DISABLED students at Victoria Education Centre are leading the way in showcasing the mental, physical and emotional benefits of yoga.

The Poole school for children with a range of disabilities and special needs ran a whole school yoga session to celebrate World Yoga Day.

And they are hoping to inspire fellow special schools in the UK and across the world to take up yoga too.

Physio Stuart Robertson said: “The school’s motto is ‘Achieving through Believing’ and we believe that yoga can make a real difference to the lives of the children we work with.”

Some students remained in their chairs during the exercises while others performed the moves on mats. Some of the more physically able students also took part in a dru yoga dance. There were also sessions for parents and for staff.

Stuart added: “The physical benefits of our yoga programme are plain to see. The change of position from wheelchair to lying on a mat brings its own rewards, in addition to the movements themselves.

“However, yoga not only impacts on a physical level of health, but on a mental and emotional one too. The students have really enjoyed the relaxation aspect of the yoga classes. As well as enabling them to chill out and deal better with stressful situations, it has also helped improve their focus and concentration in the classroom. Some of the awareness exercises have given the students the tools to help with self regulation, controlling behavioural and sleep issues.”