Our school program helps children practice mindfulness while developing the essential skills for a lifetime of health and wellness. Yoga practice helps them handle the stresses of everyday life and provides students with healthy ways to express and balance their emotions and find mental clarity. Yoga encourages community, connectedness and responsibility that also enhances social interaction. Through the practice of yoga, school teachers and children create an atmosphere of confidence, enthusiasm and non-competitiveness where everyone can succeed physically, academically and creatively.
We currently provide our mindfulness and yoga programs at Blackshear Elementary School, Austin Achieve, Fulmore and Pearce Middle Schools. We will begin offering classes at Williamson and Zavala Elementary Schools for their summer programs beginning in June. and at IDEA Middle School in the Fall 2014.
In addition to working with children, we have been offering classes to teachers and administrators at Blackshear Elementary School.
The Mindfulness Lessons brought to our students at Blackshear have been a true gift. Seeing the students practice and improve their mindfulness while participating in fun poses, including partner work, has been so much fun. Personally, I was surprised at how engaged the 5-8 year olds could be when it came to focusing on stillness, breath and different parts of their bodies....sometimes while balancing in Tree Pose! I felt that walking into Yoga each Friday provided students and teachers an immediate sense of tranquility and safety. Feeling safe and calm allowed them to explore mindfulness and I saw many students really build their practice. Perhaps the most important part of the Mindfulness lessons was how JoAnn explicitly taught the skill of being mindful, but then was sure to explain to the children how and when they could practice such an important life skill off the mat.....in their classrooms, before tests, on the playground, at home, etc.
Jessica Bowden, Blackshear Elementary First Grade ESL Teacher