Looking Back: Making a Garden for your Mindful Body (to practice Eating, Movement, and Rest)!

Looking Back: Making a Garden for your Mindful Body (to practice Eating, Movement, and Rest)!

A garden is a wonderful place to put all of our Mindful Body lessons together in action. Gardens provide fresh, healthy foods for Mindful Eating, a fun and interactive way to participate in Mindful Movement while growing and taking care of our food, and a peaceful place to take some moments to ourselves, or with others, in Mindful Rest. Let’s learn about how we can do this!

Mindful Eating in our Garden

Mindful Eating requires us to know about our food, and be sure that it is doing good for our bodies. Having a garden to grow our food in lets us see the process of our food’s life cycle from start to finish. We know everything that goes into our food, so we know everything that goes into our bodies when we eat it! When planning what will go into a garden, be sure to check out what is in season, as things that can grow often change depending on the time of year.

Mindful Movement in our Garden

Making and taking care of a garden requires lots of Mindful Movement! Creating our garden space can take some work when we are setting up our planters, or planting space, and when we are gathering all of our materials to grow our food with. Our gardens will require Mindful Movement to help pull out weeds so our food can grow, and to water our plants when they need it so that they don’t get thirsty! Once your garden is all set up, you can practice Mindful Movement by walking to it and around it as often as you can.

Mindful Rest in our Garden

Gardens can be very peaceful places to rest and recharge after a long day at school or out with friends. Be sure to make a space in your garden where you can go to have some rest time: like an outdoor rest nest. This could look like a chair or a bench, or maybe you can bring out a towel or blanket (with your parent’s permission) to sit on in the garden. Once you are out in the garden, you can also try practicing mindfulness activities like Thought Clouds or Belly Breathing before practicing Restorative Rest time… or you can jump right in. You are also welcome to find your own ways of practicing Mindful Rest in the garden. IfCarrots you have one you really like, maybe you can even share it with your friends or teacher so they can practice too!

The Mindful Body Part III: Mindful Rest Habits

The Mindful Body Part III: Mindful Rest Habits

Mindful Rest is the last part of our Mindful Body series. Learning to find time for rest is a very important part of having a Mindful Body. Mindful Rest is finding a way to rest that nourishes your body and mind so that you can continue to support your practices of Mindful Eating and Mindful Movement. Without rest, it is harder for us to make healthy choices, and we can make decisions that aren’t the best for the Mindful Bodies we are practicing to have.cat-289591_640

You can think about Mindful Rest in the same way you think about getting a good night’s sleep. We need sleep to feel ready for our day, and to do all the things we want to do. Well, we also need rest to re-charge after we do lots of those things we want to do, so that they can turn all of our activities into positive energy for our Mindful Bodies. Mindful Rest is as simple as taking a few moments to yourself each day, or as many days of the week as you can, to let all of the benefits of your healthy choices turn into awesome positive energy to grow your Mindful Body.

You might want to try out the following Mindful Rest practices in your Rest Nest (or make a Rest Nest if you don’t have one yet), or you can practice Mindful Rest anywhere that feels cozy to you.

Once you’ve found your rest space, you can practice any of the Mindful Rest activities we’ve already learned, like Restorative Rest Time, Belly Breathing, or Setting an Intention, or you can make up your own. Mindful Rest can be as simple as lying down and listening to relaxing music, drawing, or reading.

Feel free to share your ideas with teachers, parents or friends!

Student Tips: You might choose to journal about your rest time, or maybe schedule in rest time as much as every day. You might even teach your parents or siblings some rest techniques! Perhaps you could even suggest a family rest time.

Teacher Tip: You might consider creating a rest time in the day so that students have a safe and structured space to rest at school. You can also mix up the location, checking out different peaceful places at school. Rest is a great after recess idea, and a great idea at the beginning or end of the week to help get everyone on the same page.

The Mindful Body Part II: Mindful Movement Habits

The Mindful Body Part II: Mindful Movement Habits

This week’s Mindful Body lesson is on Mindful Movement Habits. Remember that word: habit? We learned about habits in last week’s introduction to the Mindful Body series. In case you need a refresher, habits are something that becomes automatic for us to do after we spend lots of time practicing it. This means that we practice it so much, we do that thing without even having to think twice about it. Creating healthy habits will help you all throughout your life, because they will keep your mind and your body strong for all of the things you want to do!

Mindful Movement is any kind of movement that we do with the intention of keeping our bodies and minds healthy (remember our Setting an Intention practice?). Mindful Movement can be challenging and make you sweat, or it can be really slow and make you super calm. The best part is that there are SO many ways to practice Mindful Movement. One of the easiest ways to do this is to go for a walk outside (with a parent or older sibling) or in a garden! You can practice Mindful Movement Habits with the activities we’ve learned so far, like Mindful Steps WCommon_dolphin_noaaalking Nature Meditation, or simply paying extra attention to whereyou are and how you move through your walk.

Another wonderful Mindful Movement practice is postures like Tree Pose, or Mountain Pose, Balloon Breathing, or other yoga poses that you might learn at school or in future blog exercises. If you like to swim or play other sports, those also count as Mindful Movement, so long as you are paying extra attention to your body and mind while you do those activities.

What kind of Mindful Movement Habits do you have?

What kind of Mindful Movement Habits would you like to try?

Think of some times and places that you can practice these Mindful Movements. Maybe you can even challenge yourself to practice them at least two times this week.

Student Tip: See if you can find other peers who have the same Mindful Movement interests as you and play with them during recess or outside of school (with your parent’s permission). Mindful Movement Habits are a great thing to practice with your friends and a great way to make even more friends.

Teachers Tip: Try practicing Mindful Movement with your students during class time. If you have a garden, a garden walk would be a great way to practice Mindful Movement. Earlier posts are also available to support you with Mindful Movement ideas.

The Mindful Body Part I: Mindful Eating Habits

The Mindful Body Part I: Mindful Eating Habits

The first step to a Mindful Body is a lesson on Mindful Eating Habits. We eat to give our body energy to do all of the things we want to do. The food we eat, and the way we eat it, changes the way that our body works, including the way we think. Our body works together, so foods that are good for one part of the body will also help other parts of our body too. This is why it is important to have a balanced diet, because a balanced diet makes a balanced and Mindful Body. The Mindful Body runs best on healthy energy so that it can work its very best to help us do all the thingbackground-2277_640s we want to do.

What kinds of foods do you think give you healthy energy? How often do you eat these foods? Take a minute to think about this. You can write down your answers, or share with the class if asked by your teacher.

What kinds of foods probably don’t give you health energy? How often do you eat these foods? Take a minute to think about this. Your teacher might ask you to write your answers down or share with the class if you

A lot of the time, we think that healthy foods all taste gross, so we don’t want to eat them. There are a lot of ways to eat healthy in a way that tastes good too. Do you have any healthy recipes or foods that you really like?

Our activity today is to draw our favorite healthy food and write out how to make it (or where to get it) so we can share it with the class.

If there is enough time in class, your teacher might let everyone share their favorite healthy snacks and recipes out loud with the class. But remember, everyone likes different things, and it is okay for people to like foods that you might not like very much. The important part of this activity is to be respectful of everyone’s favorite healthy foods. You never know, you might actually like them if you try them!

Lastly, even though certain foods are very healthy on their own, they also have to work together with other healthy foods to make our Mindful Body. This is just like the body’s different parts have to work together all the time. This means eating fruits, veggies, grains, protein, and dairy (if you aren’t allergic) or something that gives you similar nutrients.

Student’s Tip: Try making one of the recipes you learned about today with your parents at home! One of the best ways to remember what you learned is to teach it to someone else.

Teacher’s Tip: Teachers might consider making a booklet of the recipes shared for the kids to take home. Teachers might also want to provide resources for learning about a balanced, healthy diet. A sample resource is choosemyplate.gov.

The Mindful Body: A Three Part Series

The Mindful Body: A Three Part Series

These next few posts are going to be a series on The Mindful Body. We go through each day with our bodies, and we are now learning to train them
to be mindful. How does the body become mindful? You might ask. Well, the body becomes mindful, just like the mind does: through practice. Practice, when practiced enough, will eventually turn into a habit. A habit is something we naturally do. While we want our practices to become like habits, so that we don’t even have to think of them as work to do, we always want to remember that practicing is the most important part of being mindful. We practice for the same kinds of reasons we practice other things, like sports, a musical instrument, or art. If we don’t practice, we get “rusty,” and our Mindful Body becomes less strong. But if we do practice, then our Mindful Body will get stronger and stronger, and the practices will become so easy to do!

Lets begin by thinking of all the things that our bodies help us do. What does your body help you do? Are there any sports you like to play, places you like to go, or activities you really like? It is harder to do all of the things we really love when our body isn’t happy and healthy. These next few lessons give us three simple ways to help make our bodies healthy.