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"Only when they all contribute their firewood can they build a strong fire."

- Chinese Proverb

A Holistic Approach to Education Makes the World of Difference

By Jean Ann Rodrigues on 12 February 2017

As a holistic and educational coach, a large amount of my focus has been in the school and youth sector. Particularly because this was a space that really affected my way of being and how I saw myself in the world. I attended a prestigious private school where the pressure was high and the stress was unbearable. Of course there were limited interventions for stress and a continuous mantra of achieving high grades leads to success in life. I had never believed then that looking back on that time would be with a happy heart. Why? Well, because I had three important people enter my life that helped me play this game called school.

Lets break it down…
First, my mentor coach entered my life and worked with my own brain profile. I learnt what happens to my unique brain under stress and how to manage myself effectively during these times. I also learnt what my strengths were and how to amplify these to succeed based on my terms. Second, my yoga swami Kamalavidya Saraswati was my savings grace. I have been under her guidance and the Satyananda Yoga tradition for the past 10 years. Making yoga part of my lifestyle was a game changer as I learnt how to purify my body and detoxify the acid out of my system. I continue to learn and use hatha yoga to work through physical blockages in my body, use primordial sounds to reach a higher level of awareness, sit in positions using specific bandas and mudras to serve my current purpose and of course continue to evolve through Kriya yoga
kriya yoga - nadi shodana
This yoga process has been slow, steady and systematic and the results have been phenomenal. For example, by the age of 16, I had already had three ulcers. However, when yoga and awareness entered my life, I have not had any more stomach issues. Third, I was blessed to see a phenomenal medical hypnotherapist who helped me unpack where my fear stemmed from and how to achieve success without this unconscious baggage that was weighing me down. So there you have it! The three things that changed my life and because I believe so deeply in each one of these systems, this is the work that I have chosen to do through holistic coaching, Satyananda yoga and non-medical hypnotherapy.

Based on my own experience and the research that I have currently done at a school, developing a holistic approach to education
serves as pure dynamite! The research topic was “Exploring the Influence of Holistic Coaching Including Satyananda Yoga for Two Students in a South African High School.” I had seen a variety of clients and coached more that 90 hours over the three-month period. However, for the purpose of the research and time limitations I constricted my study to observe two students only.

So what did the holistic approach include?

My holistic coaching model served the objective of providing adolescents with a deeper connection on how their mind, body and emotions function in a holistic coaching context. Specific coaching processes that were used consisted of visualization, limiting beliefs, systemic constellations, metaphors and time management. The three yoga techniques incorporated in the coaching process were focused on shifting cognitive processes with Trataka (candle gazing), emotional processes with Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) and somatic processes with Surya Namaskara (physical yoga sequence – greeting the sun). The research question focused on whether the introduction of Satyananda yoga as part of the holistic coaching model influences perceived stress, life balance and awareness of self and others. Participants were given a variety of qualitative measures to analyse if there were changes in stress, life balance and awareness in general.

What were the results?

Results showed a decrease in perceived stress, perceived balance was significantly improved, and perceived self-awareness was developed however perceived relationship awareness did not display definite improvement. Therefore by providing students with an intervention to manage stress effectively, it is possible that life balance, awareness and managing one’s life can be improved. One of my students also showed me her report where her academic grades improved and she believed it was because she was learning how to manage herself and her time better.
happy teenagers
So why not?
As part of my coaching and yoga mission, this short-term study is a starting point for something greater. Currently my research is in the publishing process and I am aiming to get sponsored so that I can implement this stress management program locally in South Africa and then grow this mission to a global level. If by implementing a coaching and yoga approach already started having incremental shifts in a short time period of three months, then why not?
I believe it is vital to develop adolescents so that they can learn to manage themselves effectively, learn to manage stress, develop awareness of self and others and most importantly live a life of meaning because the amount of stress in workplaces, the breading ground of illnesses based on stress and limited awareness of self is creating a dying way forward. At a young age, individuals need to learn about themselves, how their magic shines and the way they want to live their lives so that we as a collective consciousness can develop our internal awareness to align with the external cosmos and evolve past the suffering we have created in our lives.

It is now time to learn to play the game of the universe, because if we don’t, then we will fall and continue to experience the pain in many different forms. I say this because I love you, and not out of creating fear because I wish for you to grow in form and space. I am here to serve you to a state of internal and external balance. For more information on what I have to offer or how to contact me, please visit my website on www.lightupwithin.com and lets amplify your existence to success!



About the author

Jean Ann Rodrigues

Holistic coach

Jean was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and has been blessed with a variety of masters that have entered her life and illuminated a path of wisdom in front of her. Jean has her degree in business,…  Read full bio