Yoga in Schools Aotearoa is a new school programme teaching students and adults in Christchurch the benefits of yoga. The classes are conducted in te reo Māori. Tutor Letesha Hallett says it's a good way to spread te reo.
These kids are getting their 'tapa-toru' pose on.
Based in Christchurch, Hallett was inspired to start 'Yoga in Schools' over four years ago. According to her, the students are reaping the benefits.
“The programme that I've created is linked in with the current NZ te whare tapawhā. So the key components are nicely linked into that, so they're able to learn the movements so they're able to focus on their well-being, the physical components as well as the te reo.'”
With te reo Māori heavily incorporated into the programme, Hallett says it's easy for her students, Māori and non-Māori alike to grasp words.
“For some kids that know no te reo, they're actually able to pick up concepts through the movement that I've been teaching them, so it's a lot better for lifelong learning so it's substantial and they're able to learn a lot more through moving.”
A safe practice for all ages, Hallett hopes to inspire more Māori across NZ into Yoga, particularly the residents of Christchurch.
“What I found after the earthquakes here in Christchurch, the kids didn't know what to do when earthquakes happened so they weren't taught breathing techniques or any kind of skills to calm themselves mentally. So I think Yoga has been really good for them and being able to use some of those skills.”