A first in Wales as Bryn Hafod primary becomes a Mini Me Yoga school

Bryn Hafod Primary School in Llanrumney, Cardiff has become the first school in Wales to  successfully achieve Mini Me Yoga accreditation. 

Used around the world, Bryn Hafod's success has ensured that Wales is now part of a list of 30 countries to embrace Mini Me Yoga. 

In order to meet the requirements forMini Me Yoga accreditation, the school has involved 80 members of staff, from teachers and teaching assistance, to support staff and catering staff. Following extensive training, the school is now using the Mini Me Yoga programmes as part of their weekly schedule of lessons. 

Headteacher, MrsRhian Lundrigan, said: "We are very excited to be the first school in Wales to be accredited as a mini me yoga school. One of our school priorities this year is to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for all staff and pupils. 

"As part of this priority, we wanted to actively promote and evaluate pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Our mini me yoga sessions support this by encouraging our pupils to explore and reflect on life purpose, cause and effect, resilience, obstacles, relationships, feelings and emotions. It also develops strength, flexibility and stamina, reduces tension, stress and anxiety, raises self-esteem and promotes self-efficacy. 

"Pupils are more motivated and able to focus and concentrate for long periods of time. The pupils all enjoy the calm and relaxed environment that we create during these sessions, and it's a pleasure to see them getting so much from an alternative form of exercise than they're used to." 

Mini Me Yoga provides children with the tools to understand and take control of their feelings, using breathing, meditation and mindfulness. It increases the children's capacity to learn and be gentle to one another; it teaches respect for nature and how to grow strong mentally and physically. 

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "I want to give a massive well done to Mrs Lundrigan, her staff, and most of all the children and whole school community for working so hard to make Bryn Hafod the first school in Wales to gain Mini Me Yoga accreditation. 

"This is a great example of the things all our schools, across the whole of Cardiff are doing to ensure the health and wellbeing of all our pupils. I can't wait to see the children putting the things they have learnt in to practice the next time Mrs Lundrigan welcomes me to Bryn Hafod primary." 

The Mini Me Yoga programme is slightly different to those provided by other children's yoga organisations, in that it trains parents and teachers to share a simple 15-minute programme with their children. This means that yoga can be incorporated into children's everyday lives. 

Founder of Mini Me Yoga, Kate Bartram-Brown, said: "During this age where childhood diabetes, food intolerances and hyperactivity disorders are on the rise, the games and activities bring much needed time for children to create and express themselves."