IT’S literally time for young people to take advantage of free yoga classes at the Hilton Police and Citizens Youth Centre.
Zeit is German for time, and the classes are run by Yogazeit founder and German-born yoga practitioner Regina Cruickshank.
The Beaconsfield not-for-profit organisation has taught yoga and mindfulness in schools across Australia and New Zealand.
“Including in very remote indigenous schools as part of an outreach program,” Ms Cruickshank says.
Yogazeit gives young people the tools to increase their health and wellbeing, and is based on a version of yoga started in the US in 1999.
“It improves balance, strength, endurance and aerobic capacity,” Ms Cruickshank says.
“Growing research has shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, academic performance and reduces anxiety and stress in children,” she adds.
According to the Harvard Medical School publication Harvard Health, teaching yoga and mindfulness to kids in school helps boost self-esteem, enhances learning and can lead to improved classroom behaviour.
“And it can even reduce anxiety and stress in children,” Harvard psychiatrist and publication editor Marlynn Wei says.
“It’s a great tool for calming kids after playtime and helping overcome anxiety and nerves as that important math test looms, “ Ms Cruikshank agrees. “We teach breathing skills to calm them.”
The free “Making Mindful Movement Matter” classes at the Hilton PCYC have largely been funded by a community grant from Fremantle council.
“Without the grant we would not have been able to offer our services at this scale.”
The grant also funds yoga teacher training and youth training workshops.
The first Hilton PCYC class is on February 17.
Classes are booked out, but there’s a waiting list.
“In the hope of raising further funds by the time the project kicks off,” Ms Cruickshank says.
For more information or to book go to yogazeit.com.au/about/projects or call 0405 551 635.
by MARYAM EL-MALAK