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4 Ways to Integrate Mindfulness in Schools

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.

Mindfulness Book Activities for Kids | Kids Yoga Stories
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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.

Integrating Mindfulness in your Classroom Curriculum | Kids Yoga Stories for Edutopia
Image taken from original article on Edutopia

Click here to read the full article of “Integrating Mindfulness in Your Classroom Curriculum” on Edutopia.org.

Edutopia | Integrating Mindfulness in your Classroom Curriculum by Kids Yoga Stories

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Why Yoga Books are a Great Idea

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Help the children in your life slow down by practicing these simple and effective mindfulness exercises.  This mindfulness deck is divided into four categories that you can chose from: breath, movement, sensory, and guided imagery.

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