I recently stumbled upon James Gaines intriguing piece posted on Upworthy called: This school replaced detention with meditation.The results are stunning.
Gaines reflects back on his school days. How being punished with a detention didn’t motivate him or give him much reason to change his ways. It didn’t help him understand what he’d done wrong or make him feel sorry, but instead made him bored. In the end, detention always left him feeling like it was “stupid and unfair”.
In contrast, Gaines brings his reader’s attention to a non-traditional alternative to detention, an approach aimed to help inspire children positively. At Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, instead of “doing time” in the detention room after school, or visiting the principal’s office, children learn to relax and reflect within a serene and environment called the Mindful Moment Room.
In the Mindful Moment Room students are given tools to calm and center themselves. To breath deeply. To observe their thoughts and “talk through what happened”—to bring a level of awareness to their own situation.
Gaines goes on to describe the additional programs put in place at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, created in partnership with Holistic Life Foundation where children regularly practice yoga asanas, visit nearby farms, and get involved in planting and tending a garden, as practical ways to help them de-stress. They also learn to support their communities by teaming up together to clean up local parks.
It seems to be doing the trick. Results show that school attendance is up and suspensions are down. Pretty amazing! Programs like these, which focus on giving children coping tools are both effective and beneficial—not only to individuals, but also to their peers, friends, and families.
My favorite part of the article describes one young student taking part in the Holistic Life Foundation program, and how she encouraged her mom to de-stress by asking her to sit down and take a moment to learn how to breath after a long, hard day. Heartwarming stories like these make us take a moment to realize that if our children can learn great coping skills, then we can all learn!
In my own life, the practice of yoga asanas, yoga breathing, and yoga sound meditation have brought me great happiness and deep peace. Passing that on to my children was something important that came very naturally to me. From a very young age, my children began learning yoga and meditation techniques that nourished them on all levels. In their own lives they’ve embraced these practices and have passed along what they know to their children as well.
Knowing that not only my children, but my grandchildren also, are equipped with the knowledge and skills to face life’s great challenges is satisfying. As parents, we all hope that our children grow up happy, healthy and strong. In order to help parents set their children on a lifelong path of health and happiness, I have developed my Little Yogis line of instructional yoga DVDs for kids. The yoga DVDs for kids include fun animation and songs to give kids the chance to explore different yoga asanas and breathing techniques that will help build their confidence, improve concentration, develop balance and coordination, and help their bodies be strong and flexible.
In addition to DVDs, my Little Yogis line includes games, fun & coloring books, music and even their own kid-sized yoga mat in a tote with a poster they can hang up in their room, to give them encouragement along the way. As a companion to the Little Yogis DVDs, I also offer my Daydream line to help children relax before naps or bedtime, and to leave their stress behind.
Wishing you well,