Since November 2014, I have had the privilege of teaching Chi Kri Yoga & Meditation to a group of wonderful 11-16 year old students at Whitmore High School to help them stay calm and confident throughout their studies.
Being 24 years old myself and having sat through several GCSE’s, A Levels and University exams not that long ago, I can easily relate to the numerous pressures that young people face growing up in today’s world, and I understand how easy it is to lose faith in yourself during these potentially stressful times. Chi Kri Yoga was my rock while I was studying at Warwick University; practising it helped me immensely to stay positive, strong and peaceful through all my challenges as a young adult. Being able to share the powerful techniques that I learned through my practice with the students at Whitmore High School has been incredibly rewarding for me, and I have absolutely loved every moment.
The students at Whitmore High School have embraced the teachings like true warriors – with grace, courage and determination, and I couldn’t be more proud of them! Below is a beautiful review recently written by Year 11 who attends the classes regularly…
“Yoga Club is on Fridays after school in the Drama Studio, taught by a truly lovely lady, Sheena Shah. I adore her classes as she incorporates both the physical and spiritual / relaxation aspects of Chi Kri Yoga, invented by an ex-Whitmore student! Girls and boys attend and we use comfortable mats. The ambiance of the room is very pleasant; everybody likes everybody. Everyone is at different levels but all are made welcome. Yoga is extravagant; we do crazy balances, for example, the “ Baby Crow” pose (pictured below).
We commence the sessions with poses and routines such as the Sun Salutation. Sheena explains what the movements resemble and symbolise. In Yoga, a pose / movement never has no meaning. Instead, every one of them has positive morals / teachings such as “even when you’re in pain or a difficult time in your life, you are and must be strong”. This would link with a challenging physical position that we would hold for as long as possible.
Furthermore, in Yoga, you must always have your head held high – it is all about being proud of who you are but more importantly having the confidence in yourself to achieve whatever it is you desire… We learn very interesting concepts such as that the soul is the positive part of you whilst the ego is the part of you that enjoys it when you feel atrocious about yourself or want to give up. Also, Sheena collects plus writes her own inspirational teachings which she hand out every session to us before explaining what we should understand from them.
We practise breathing techniques (which involves breathing from the stomach in oppose to the chest). Yoga can often be about becoming a more relaxed and content person, however, in contrast it can just simply be about trying something new and discovering new intriguing ways of thinking about life. In a sense, there is a slight link to philosophy.
Moreover, toward the end of the session we lie on the mats with the lights dimmed and go into relaxation mode. When we awake, we are ready to conquer the world…!
Here are some more thoughtful words from some of the other students who also attend:
“In Year 11 we can get worried about our exams and for many Yoga is a form of relief that is much needed. It should be on the timetable!”
“Especially now, with our exams coming up soon, Yoga teaches us how to relax and breathe properly. The music calms us down and helps us relax while we’re doing the poses…”
“The sessions made me feel very relaxed. Thank you very much!”
“Yoga helps me concentrate. It takes stress out of my chest and gives me the confidence to be me…”
“I love it all – it’s all brilliant!”
As a teacher, this has been an extremely rewarding experience, and what’s even more exciting is that I have also been invited to teach Chi Kri Yoga and Meditation to some of the Teaching Staff at Whitmore High School this summer to help them relax and unwind after a busy academic year.
Furthermore, on a global level, it’s so positive to hear that thanks to the influence of leaders like Narendra Modi, June 21st is now officially recognised as ‘International Yoga Day’, and that there are plans to ensure Yoga and Meditation reach more and more young people throughout the world. If like me you dream of seeing Chi Kri Yoga at a school, University or workplace near you, drop me a message and we’ll make it a reality!