Children in Khayelitsha take yoga lessons to help deal with everyday challenges at school. Supplied
Cape Town - Nokuphiwo Jada from Khayelitsha is teaching local young school kids to breathe, using yoga to get them to slow down and reconnect with their inner selves.

Jada, an Earth Child Project (ECP) facilitator, carries out lesson plans and programmes in primary schools in Khayelitsha. Through years of working with ECP, she has helped to create structured lesson plans so that they fit in with the school curriculum.

The project operates in disadvantaged schools in Cape Town, offering educational programmes that focus on the environment, health and life skills.

Growing up in Khayelitsha, Jada said, inspired her to share what she had learnt with the kids of her community.

“After being introduced to yoga and because of its benefits, I got inspired to introduce it to my community, with the idea of bringing it to underprivileged primary schools.

Children in Khayelitsha take yoga lessons to help deal with everyday challenges at school. Picture: Supplied

“A lot of these kids that grow up in Khayelitsha do not realise how flexible their futures are. Yoga techniques have taught me to value life and took me back to the spirit of ubuntu,” she said.

“School is stressful. Pupils have to attend lessons longer than their attention spans, absorb a huge amount of information and participate in extracurricular activities.

It’s a lot to expect of a child. To cope, they might just need a breather,” she added.

Through these programmes, she equips children with practical life skills and knowledge of how to be healthy, confident and resilient.

The yoga sessions had had an incredible impact, with change in pupils’ behaviour, Jada said.

“We get a lot of the teachers who say learners are much calmer when they come from our sessions, with suggestions to teach them before they write exams.

“They now walk around with water bottles and have more fruits in their lunch boxes than junk,” she said.

@Mtuzeli

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Cape Argus