Oak Bay police officer and school liaison Sandrine Perry taught her first school yoga class Wednesday, March 6.
Perry was at Willows school in the afternoon, teaching children in Grades 3 to 4 the benefits of the ancient Indian art.
— Oak Bay Police (@OakBayPolice) March 6, 2019
Having practiced yoga for more than 10 years, Perry recently received her instructor qualification after passing a course in the United States.
Perry believes the yoga classes will serve the dual purpose of helping children stay healthy and as a novel way of building trust with the police.
“Yoga is good for mind and body and it’s a great way for kids to know me outside of uniform,” she said.
Practicing yoga is Perry’s “go-to, for stress relief” and she credits the art with helping her stay physically fit too, especially as police officers have to carry protective equipment and bulky duty belts every day.
“The reception has been fantastic,” she said. “It’s a great way to build relationships and for them to see me as a human. When they get older they will feel able to talk to us [the police] when they need to.”
Demand for Perry’s class is already increasing and it is possible she might run tailored yoga sessions in all seven of the schools she works with.
Perry said her colleagues have been supportive and she is happy to provide extra opportunities for the students.
“I think it’s good for kids to have different options with sports and wellness,” she added.