Chil­dren de-stress with yoga

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - OUT & ABOUT - MAIKE VAN DER HEIDE

Chil­dren at a Montes­sori cen­tre are learn­ing to deal with the pres­sures of mod­ern life us­ing the an­cient art of yoga.

Jes­sica Bunt­ing, a yoga in­struc­tor based at the new Well­ness Sta­tion in Blen­heim, has been teach­ing yoga to the preschool­ers for a month.

Montes­sori House of Chil­dren owner and manager Rachel Round­hill says yoga classes have been held at the cen­tre in the past.

‘‘Yoga sits re­ally well with the Montes­sori phi­los­o­phy,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s con­nect­ing the body through the mind, and in­ner peace, and learn­ing through movement which is what we do.’’

Rachel had been look­ing for some­one to teach yoga when she found Jess, who had at­tended Montes­sori Blen­heim as a child.

Jess talks the chil­dren through the story of yoga first, and prac­tices it us­ing ref­er­ences to an­i­mals and na­ture, Rachel says.

‘‘They love it. They’re re­ally en­gaged and they love Jess, she’s gor­geous and young and re­ally in­volved with them and bril­liant at what she does.’’

Rachel says that as adults jug­gle jobs, fam­ily life and money, chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence some of the stresses of mod­ern life too, and yoga teaches them to cope us­ing tech­niques such as full body breath­ing.

‘‘It’s re­ally im­por­tant to give the child that calm en­vi­ron­ment and that peace­ful time to cen­tre. It’s going to help with reg­u­lat­ing their emo­tions and their gen­eral feel­ings.’’

Jess says the chil­dren en­joy the lessons, which teaches sim­i­lar skills to those adults learn, but in a more play­ful way.

‘‘It’s com­bin­ing breath, body and movement in a mind­ful way ... get­ting the kids to iden­tify parts of their body and how they move, how their breath works in their body and how it works to­gether.’’

PHOTO: SCOTT HAM­MOND/FAIR­FAX NZ

Jes­sica Bunt­ing, of the Well­ness Sta­tion, does yoga with the chil­dren at Montes­sori, from left, Mika Burkhart, Nikita Wratt, Gus Clark, Ad­di­son Camp­bell, Ge­orge Bar­nett and Grey Lux­ton.

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