Chrysalis Academy is a South African-based NGO serving young people through skills development. We include Mindfulness Yoga in our work. Approximately 9 weeks ago, 39 Chrysalis Academy students chose a Yoga and Mindfulness Modality as part of their 12-week development programme. We allow each student to choose a modality that he/she would like to do for a 8 week period based on their needs. Preceding the 8 weeks of practice, our student body (179 young women) were exposed to a one day session to introduce them to Personal Mastery, which has at its heart – a more mindful approach to daily living.
The sessions consisted amongst other things of postures, breathing exercises and alternating the body scan and Yoga Nidra. The weekly 2-hour sessions were complemented by a 1-hour practice session on a Tuesday evening. As the practice session followed supper, no postures were practiced. The students dialogued about their practices, did some relaxation practices and spent time creating mandalas. Wow – the work on the mandalas enabled them to practice their mindfulness in an exquisite way. They were focussed, motivated and thoroughly enjoyed the activity with an overwhelming sense of peace.
We have done 7 two-weekly sessions to date, and the response has been phenomenal. They report:
- greater awareness in their daily living
- a deeper connection with their own bodies
- greater awareness of their breathing, and
- a love for the gentleness yet rigour of their mindful movement practice.
It is very clear that mindfulness and yoga are critical tools to enable young people to deepen their resilience and to foster confidence and greater self-esteem. I will share some more about their direct experiences once we meet them in the next two weeks to assess the impact of the programme. As their facilitator, I am so grateful that we have this wonderful tool to share with the world.
Blessings and peace