My School Counseling Department has started Morning Mindfulness before school twice a week and expanded our yoga and mindfulness into other areas of the school as well, including holding “exam brain breaks” during semester exams. Our foundation for everything we started this year was the Youth Yoga Project. The two-day training was the best training I have attended in my 20+ years in education. Thank you to Lauren and Julia for planning a well thought out, organized, practical training. We took the training, ran with it, and never looked back....except to consult on ideas with them. They always responded and helped us throughout the year. I encourage anyone who is interested to attend the training to get a foundation for implementing yoga and mindfulness in your setting.
Because of yoga, students are recognizing they have the ability to calm their minds and relax their bodies in order to control their behavior and provide themselves with healthy self-care. They are stepping out of their comfort zones to try new things and are growing together as a class. I hope to involve more students in the program in the future as I honestly believe it would have a profound positive impact on our building culture and the health of our students.
The yoga strategies I incorporated into my classroom culture are small, but BIG. We are using yoga to transition back to learning after recess - what a much calmer way to continue our learning with focused, mindful brains and bodies! We also transformed our classroom “Take a Break” spot to a yoga spot where students have access to all the tools from our Youth Yoga Project classes. There are so many powerful ways YYP has influenced our classroom community this year. Overall, I would say my students and I have benefited most from being able to remind ourselves to come back to a mindful, present, and calm attitude. I am incredibly grateful for everything YYP has done for our community, especially in terms of setting up our students and families for continued growth and success as human beings.
Yoga has taught me how to relax when I am upset because I get upset a lot and now I can control when I get upset. I like how it is peaceful in yoga and never gets loud because when I walk in to yoga I have a headache, and I walk out without one. My favorite part is the relaxing because in yoga you can relax your mind and just think. The breathing is really important too. If you’re mad you can just breathe to relax your mind.
I use belly breaths when I get mad or angry. Yoga helps me because it makes my brain calm. More people should learn yoga because it helps people relax and feel safe.
Yoga has taught my son to be more calm with his siblings at home. Because of yoga, he is more calm and approaches situations differently. These are great tools he is learning to help him manage his stress.
My daughter really loves the Youth Yoga Project program! She comes home and talks about it after each session. She is very interested in every practice she learns in yoga and is teaching us (her family) everything she is learning.
My daughter has really enjoyed and benefited from yoga in her classroom this year. Every week she would come home and teach her younger sister, as well as my husband and I what she had learned. The practices and techniques even helped her to manage her grief from the recent loss of her grandmother. Youth Yoga Project has had such a positive impact on our family!