imageMicheline Flak - What is RYE?

Micheline Flak founded RYE – Research on Yoga in Education - in 1978. She taught English in a Parisian middle school and was also a yoga practitioner and teacher.

Her experience of yoga began to influence her English lessons and through various experiments of incorporating yoga instruction in the classroom she became deeply interested in the way yoga enhanced the whole learning process. Constant research into the complexity of how individuals learn and different methods to facilitate this, led to the formal acknowledgement of the effectiveness of yogic techniques in schools by both the French and Italian Education departments. Subsequently, RYE has developed into an international phenomenon, with centres in Europe, South America and the USA.

RYE primarily focuses on teaching yoga techniques to educators, providing opportunities for them to explore and experience theory alongside classroom practice to improve pupils’ physical posture (spine), attention and learning. More specifically, the application of yoga techniques in the classroom influences the brain which can pass from the emission of beta waves, associated with the everyday wakeful state and conscious attention, to the emission of alpha waves, associated with passive awareness, a relaxed state of mind with greater receptivity to the learning process. This is when optimum learning can take place. There is an emphasis on the pauses between phases of deep attention, when the brain consolidates knowledge recently acquired. It has been scientifically proven that interspersing periods of work with periods of rest is the most efficient way to process information. Short relaxation, presented in different ways during a learning session, helps the brain to digest information, and the student to remain calm and enjoy the learning process.

RYE techniques also enhance the power of visualization and memory, foster creativity and balance the energies in the physical body. Through its philosophy and practices that are rooted in ancient yogic tradition, RYE techniques help teachers to redress the balance between their pupils’ bodies and minds, improve student-teacher and peer relations, and enhance self-esteem.

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