This is part of the post that was written for Edutopia.org, a website dedicated to sharing evidence- and practitioner-based learning strategies that empower teachers and parents to improve K-12 education. To read the whole article, click the link below.
Mindfulness in Schools: Is mindfulness part of your classroom curriculum? Why it should be!
Now more than ever, teaching mindfulness in the classroom is a necessity. Our children are stressed and anxious. Teachers and parents are stressed and anxious, too. Our lives are busy, and we often find our thoughts buzzing over the past or worrying about the future. And mindfulness teaches us to live in the present moment and to enjoy and experience what’s in front of us, moment by moment.
Educators know that children learn best when they are comfortable, safe, and relaxed. Imagine if, along with giving our children the gift of lifelong learning and tools to be a kind and productive adult, we can also give them the gift of mindfulness – using their breath and mind to lead a happy and healthy life. In turn, teachers will reap the benefits of mindfulness, as well. And we all know that a happy teacher has a happy classroom.
Four ways to incorporate mindfulness into schools and bring calm to your classroom:
1. Mindfulness through breath
When we are stressed or anxious, we often take shallow breaths into our chests. By breathing deeply into your belly, you use your breath to calm your body and mind. To practice mindful breathing, place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest, then feel the gentle rise and fall of your breath. Count to three as you inhale, then count to three again as you exhale.
2. Mindfulness through sensory experiences
Sensory experiences also help children focus and relax. Try listening to music or calming sounds in the classroom. Or take the children outside to hear the sounds of nature. They could play I Spy or create mind jars.
3. Mindfulness through guided imagery
Guided imagery develops children’s imaginations. It also helps to integrate learning with prior knowledge. When you start a new topic in your classroom, have your students close their eyes (if that’s comfortable) and slowly talk them through a pretend journey.
4. Mindfulness through movement
Humans are born to move. Movement is a natural part of human life that has become a luxury in modern times. Introducing movement into your classroom allows your students to tap into their natural way of learning. For example, if you’re studying animals around the world, you could practice Downward-Facing Dog Pose (to be a sheepdog), Cat Pose (to be a lion), and Extended Child’s Pose (to be a turtle). Use yoga pose cards or yoga books to brainstorm yoga pose sequences that your children will love and enjoy.
Click here to read the full article of “Integrating Mindfulness
in Your Classroom Curriculum” on Edutopia.org.
You might also like:
|Invite Calm with a Morning Ritual||Mindfulness and Meditation Resources|
|Calm Down Yoga Poses for Kids||What I Learned at Yoga in Schools Symposium|
|How to Integrate Yoga into Classroom||Why Yoga Books are a Great Idea|
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