Our initiative at Outta for the month of April, was a yoga program we were able to sponsor at Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School located in Etobicoke, Ontario.
We had the privilege to participate in the class and speak with the students who began this program over a year and a half ago, with the intention to take their personal wellness into their own hands and focus on self-care.
We spoke with a grade 12 student named Vanessa, who organized the class along with a few other students. Vanessa also plans various programs in the school which include the Stop the Stigma campaign, Anti-bullying programs and Encouragment-grams. Needless to say, this school takes mental wellness to heart and it was quite refreshing to observe the level of commitment from these young yogis.
The ongoing yoga class which occurs every Tuesday afternoon from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm is a mix of students from all grades, and teachers are happy to attend as well. The group all agreed that the benefits from the consistency of attendance lowers stress-related responses. They commented more than once about the importance of self-care and "how doing something for yourself makes you feel better about who you are".
This was the first of many programs that Outta wants to be a part of and bring awareness to. Learning about academics is important, yes. However, learning to navigate through life in a healthy manner is just as important. My hope is for schools, on a daily basis, to have awareness brought to the importance of nourishing the mind, body and spirit. I believe that programs like the ones being practiced at Father John Redmond, will serve youth today to grow into healthy-functioning adults in the future.
Thanks to all who participated and took the time to answer questions: Vanessa, Kayleigh, Abbey, Izabel, Josephine, Mrs. Hurley and Barb.
With Light and Love,