We often receive emails and phone calls from teachers and counselors asking us, “How do I bring the benefits of yoga and mindfulness to the youth I serve?” The answer is simple, but not always easy to do:
Start with yourself.
As educators and counselors we know that the most important factor in our success is our relationship with our students and clients. And there are probably no better practitioners of what I would call “practical mindfulness” than teachers, counselors and parents.
For it takes great skill to stay focused and keep a loving presence for our youth amidst challenging and chaotic circumstances, to really “see” your student’s gifts and support their growth, and to keep calm so that children can feel safe and learn from us how to regulate their nervous systems. You do this every day, and we have been constantly humbled by your skills and strength.
And yes, we aren’t always calm or skillful in the face of today’s challenges. We make mistakes and lose our cool or get frustrated or fatigued.
In the last 10 years of teaching professional development courses, we know that many educators and therapists are burning out and leaving the profession. You know the reasons. And until the system changes, we need new skills and support.
So when asked how to start teaching wellness skills such as yoga and mindfulness, we recommend starting a simple practice.
Restorative Yoga & Natural Breath Inquiry
In our last blog post, we shared several simple ways to use our breath to calm and center ourselves during our daily activities with our students and families. But we also recommend deepening your mindfulness practice.
The following restorative yoga and natural breath inquiry video from our Wellness 1 course will help you to recover from the stresses of your work, embody mindfulness so you can teach it, and learn Yoga Calm’s 5 key breathing principles from our book Yoga Calm for Children — All in just 9 minutes!
So, take a break with this practice. Help yourself and those in your life. Developing your mindfulness practice doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. Just 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference.