Across Europe, marginalized youths find it difficult to become part of the general community. They often fall from the youth education programs and are not part of the ordinary youth community. Experience indicates that AcroYoga has great potential. Because the method is new, a European experience and knowledge building programme will bring great value and in the long run contribute to lifting even more young people out of exclusion.
We, as AcroYoga professionals have seen firsthand that the physical activity, the trust and the cooperation inherent to AcroYoga make it an excellent method to help young people, from all walks of life, develop the skills they need to lead socially fulfilling lives and to build relationships and eventually communities. In order to propagate this knowledge and give our teachers more skills to be effective in our profession, we will gather our experts, experiences and resources at this training to learn to be socially inclusive and responsible when teaching AcroYoga to our vulnerable young people.
The training course is designed for certified AcroYoga teachers across Europe who want to be effective and competent in using AcroYoga. The training will focus on providing teachers tools to teach AcroYoga to youth with special needs or who are in precarious situations, such as youth refugees or youth in prisons or detention centers.
The first AY social training toke place in Barcelona in August 2019.
VISION AND PURPOSE
1. Social inclusion: to develop concrete methods to promote social inclusion for all youth, regardless of their socio-economic-cultural status.
2. Support vulnerable young people: to develop basic skills and key competencies, especially in relation to their social and personal development, and in their participation in civil and societal life.
3. Greater diversity understanding: to promote respect for social, ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity.
4. Develop and strengthen the network of AcroYoga teachers/educators in Europe: to enable the sharing of practices and information pertinent to providing a high-quality, inclusive teaching environment.
5. To develop teaching tools to improve social youth work: to create concrete teaching activities in a manual or online resource to be shared with participants post event.
We trust that through the refinement of AcroYoga programs across Europe young people will have increased access to learn:
- To work in partnership toward a shared goal
- To consider the needs of the other
- To communicate their own needs clearly
- To feel part of a group/community
- To touch platonically and with consent
- To support others in their goals and aspirations
- To treat others with respect and kindness
- To enjoy physical activity and movement
- To be creative and artistic
- To be active participants
We plan to organise a special training course designed for 10 Acroyoga organisations across Europe who want to use AcroYoga as a tool for social inclusion competently and effectively. These 10 organisations will bring together 50 AcroYoga teachers and social workers to participate in the training course.
After the training all the 10 organisations have made a commitment to making local youth projects aiming at social inclusion.
To create a dissemination of the project results, all the local projects and all the 50 participants in the training course will make an inclusion campaign on social media about the project, promoting results and ERASMUS program.
This training course allows participants to develop their skills in youth work by using engaging techniques and reflective methods in order to resolve dilemmas often appearing in youth work and create a safe and positive learning environment. Participants will also learn how to teach marginalized young people in a very respectful and playful way. All the skills and competencies’ that will be improved during the training course are applicable to youth work.
The impact intention is:
- The training course will create a quality improvement of acroyoga youth work and workers, equipped for teaching young people with disabilities and in precarious situations.
- The 10 local projects will support young people in developing basic life skills like trust in themselves and trust in others, improved ability to collaborate and a stronger sense of belonging to a community.
AY CIRCLE UP WORKSHOPS
AY Circle Up teachers have shared their experiences taken from the farthest corners of the world – from offering free AcroYoga Immersions in women’s prisons in Thailand, to maintaining a monthly AcroYoga Jam for those with developmental disabilities, to flying children in Nigeria; they are bringing AcroYoga as a peace practice to youth everywhere. We using oriented games and organic physical movement/exercise. Including a Workshop with Prisoners from a local prison, who has been already in contact with the Yoga studio before. The Prisoners where included in the group to do all the exercises and afterwards we did a sharing circle with questions of how important these offers are in prison to be able to move. And how difficult the start is. But all agreed their life has changed. And that it is easier than expected in Spain to offer those trainings to inmates, was an important eyeopener.
GRATITUDE AND OPPRESSION (AYM)
AcroYoga Montreal (AYM) is continuously on the forefront of socially responsible information and training in the international AcroYoga community. A wonderful Workshop with Heidi Blais about Gratitude was conducted and Movement classes that were built on inclusivity and diversity into the AcroYoga community and where our teachers in Europe can strengthen their network and share their resources and ideas. Through this awareness, teachers can see through the systemic oppression to build welcoming spaces for play and practice.
In several workshops we work out with the participants what could be their follow-up project. Tatjana t’Felt from AcroYoga for Children and Youth Denmark was holding two important workshops using facilitation tools, that are useful for youth work. 1. future workshop and 2. theory of changes. They are both descripted in the manual, see appendix “Manual AY social inclusion”.
MEDIA LITERACY -DiSSEMINATION
We created two sections of an media literacy workshop conducted by Katharina Bauer (Ipsum e.V), where we first investigated the picture of acroyoga now in search engines and building an idea and concept of what we wanted to show. What is ethical photography?Tips and tools for how to use social media responsibly and effectively when dealing with youth was shared.
Within this we created groups for different outputs throughout the week. Already there we started to spread the hashtag #acroyoga4all and built a website and well as and instagram and facebook presence.
As very valued in the feedback was the Non-violent communication training. Based on the methods developed by Marshal Rosenberg Karel Salet give us a deeper understanding of it. Communication is the base of all human interaction. Functional exercises will be presented for the development of teachers’ communication and also exercises for use in classroom settings. Also used in a one on one work when a conflict arised within two participants.
All the movement classes showed class design and sequencing. Intelligent sequences for classes, that provide a safe introduction of touch and cooperation, can be challenging to build. Skills for this process will be shared and developed further at the training. The level was basic to let them see where they have to start when the go into project. One blindfolded acroyoga workshop was showing how to increase trust and work with senses.
Games and group work is very important in Acroyoga. Additionally we invited Martin Daner
Hede from Play.dk to give us and insight in his daily work with youth. He share powerful tools and answered many of our questions. What do you do when they don’t want to? you have to show up again and again. And you have to focus on there strong side not the weaknesses. He left us speechless and inspired.
Many of the aktivities gave an idea off how to set boundaries and still be kind and loving in the practice room.
YOGA:. Rather than yoga simply being used for the physical practice, here we look deeply at yoga as a state of being and a method to connect to ourselves. Yoga will be introduced to teachers as a way to help practitioners build self-awareness and acceptance. The practical tools offered will include asana, breathwork, and meditation.
We made a survey for all the participants who did the training in 2019. Here are the main results of the survey.
92 % of the participants answered that the workshop with guests from a prison was very relevant for them.·
84 % of the participants felt that the workshops with facilitation tools for youth work were very relevant for them. ·
96 % of the participants felt that the non violent communication workshops were very relevant for their work.
Only 30 % of the participants felt that the workshop about teaching tools were relevant for them. 44 % answered that it was relevant, but not super relevant. This can be because most of the participants were already teachers. This workshop will not be a part of a second edition.
64 % of the participants felt that the daily reflections were very relevant for them. 11 % felt that it was not relevant.
86 % of the participants learned many new tools for social work during the training.
93 % felt inspired to start a social project with AcroYoga.
90 % got a better network to start social work with AcroYoga
54% wish to have more guest with reel experience from social projects
·93 % felt that they were heard in the process and could bring some of themselves in process.