“Mindful attention enters on a conscious awareness of the present moment: by focusing our attention and controlling our breath, we can learn to reduce stress and optimize the learning capacity of the brain. It is now well-established that social and emotional skills, such as the ability to manage one’s emotions and get along with others, play an integral role in academic and life success.” ~ MindUP Curriculum
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is a basic human quality, a way of learning to pay attention to whatever is happening in your life that allows you a greater sense of connection to your life inwardly and outwardly. Mindfulness is also a practice, a systematic method aimed at cultivating clarity, insight, and understanding.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction theory
Mindfulness is not something that you have to acquire. It is already within each of us—a deep internal resource available and patiently waiting to be released and used in the service of learning, growing, and self-regulating. While the practices have been adapted from classical meditation practice and yoga traditions, mindfulness is a secular, brain-science based approach that is non-denominational and operates in harmony with any belief system or spiritual background.
Why Yoga + Mindfulness?
Yoga and mindfulness are interrelated traditions that focus on the holistic wellness of the entire person. While many think of yoga as postures and breathing techniques, the full + complete practice of yoga provides us with an accessible method of bringing the whole human – body, breath, and mind – into a balanced and healthy state. These practices work to systematically bring a greater amount of present-moment awareness to all areas of life.
“Many of our children are living a life dictated by their impulses. Yoga provides us with a set of tools for creating space between the input of our life experiences and the output of our reactions. In that space, we can pay attention. We can notice what we are feeling, think for a moment, and make decisions. Once we learn to find that space, we can use it to take control of our lives.” ~ Jennifer Cohen Harper
What does Mindfulness programming accomplish?
Our Mindfulness Programming is based upon the theories developed for the MindUP Curriculum.
TYP Mindfulness Programming is not a set of strategies to teach in isolation: the approach is meant to be an integral part of a complete classroom or school culture.
At The Yoga Project, we aim to normalize yoga and mindfulness in schools through:
Movement has a positive impact on anxiety, stress, and general mental health. Yoga programs have been shown to increase executive function in children, including improving focus and reducing impulsivity. ~ Diamond and Lee, 2011
“In one study, students who practiced mindful breathing reported that they were better able to focus, relax, reduce anxiety before tests, make better decisions when in conflict, and redirect their attention when off-task.” ~ Napoli, Drech, and Holley, 2005
By teaching children that they are in control of their own breath, we can help them to self-regulate their emotions and their experience with their self and the world around them.
Mindful Brain Activities:
Having a wandering mind is a natural thing; it shows you are curious and engaged in the world around you. However, with so many external stimuli in this day and age, focusing when needed, especially in a school environment, can be a challenge. “The important thing to learn is how to quickly notice when your mind is starting to wander and then to bring it back to the task at hand.” ~ Jennifer Cohen Harper
How TYP Mindfulness Programming varies across the ages
Grade K-2 – focus is placed upon developing the child’s self-regulation skills
Grade 3-5 – focus is placed upon the students’ broadening of self-awareness
Grade 6-8+ – TYP students use techniques to prepare themselves to learn (time-management, organization, self-regulation, interaction with peers and the world around them)
Mindful Teaching and Learning (MindUP)
- improve children’s self-control and self-regulation skills
- strengthen children’s resiliency and decision making
- bolster children’s enthusiasm for learning
- increase students’ academic success
- reduce peer-to-peer conflict
- develop children’s positive social skills, such as empathy, compassion, patience and generosity
- infuse classroom learning with joy and optimism
Professional Development for Staff & Faculty