Keen yogi and former Radio 1 presenter, Fearne Cotton regularly practises yoga with her children, four-year-old Rex, and two-year-old Honey. In addition to frequently posting snaps of them having fun on the mat together, she has called for yoga to be put on the school curriculum to help improve children’s wellbeing.
She told London’s Evening Standard: “My son is doing yoga at school, it’s amazing. It’s really important – so much focus is on academia, which is great, but I think in this day and age there needs to be a deeper understanding for kids to know it’s OK to feel a bit c***.”
“That is the job of parents and sometimes we nail it and sometimes we don’t, but it should be supported at school… To make small changes [to the curriculum] like kids doing yoga and getting them to be open to talk and share their feelings is brilliant.”
Having spoken publicly about her own battle with depression, part of which involved the publication of her book, ‘Happy’, a compilation of ways to cultivate mental wellbeing in everyday life, Fearne is keen to break down a perception that celebrity life is without the struggles we all face. Preparing to publish her second book, she said, “it’s nice… to have that cathartic process of saying who I really am, and also for other people to go, ‘Oh, right, so the myth of being in the public eye meaning life is perfect is utter s***.”
In addition to speaking up and raising awareness, Fearne has also written a children’s book designed to inspire bedtime relaxation for parents and their little ones. ‘Yoga Babies’ is a picture book that combines a story for adults to read aloud, with relaxing yoga poses for both to try as part of getting ready for bed.
“Yoga is such a wonderful activity for all the family, and has a hugely calming impact all round,” she told the Huffington Post. “It’s great for coordination as well as health and wellbeing.” The text and illustrations have been approved by Marta Simonetti, a qualified children’s yoga instructor, who has taught for YogaLondon.
“I’m really excited about Fearne’s new release, Yoga Babies’, Marta explained. “It’s a brilliant way to bring yoga for children into the public consciousnesss, as it has become such a popular practice… I can’t recommend it enough.”
Fearne’s desire was to create a book that could at once help parents develop their affinity with their children, and incorporate the practice of yoga, which she believes has so many benefits for physical and mental wellbeing. Now that she has done so, and helped to popularise yoga for children through her unique storybook, perhaps her call for yoga to feature in schools will gain yet more traction.