Huntington Students Practice Yoga & Mindfulness through Educational Foundation Grant
Published on 3/18/19
District News Huntington K-8 School
Huntington students enjoyed an introduction to yoga & mindfulness, thanks to School Psychology Intern Aleece Behr and a grant funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation.
Ms. Behr earned her 200-hour yoga certification over the summer and was interested in seeing how mindfulness strategies could help students self-regulate and become more self-aware. Five classes – ranging from kindergarten to second grade – volunteered to take part in a series of five 25-minute sessions.
“I wanted to empower students so they see that things aren’t out of their control,” Ms. Behr explained. “They became more interested and excited everyday… they just wanted to start moving! But I was surprised with how much they were able to connect with the bigger concepts. They were able to see how mindful breathing and movement can help them calm themselves when they’re feeling scared or angry.”
Sessions addressed topics including an overview of yoga and mindfulness; breathing activities; movement versus stillness and using breath to notice our bodies; yoga sequences; and a yoga board game and review.
“I liked learning about yoga,” first grade student Journee Sullivan said. “It’s good because you get to do a lot of moving, but it made me feel calm. My favorite poses were the bird and the bridge pose. Sometimes, my heart beats so fast, but they calmed me down and made my heart go slow.”
Journee noted that the sessions taught her about using her senses: brain, body, breath, she recited, noting how they are all connected.
At the end of each session, students had time to write in their own yoga journal about their favorite pose, why they liked it and how it made them feel. They were able to bring the journals home with them after the sessions to help prompt discussions with their family members and to encourage them to keep using those mindfulness strategies at home.
After the five sessions, each classroom received a yoga mat, two yoga books and two yoga DVDs, yoga pose cards and yoga/mindfulness games to keep for future practice. The sessions were such a success that some of the classes expressed an interest in continuing their new yoga and mindfulness activities during indoor recess times!
This is one of 22 projects funded in 17 schools this year by the SCSD Educational Foundation, totaling more than $62,000. To learn more about this year’s grant projects, please visit www.scsdfoundation.com.