imageMicheline Flak - The RYE approach

Today’s society is extremely stressful, violent and fast-paced. One wonders how stressed, overworked teachers can ever hope to meet National Curriculum demands and achieve their learning objectives when their pupils are equally stressed,

agitated, aggressive, overly emotional, and mentally exhausted. The RYE approach is not to insert a yoga class into the school timetable but to intersperse short and simple techniques throughout the school day, which will improve the attitude towards work and study. Using yoga in the classroom affects how one teaches and what is learnt.

Although the intellectual is clearly predominant in our Western education system, RYE recognizes the close interdependence of mind and body. “Quality in education” should include emotional development and the capacity of coping with change. Yoga enhances the ability to deal with change, creating new possibilities in the classroom.

The techniques of RYE are simple, straight forward and adaptable. They are fun and suitable for use by teachers from pre-school to university. Body postures, breathing, relaxation and concentration in small amounts throughout the lesson improve learning. These techniques help to unify the body with the mind, and create harmony within the classroom amongst peers and the teacher. They help manage the body and senses, save and restore energy, heighten awareness, memory and concentration. The RYE techniques can be integrated into many situations, in the classroom, Physical Education lessons, at home or as part of a yoga class.

RYE training is currently a two-year diploma course, and the learning of a wide range of exercises and techniques originating from the eightfold path of sage Patanjali. Six of the eight steps describe by sage Patanjali provide a clear theoretical framework through which RYE has formulated its school objectives. These are: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara and dharana.

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