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Yoga for Teens in England: An Interview with Philippa Goldie

  • From your website, yoga4teenagers.co.uk, I see your mission:  “Our mission is to prevent the next generation from becoming stressed out hunchbacks in later life.”  That’s a great way to put it, especially when you’re talking to teens.  How do they respond upon hearing your mission?

    They normally laugh as perhaps they don’t realise the reality yet… our classes are designed to be fun so this is part of it.

    I love how when I’m talking to teens, I need to make my language succinct and clear, like your mission statement suggests.  Do you agree?
    Totally! It’s very different working with teens we really need to enthuse them…
    I read your bio and you’ve obviously enjoyed practicing yoga a long time? Yes I have always loved yoga; I just came to it – not for any reason and love how it works well with my swimming too.
    How did you get involved with teaching teens?  I trained to teach with the idea of then going on to teach teens – I love working with teens (I am also a swimming teacher) and hope I can inspire them to carry on with yoga as they grow older.
    blogpostphillipa2What do you enjoy about them?  They are mostly always willing to give things a go; they love relaxation and generally say what they like and what they don’t whereas adults are not always as open with their feelings – I like knowing where I am with people.
    Your website says that you organize yoga classes in schools and after school organizations for teenagers.  How are you going about enlisting other teachers to help you? I have a couple of lovely colleagues who are trained in teaching teens too who help out with the obvious clashes – working round the school day can require some juggling.
    If I asked myself the next two questions, it would totally depend on the teenagers, the situation, and the day.  But for the benefit of those who will read this and want to teach teens, answer these questions based on what comes to mind for you right now:
    If you could only impart one pose teenagers what would it be? That’s hard – can I say standing – Trikonasana – a master pose that can take time to get perfect alignment but that stretches, strengthens and requires focus. Seated Navasana as it helps build core strength which they need more and more as they grow older & balancing Vrikasana a simple pose that requires core strength and stillness of the mind. And for fun – Bakasana, (Crow), Urdva Dhanurasana (Wheel), and Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand)
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    If you could only impart one yoga philosophy to teenagers what would it be? I’d say the Yamas & Niyamas of the 8 fold path – the Ten ethical precepts that allow us to be at peace with ourselves, our family, and our community. I always mention Ahimsa to teens – being kind to others and ourselves; nurturing ourselves is just as important as being nonviolent and kind to others.

    Before we conclude the interview, tell us a little more about yourself and your path to teen yoga, Philippa Goldie.
    For as long as I can remember I have loved both yoga and swimming and practised both regularly. When my children were born we moved to Bali where I practised with a wonderful yoga teacher Olop Arpipi, my children practised yoga in school – we all loved our practice.

    As a swimming teacher I was already sharing one of my passions -I decide to train to teach yoga and on completing my training I trained further in teaching to teens and now teach yoga in schools and privately in Bucks and Berks here in the UK.

    I love my job and feel very privileged to work with young people. I strongly believe today’s youth find benefits in yoga and mindfulness for both calming, fitness and postural reasons – never before has life been so busy and this generation are the first to spend so much of their lives bent over a screen of some size and form. In addition people don’t ‘switch off’ now – we are constantly available!  Yoga also helps prevent injuries in other sports. I love being with young people…and that is why I set up Yoga4Teenagers

    Life now connects me to India, I spend a lot of time there each year and am lucky to be able to learn further from teachers of all traditions.

    I have studied Anatomy & Physiology, Thai Massage at The Nerve Touch Centre in Chiang Mai, Thailand, am trained in Indian Head Massage and hold Reiki 1.

    Thanks for your time Philippa Goldie.  On behalf of those of us who are passionate about yoga for teens, we wish you the best in your outreach efforts.
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