Yoga Calm At Bridging the Hearts & Minds of Youth Conference, San Diego

by | Feb 27, 2015 | Yoga Calm

Bridging Hearts & Minds of Youth logoWe’ve just arrived in San Diego for our return visit to this amazing conference, where educators. clinicians, researchers and administrators from around the country come together to share ideas, inspiration and knowledge of using mindfulness and compassion to help young people successfully face the challenges facing them today.

Yoga Calm’s Lynea Gillen and Kathy Flamino are honored to be presenting “A Somatic Approach to Bullying” as one of the meeting’s Saturday afternoon breakout sessions, from 3:35 to 5:00. If you’re here at the conference, we hope you’ll join us!

And if you’re not here, scroll down to the end of the article for links to some of our past posts on the topic.

A Somatic Approach to Bullying:
Yoga, Mindfulness and Superhero Stories to the Rescue

Lynea Gillen, LPC, RYT and Kathy Flaminio, LGSW, RYT

Jacob, a 12-year-old student who is often teased, rushed into my office exclaiming, “It worked, Mrs., Gillen! It really worked!”

“What worked?” I asked.

“That thing you taught me about bullying. I stood in mountain, rooted myself, looked him in the eye and said ‘Stop’ in my strong voice. And guess what? He stopped!” Jacob looked as though he still couldn’t believe he had the power to stop the bullying behavior.

Learn about the underlying issues of bullying including the roles of the bully, bystander and victim. Research shows that children who are bullied often have a posture and a story of victimization. In addition, trauma, low self-esteem, learning disabilities and obesity can set up a child for ridicule and rejection. These children begin to walk and talk in a victimized way and they begin to form a story of rejection and low self worth which perpetuates bullying. The “Bully,” often also comes from a place of trauma and victimization, posturing him or herself in a way that threatens, hurts and ridicules others. Bystanders are often caught in a conflicting role not knowing what to do. Everyone loses with bullying.

Through interactive role play, yoga and simple mindfulness practices, participants will learn how to teach K-8 youth practical skills that build self-awareness, leadership, resilience and a positive life story. Lynea Gillen, will share from her 30+ years of teaching yoga and mindfulness in elementary schools and a Wayne State University study of her methods in a high poverty, Detroit school. Kathy Flaminio will share from 20 years of school social work and teaching trauma-sensitive yoga, mindfulness and social/emotional skills at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. Come ready to move, be inspired and walk away with practical, powerful and life-affirming practices to help youth.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review latest research supporting mind/body interventions from the fields of attention, trauma and social/emotional development. Research from Wayne State University and case studies from Minneapolis Public Schools, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and the Portland Children’s Program will be highlighted.
  • Engage in highly interactive activities that combine simple yoga-based movement with storytelling, role playing and social-emotional skill development.
  • Learn how to teach 5 basic mindfulness/yoga techniques, to improve self awareness, develop compassion and to change the posture of victimization.
  • Discover how to use myths, stories and symbolic language to provide hope and inspiration and help children develop a positive family narrative.


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