Ep 2 (ENG) - Is yoga a practical skill teachable to kids? with Janna Kretzman

A year ago, I was hesitating between spending time on some yoga training or volunteering… and while doing my research, I discovered Earthchild Project, an Non Profit Organisation, whose goal is to teach yoga in under resourced schools in Cape town. When 3 months later, Marie and I decided to start interviewing people for the podcast, it is very naturally that we thought about Janna, the founder of the NPO. This woman shares values that we strongly admire, like tolerance, kindness, respect. She represents how marie and i wanted to see asana records, a bold, genuine and whole way of thinking yoga.

Let’s just be clear: I did not travel to South Africa to meet Janna (what a shame!). Instead, we had skype conversation (hello technology ;) ). Sh'e’s been running Earthchild Project for more than 10 years now, I am a podcaster for less than a month (thank god yoga reminded me to stay humble). 1. 2. 3. Will our wifi connection make it to the end? Let’s see. Breathe deeply. Click and c’est parti!

Here are the highlights of our talk:

  • 02min15 : her first experience with yoga at 18 years old on a iyengar yoga class

  • 03min30: at the age 25, she did a course of art of living foundation and got introduce with a more complete view of yoga

  • 05min20: after a one year living in an eco village she read autobioagraphy of a yogi and decided to come back to introduce a different yogic approach to education in her home country (South Africa)

  • 10min15: she started Earthchild Project from scratch with her ideas and “believing that everything is possible”

  • 12min20: yoga is a practical skill for children and she wants to give them tools to help them in their day to day life

  • 16min40: how difficult was it to introduce yoga class 12 years ago in South Africa

  • 18min05: her first yoga class as a teacher in Cape town

  • 24min15: her NPO developed holistic and yogic teaching materials like a pledge

  • 26min00: as the NPO is growing, they plan to expand and develop a seed pack in response to share their experience

  • 27min20: some tips on how to start teaching to kids

Sweet treat: the Asana Box

  • One yogi you love: Seane Corn with her organisation off the mat

  • Yoga intention: to get to an afternoon yoga class, which became more challenging since i'm a mother!

  • What are you going to do after this interview: go to a yoga class!

  • Favorite asana: trikonasa, triangle pose

  • Feared one: back bend & handstand

  • Yogi dream you want to share: if I were president, I’d introduce yoga & meditation classes for teachers, policemen, nurses... the world could be a different place if everybody could learn these tools!

If you wish to support Earthchild Project, here are all the links you need!

Some interesting studies on children and yoga:

  • “Are There Benefits from Teaching Yoga at Schools?”  here

  • '“Effects of a classroom-based yoga intervention on cortisol and behaviour in second- and third-grade students” here

  • “More than just a game: Yoga for school-age children” here