Senator Jerry Buttimer is calling for a new approach to fostering the wellbeing of children, by introducing yoga to schools.
“With the ever-increasingly busy lifestyle on our young children, we must help to educate and develop skills to deal with the pressures they may encounter in life,” said Mr Buttimer. “The impact and strain of technology and the increased pressure on young children in their daily lives need the tools to deal with challenges they may face.”
He said that the additional pressure faced by young people today is leading to mental health issues.
“It is a sad reflection that one out of four young people may experience depression before they reach the age of nineteen,” he said.
“I believe that modern thinking in our education system not only in providing an education but also fostering new ways to help young people develop higher levels of self-esteem and furnish a more positive environment in school and will benefit family life.”
Advocates for yoga, which has become increasingly popular in recent years, say regular practice leads to a host of physical and mental benefits. In addition to leading to increased flexibility and improved muscle strength, some studies have shown it to improve depression and decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
“The introduction of yoga as a school activity in primary schools may lead to better well-being and aid in our children developing good mental health,” said Mr Buttimer.
“I believe it will also help in children developing confidence, reinforce stronger relationships with friends and family.
“Yoga may be one of many tools to aid in the development of a child’s wellbeing through into adulthood.”