Improving Student Mental Health with Yoga and Mindfulness
I need to attend Breathe for Change social emotional curriculum training that incorporates mindfulness and yoga to help support students who have faced trauma, neglect, and abuse, and to help all students manage emotions.
Our students arrive at school daily to immerse themselves in an inspiring, safe, and consistent learning community. With low-income backgrounds, 100% of our students receive free breakfast and lunch. Our students come from fascinating backgrounds, and households of wonderfully diverse constitutions.
Many of our students have difficult home lives, with unimaginable mountains to climb to meet the standards set for them by the adults who teach them each day.
Exciting, engaging learning opportunities that build lifelong understanding are crucial for these students, as circumstances have been stacked against them. By creating immersive, hands-on, multisensory learning opportunities that are fueled by contemporary teaching techniques that borrow from popular culture and gaming, students will solidify learning while having fun.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. It can be practiced through yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, thoughtful silence, slowed down and analyzed everyday experiences, thinking of others and putting their needs in our thoughts and visualizations.
This project will cover the cost of becoming a certified yoga instructor, focusing on working with students who have faced trauma, chronic stress, and less than ideal home situations.
For students, yoga and mindfulness are powerful tools to help with regulation when thinking gets hard, and outside distractions lead our brains into fight-flight-freeze, a survival technique that often hinders learning and exacerbates angry outbursts, disengagement, or shutting down while at school.
Yoga and mindfulness have a variety of research-backed impacts, including a reduction in toxic stress, and an improvement in enjoying work, emotional regulation, focus, and executive functioning.
After taking this course, I hope to take student yoga practices and adapt them for ongoing use in my classroom, as stress reducers and joy builders, and to help students grow these skills as additions to their emotional regulation toolboxes as they head to middle school.
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