The course begins in a rather hectic way. In front of about fifteen high school students, a yoga teacher tries to calm them down and make them do exercises. Since the start of the school year, this course has been compulsory once a year for all students at the Joseph-Cugnot vocational high school in Chinon.
Breathing exercises and yoga postures
That day, it was Terminals in auto mechanics or building electricity who tried their hand at discipline in the high school gymnasium. Everyone on a blue carpet follows the instructions of their teacher, Isabelle Bercée. “Breathe in breathe out.” From breathing exercises, but also relaxation and postures typical of yoga.
“You balance on one foot. You fixate on a point, you open your hips, you are solid at the level of the belly, and you seek to raise yourself. Try it!”, encourages the professor, who came especially from Saumur (Maine-et-Loire). The posture of the tree, but also that of the cobra, the dog upside down or even the candle.
You feel better afterwards. It takes the stress away, it takes the worry away – Rebecca, high school student
“Some of these positions bring fresh blood to the heart and to the brain. Everything will be oxygenated. Others also develop grounding. We are really focused on what we are doing, what we are feeling. we live in the present moment, there is no longer any past or future. It’s perfect for the students”explains Isabelle Bercée.
Benefits felt immediately by Rebecca. “Frankly, I didn’t think of anything! You feel better afterwards. It takes the stress away, it takes away the worries, and then before preparing for the baccalaureate, it’s really good”. So relaxing that some fell asleep at the end of class. “I don’t usually sleep like that. Now I’m relaxed, it’s crazy”say Benjamin and Célestin.
These beneficial courses after two years of Covid
And it is for these reasons that the project was launched, especially after two years marked by the health crisis. “We realized that it had created a little stress in the students, a feeling of suffocation, panic, fear and more and more were feeling unwell and having anxiety attacks”notes Eugénie Kling, PE teacher, initiator of the project.
Everyone lends itself to the game and reaches a state of relaxation – Eugénie Kling, PE teacher
After a few relaxation sessions in sports classes, she and her colleagues then decided to offer yoga classes to the entire establishment, with one session per class during the year. It’s not much, but the results already seem to be there. “They learn to let go, to breathe, to think about something else. And we realize that it’s positive: at the beginning, they are a little overexcited, it’s complicated to do things; and then at the end , everyone lends itself to the game and reaches a state of relaxation”she rejoices.
Eugénie Kling and her colleagues therefore hope to renew the experience at the start of the next school year, by offering, why not, more courses.
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Chinon: high school students take compulsory yoga classes after two years of Covid
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