Mindfulness Moments with Yoga for Classrooms
With all that is going on in our world right now, your family may be looking for a fun activity that is relaxing, eases stress and anxiety, improves focus and concentration, builds confidence and self-esteem, and promotes problem-solving and self-control. Yoga 4 Classrooms (Y4C), created by Lisa Flynn, is an evidenced-based, home-and-classroom-friendly yoga and mindfulness program for learning communities. At Brooks Academies of Texas, we have adopted Y4C for the 2020–21 school year because of how it supports social, emotional, and physical health and wellness, as well as promoting learning readiness and a safe, positive learning environment. My role is the Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator at Brooks, and I want to share our Mindfulness Moments with you.
For more ideas about learning experiences you can do at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Voyage of Learning.
Mindfulness Moments at Brooks Academies
At Brooks, our desire is to grow a student’s heart as much as we grow their mind. We are integrating Y4C brain breaks in our summer JumpStart academic program now, and will begin the school year implementing the classroom card deck in our elementary classrooms. See videos of mindfulness moments on our website.
This infographic, Research Supports Yoga & Mindfulness in Schools Infographic, explains the benefits.
We start with teaching mindfulness, which simply means being more aware of ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, and of the things that are happening around us.
This illustration reminds us that mindfulness means being present in the moment with kindness and curiosity.
Being mindful means that we notice what’s happening with our breath, in our bodies, in our mind. It’s okay to feel how we feel—sad, anxious, nervous, angry. We just need help to identify the feeling—build self-awareness—without judgement.
Then we can make a mindful choice, and use a tool—like a breath, a stretch, an imagination vacation, or positive affirmation—to help us positively self-regulate.
Mindfulness Moments at Home
A good starting point is to choose few cards from the Y4C deck and practice them together. This set makes a good group:
Mountain (Stand Strong Card)
Balloon Breath (Let’s Breathe Card)
Star (Stand Strong Card)
In the video below, you can see how these poses flow together, and extend into more poses. Find more poses in the card deck, which is available for any family to purchase from Amazon.
Read More About Mindfulness
Mindful Parenting, Kristen Race (2014)
“Mindfulness,” Psychology Today
Charter Moms Chats
For more ideas about learning experiences you can do at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Voyage of Learning. We have several posts about social emotional wellness, including Digital Parenting, Making Faces, and Grumpy Pants.
About the Author
Paula Turner is the Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator at Brooks Academies of Texas. She is the mom to three young men: a 19-year-old student at Texas A&M, a 21-year-old who is moving to Boston next month to attend graduate school, and a 23-year-old graduate of Angelo State University. She started teaching first grade in 1990 and has experience as a TEA-certified teacher, counselor, and administrator. Paula joined the team at Brooks in 2017 and considers herself blessed to have found her school heaven.