which started at the end of 2012, when a school teacher asked us for help. She didn't know what else to do with the agitation and aggressiveness of the students.

Knowing that stress in teachers is a big health problem in Brazil, we knew that we had to help them also. We also knew that we couldn't teach yoga to the children ourselves, because in this way we would reach only a few children. With this aim in mind – working with the children and the teachers we decided that the format of Educating for Peace should be:

Weekly yoga practices for the teachers, with the aim of decreasing the stress level and increasing the quality of life.

Monthly workshops with the teachers, with the purpose of teaching them techniques which they can apply daily with the children in the classroom.

Results

The project was implemented in three public schools, and more than 700 children were benefited. We started the implementation process in a fourth school in 2017 and the teachers are being trained to use the yoga techniques with the children.

The children have yoga techniques three times during the school day, for five minutes each: asanas at the beginning, relaxation techniques after the break (when they are very agitated) and meditation techniques at the end of the school day.

Besides the teachers, children were trained to use yoga techniques with their classmates. Results are visible and verbalized by teachers and students.

Disseminating the results

Reports about Educating for Peace were made through news-paper, radio and television and we presented the project at an international scientific event, in the health area, that happened in Brazil. Lectures on yoga showing the experience of this project were conducted for psychology students at a university and for health professionals.