Teacher Self-Care Series Part IV: Mindful Minutes: Welcoming the New Year

Teacher Self-Care Series Part IV: Mindful Minutes: Welcoming the New Year

 

Starting off the New Year can be both hopeful and daunting. As we get back into the swing of things, here are some Mindful Minutes practices to smooth the transition!

Cultivating an Attitude for Gratitude

This practice directs our attention toward gratitude. You don’t need any materials, and it hardly takes any time at all! This version of Cultivating an Attitude for Gratitude is intended to be practiced first thing when you wake up, while you are still nice and cozy in bed. The practice asks that you simply to think of one thing you are grateful for in those first moments of consciousness. Then allow your eyes to close and hold an image of what you are grateful for in your mind and in your heart. If you’d like, you can bring your hands, one on top of the other, on your heart space. Count five breaths into that thing you are grateful for, and gently open your eyes to the beautiful day ahead! This practice will naturally take about 1 minute. You can spend another 1-2 minutes in the practice if it resonates with you in the moment. 

Mindful Suns

You’ll need a little bit of room to move for this practice. Imagine a space the size of a yoga mat- if you have a mat, even better! Mindful Suns are a wonderful way to energize our mornings as soon as we get out of bed or into the classroom. They can also be a nice after-lunch pick-me-up (post digesting), or after-work release of energy. You will need 3-5 minutes to complete this practice (prior knowledge of Mindful Suns full-length practice strongly suggested).

Find yourself standing with your feet hip-width distance apart. Inhale your arms out wide and up overhead, bringing your palms to meet, gazing up. Exhale to gently bend your knees and swan dive forward to rest your belly on your thighs. Let your head and neck relax here, and sway side to side if it feels good in your muscles. Take 3 breaths like this.

On your fourth breath in, bring your hands to your shins and look straight ahead. On your breath out, plant your hands on the ground and step your right and left foot back to high plank pose (knees down are a welcome modification).

Inhale in plank and gaze forward. Exhale to lift your hips up and back for downward facing dog (your heels will probably not touch the ground). Check that your hands are shoulder distance apart, fingers spread wide, and middle finger pointing straight ahead (to align your wrists). Let your head and neck relax here, and take a gently bend in the knees. Take 5 deep breaths here.

At the end of your 5th breath, gaze forward and slowly walk your feet up to meet your hands. Inhale to lift half way, exhale to fold down. Inhale to gently bend the knees as you slowly reverse your swan dive to stand with your arms sweeping overhead. Exhale, palms meet and pull down in front of the heart. Take 3 breaths here, then open your eyes.

Now flow through this one more time, connecting breath to movement. The only difference is that time you’ll step your left foot back to plank instead of your right.

The length of practice (3-5 min) will depend on how fast you want to move and what is right in your body. If you have more time, you can always do a few more rounds!

Modifications:

  1. hug in your low belly to protect your low back
  2. knees can be down for the breath in plank
  3. knees can always be bend in down dog
  4. skip the plank and step straight to down dog if you’re not up for it or your low back isn’t feeling great today

Mindful Steps

Mindful Steps can be incorporated into any part of your day, for as long or as little time as you’d like. The first “step” is to tune into your breath: how are you breathing as you walk. Then your body: how do your muscles feel as you move. Then your mind: simply notice that you are walking. Notice the instinctual placement of one foot in front of the other, notice the pace of your steps, notice the feeling of the ground beneath your feet.

Continue this stream of conscious awareness for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. It is a great practice to incorporate into your walk to or from your car, lunch, the restroom- you name it. You can certainly practice during a leisurely stroll as well!

Mountain Pose

This practice can be done in 1-5 minutes. Find yourself standing tall with your feet hip-width distance apart. Sway a little side-to-side until you find nice, firm footing. Allow your arms to rest alongside your body with your palms facing forward. Close your eyes and tune in to your state of being in this moment. Lift up from the crown of your head, lengthening your spine. Lift up all of your toes and spread them wide before planting them firmly down again. Energize your fingers, as if you were reaching down toward the ground with them. Envision yourself as a sturdy mountain. Your feet are your base, and your head the peak. You are strong. You are steady. You are rooted to the earth, but rise up into the clouds. Feel your own strength and steadiness in this moment, and breathe into this feeling for 5 more breaths. Gently open your eyes and return to the present moment. If you’d like, you can extend this practice for another 10-20 breaths.

Teacher’s Tip: This is a great grounding practice in times when you need to come back to your center.nature-rocks-lake-moss

Teacher Self Care Series Part III: Legs up the Wall

Teacher Self Care Series Part III: Legs up the Wall

Time investment: 5 minutes

Have you ever had a long day and propped your feet up to give your hardworking legs and feet a rest? Legs up the Wall is bas11376956095_1145fab4a3_oically the superhero version of that posture. It gives your body a chance to sink into restoration, and your feet and legs a chance to rest without any pressure on them.

What you’ll need:

  • Enough wall space to extend your legs all the way up from the ground (watch out for picture frames, etc.).
  • A soft, non-slippery surface to lie down on: this can be a yoga mat or carpet. 

How to set up:

  • Turn off any bright lighting in the room to promote relaxation.
  • If using a yoga mat, set it up so the short end is against the wall. This will provide extra padding on top of carpet, or if you do not have a soft floor to lie on.
  • Sit sideways alongside the wall, with one of your hips, and one side of your legs snug against the wall. Legs can be bent as needed.
  • Lie down on the ground with one side of your body still more or less snug to the wall.
  • Now swing your legs up the wall, turning your torso about 90 degrees so that it is resting on your mat or carpet space in front of the wall.
  •  Your legs should now be up the wall (knees can be bent a little) and your torso should be facing the wall.
  •  If the back of your legs are tight, wiggle a little further away so there is more space between your seat and the wall.

Allow your arms to rest alongside your body, palms face up. If your shoulders are tight, you can make a cactus shape with your arms, or place your palms face down on your belly.

Set a timer for 5 minutes with a soothing tone to bring you back. If you have more time, then feel free to set it for 10! Gently close your eyes and set aside ALL to-do lists as you melt into restoration.

Optional Props:

  • A pillow under the sacrum
  • An eye pillow, washcloth, or light shirt/scarf over the eyes
  • Relaxing music

Teacher’s Tip: If you have the space, this can definitely be taught to students, family, and friends. It is a simple pose with awesome relaxation benefits!

Teacher Self-Care Series Part II: Mindful Minutes for the Holiday Season

Teacher Self-Care Series Part II: Mindful Minutes for the Holiday Season

Hello Teachers! This post is meant to follow Teacher Self-Care Series Part I: Intro to Mindful Minutes. It will be helpful to read through that one first if you have not already. Each practice below is a 1-3 minute investment. We recommended you practice them in the sequence presented below. You can try a new one every day, or stick with the same one for a week. Notice what works for you in this moment and roll with it!

Belly Breathing

Find a tall spine and comfy seat. Bring one hand to your belly, another to your chest. Notice the sensation of your palms on your body. Notice what your breath is like in this moment. Breathe into the weight of your palms, allowing the belly to rise. Breathe out and let the weight of your palms gently guide your belly back toward your spine. Allow the breath to flow in and out of the nose (unless you’re a little stuffy!). Continue this breath for either 1 minute or 3 if you have a little extra time. You can set a timer on your phone with a relaxing chime to bring you back into the moment.

Balloon Breathing

For those moments you just need a big breath and a big hug…

Find a tall spine and comfy seat. Inhale to take your arms wide, fingers spread. Exhale, slowly bring your arms back in toward each other. Cross your arms and give yourself a big, big hug! Inhale, open the arms again, this time a little more slowly. Exhale, savor the motion as you draw your arms around you for another beautiful, self loving hug. Continue this breath and movement for either 1 minute or 3 if you have a little extra time. You can set a timer on your phone with a relaxing chime to bring you back into the moment.

Restorative Rest Time

Find a soft or padded place to lie down (yes, you can do this before bed!). A yoga mat, blanket, or carpet will do. Bring your feet together to touch and let your knees fall out wide. If this is excruciating on your hip flexors, place a pillow, books, you name it, under the outer edges of your knees for support. Hands can rest along the side, or one hand can come to the belly, the other to the chest (think Belly Breathing). Continue sinking in here for either 1 minute or 3 if you have a little extra time. You can set a timer on your phone with a relaxing chime to bring you back into the moment.

Setting and Intention

For those days that need a little more direction….

Find a tall spine and comfy seat. Bring your hands one on top of the other on your heart space. Close the eyes and breathe into your palms. Envision something that you would like to create today. Whether it is movement, art, food, or space for yourself or others. Allow this image to come into your mind, and breathe into it from your heart space. Continue cultivating this intention for either 1 minute or 3 if you have a little extra time. You can set a timer on your phone with a relaxing chime to bring you back into the moment.

Teacher’s Tip: Once you feel comfortable with your Mindful Minute practice, feel free to share these with your students, friends, family… the list goes on! The best tip is to speak from your experience.

Also: You can ALWAYS practice for longer than 1 or 3 minutes!winter-forest-354248_960_720

Teacher Self-Care Series Part I: Intro to Mindful Minutes

Teacher Self-Care Series Part I: Intro to Mindful Minutes

You do a lot for your students; and the energy and time you dedicate to doing what you do is something that deserves recognition. Being recognized by other people isn’t enough though; it is important to have an appreciation for yourself, because you are the one who shows up day after day.

Most of the practices on this blog are meant to be practiced by both students and teachers. The wording is more developmentally tailored to fit a broad audience of students and adults. As earlier posts have referenced, self-practice is important to facilitate with impact of your delivery to your students. Another equalrelaxation-686392_960_720ly important reason to practice is to be able to refresh and refuel for all of the things that you do!

So these Mindful Minutes are for you. While it is ideal to take a longer time for your Mindful practices, we don’t always have the luxury of having that time to work with. Most of the Mindful Minutes do require a foundational knowledge of the longer practices to be able to drop right in. I have listed below.

Mindful Minutes: Full Length References:

  1. Belly Breathing
  2. Balloon Breathing
  3. Restorative Rest Time
  4. Setting an Intention
  5. Cultivating an Attitude for Gratitude
  6. Mindful Suns
  7. Mindful Steps
  8. Mountain Pose

Bottom line: no, there is no escaping putting in a little bit of time for these practices. HOWEVER, once you’ve practiced them and understand the cues, they will be easier to tailor to your own schedule (as we will teach in the form of Mindful Minutes). This is time for you, and you are experiencing the payoff in the long run. You’re definitely worth that investment!

Practice Tip (more time=more zen, but we understand you are busy!):

We suggest first practicing one of the above listed practices to familiarize yourself, then incorporating the Mindful Minutes practices for the rest of that week, or month! You invest a little time, but gain many Mindful Minute opportunities.

Giving Thanks Part II: Mindful Eating

Giving Thanks Part II: Mindful Eating

As many of us know from experience, Thanksgiving is often a time to eat…a lot! Just like in daily life, it’s common to eat and eat without even being aware of what we are actually eating. Have you ever looked down at your plate and been surprised to see that all the food was gone? We can practice Mindful Eating to be in the present moment, fully experiencing our meal as we eat it. This helps us to slow down and take time to appreciate the food in front of us, the people around us, and all of the things to be grateful for in this meal. Mindful Eating gives us an opportunity to experience eating in a new way.

We will begin with the actual practice of Mindful Eating and then take some time to reflect afterward. To practice this activity, you will need something small to eat like a raisin, a piece of chocolate, a cracker or a candy. Your teacher or parent might already have something ready for this exercise. Consider this a practice run for things you eat every day.

To begin, find a comfortable seat. Allow your eyes to gently close as you bring one hand to your belly and another to your chest. Take a few moments to check in with your breath. Begin to make your in-breath longer, filling up the belly. Begin to make your out-breath longer too, pulling the belly back toward your spine. Take five more rounds of breath like this before relaxing your hands onto your knees and coming back into the room.

Teacher’s script:

Pass out the edible item, cueing student to take a piece of food and pass it along. Instruct the students to do the following:

Place the food in the palm of their hand. Next, begin to notice how it feels, if it is heavy or light, smooth or scratchy. Pretend this is an food you have never seen before and you are like a scientist trying to figure out what it is!

Next, begin to move the food around between your fingers. Do you notice anything new? Bring the food up to your ear as you move it around with your fingers. Does it make a noise?

Now bring it back down to your palm. Next, we are going to bring the food up to our mouths, but don’t eat it yet! Did you notice that your hand moved it exactly where you wanted it to go? We usually don’t pay attention to the work our body is doing for us when we eat, like when we pick up a fork or spoon and bring it up to our mouths. Maybe say a little ‘thank you’ to your body for working so well!

Finally, place the food onto your tongue, without chewing it. Begin to move the food around in your mouth, noticing it’s texture now, and how it feels against your teeth and the sides of your mouth. Think about the flavor of the food. Is it what you expected? If you eat this often, does it taste any different than it normally does?

Now you can chew the food. Yay! Count the number of times you chew the food, and see if you can get at least ten chews in before swallowing it! Most of the time when we eat on autopilot, we hardly chew our food. This gives our bellies extra work to digest, and also makes it harder for them to know when they are full. When we chew our food more, we have a better idea of how full we are, and might not eat too much as often (this is good if you get tummy aches from being too full).

Once you swallow the food, see if you can feel how it lands in your belly. Notice how it feels to have something new in your belly to digest. Perhaps take a moment to be thankful for that food and that you have so much wonderful food to appreciate everyday.

See if you can practice this exercise at the thanksgiving table with something that you’d normally eat with your hands (like bread or a cookie). Practice Mindful Eating with that food and notice if it changes how you feel about the food you are eating. Most importantly, take a moment to give thanks for the food you have in front of you, and everything it took for that food to get to you. Give thanks for your family who cooked the food, and for everyone at the table. Also give thanks for yourself, for practicing Mindful Eating, and taking the time to appreciate what is around you. A lot of people don’t do that, and it is special that you just did.

Teacher’s Tip: It doesn’t matter what kind of food item you use, but rather that it is small and can somewhat melt in your mouth. You can also suggest that your students practice Mindful eating on a regular basis with everyday foods.

Student’s Tip: Mindful Eating is something you can practice every single day! There are opportunities to practice every time we eat. Try practicing Mindful Eating with something you eat every day and see if you notice anything different about the experience. This is also a great practice to try during other holidays you might celebrate. You can even teach it to your family members.3354087435_404e805d35_o-1

Adapted from Jon Kabat Zinn’s Raisin Exercise

 

Giving Thanks Part I: Cultivating an Attitude for Gratitude

Giving Thanks Part I: Cultivating an Attitude for Gratitude

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you might be thinking of what your family will be making for dinner, which relative’s house you’ll be at this year, or maybe if you can out-eat everyone at the table. While all of those are great things to have on your mind, we’re going to suggest taking a moment to Cultivate an Attitude for Gratitude. When you Cultivate something, you are helping to grow something that was planted long ago. All of us have an Attitude for Gratitude inside of us, but not everyone can tune in to it so easily!

This Attitude for Gratitude practice is a way to bring all of that to the surface so that you can learn to pick out things that you feel Grateful for in your life. Feeling Gratitude allows us to appreciate things and people in the present moment. Sometimes a Gratitude practice can be the perfect solution for a time that you are feeling down or lonely. It can also be a great practice for times you are feeling so happy you can hardly sit still!

Where to begin:

Start a gratitude journal

  • You can start practicing your Attitude of Gratitude by making a Gratitude journal.
    • A gratitude journal includes a daily reflection of something we are grateful for
      • This can be something as small as being warm and cozy in your bed at night to being able to spend time with your family or friends. Those are just a few examples, but the sky is the limit (you can even be grateful for the rain clouds in the sky)!
    • What goes in this journal?
      • Our suggestions:
        • Try sitting for a few moments, noticing your breath, body and thoughts. Once you become settled, allow your mind to focus on things that you are grateful for. Notice what pops up, allowing all answers to be okay, but choosing your favorite one or two for that day.
      • After noticing what you are grateful for, we suggest trying out one or all of the following each day for your entry:
        • A drawing
        • A picture or magazine picture
        • A poem you write about your feelings, or a poem you think talks about feelings you are having
        • A few words or sentences about what you are grateful for and why

Try journaling every day for a week, and notice how you feel! You might even want to tell some people you feel grateful for just how much they mean to you!

hands-63743_640Teacher’s tip: This is a great practice for the week of Thanksgiving, or any holidays where families gather and people come together to celebrate. Cue more concrete methods of journaling for younger children, and more abstract ones (like finding a poem) for older students. Tailor to their developmental levels as you see fit!

Student’s tip: If you like this practice, you can do it everyday for as long as you’d like. There is never too much Gratitude!

Mindful Teachers: Three Key Tips

Mindful Teachers: Three Key Tips

While this blog is meant to be very readable and developmentally tailored, there are some things that just can’t be directly taught through words. The following post is an experiential guide for Three Key Tips intended to facilitate your teaching skills, and hopefully increase their impact on your students.

  1. Practice
  2. Hold compassion
  3. Speak authentically

Practice: The hardest part of being a teacher of mindfulness can be making time to practice it your self! Have you ever noticed yourself giving advice to a friend and then realized that you don’t even follow your own advice? If not, then you are well on your way to the Mindful path (hold tight till the next paragraph). If so, you’re not alone. It is easy to see from the outside just how good certain practices can be, but to lotus-215460_640really know them, we must actually practice them! Practice, practice, practice is NUMBER ONE of the Three Key Tips. After developing a consistent practice, you might find that the other tips flow naturally from this one. If you are, or plan to be, teaching your kids or students these practices, make sure to practice them first. This will give you a deeper understanding of what you are asking them to do, and will allow you to better understand how the practices make them feel in their own bodies and minds.

Hold Compassion: Compassion for oneself and one’s students is a necessary element of the teaching and practice of mindfulness. As a teacher, it is important to hold space for every student, regardless of where they are at that day, and to hold compassion for yourself as you teach them. Teaching these practices is not about perfection, or attainment of a specific outcome, but rather how you are able to make space for, and honor, whatever is present in the moment. Neither you, nor your students need to be able to sit perfectly or concentrate without falter every single day. The fact that you are practicing, or trying to practice, is all that matters. Focus will come in time.

Speak Authentically: Leading practices with an authentic voice will affect the way that both you and your students feel in the process. Allowing your own voice and personality to shine through gives you a means to connect with your students in a way that no robotic tone can. Have you ever been to a yoga class or listened to a guided meditation that you weren’t really “feeling,” or that may have seemed a little fake? When we try to be someone that we’re not, whether it is an idol or a robot, others pick up on it. Moral of the story here: don’t be afraid to be yourself. Quirks, jokes and mistakes make the process so much more relatable!

Wishing you the best of luck on your Mindful Journey!

-The ELSPAP team

Mindful Suns: Brighten your Day

Mindful Suns: Brighten your Day

One way to brighten your day is to pump up your energy levels with some Mindful Suns. Mindful Suns builds off of our Mindful Mornings lesson of Moving with the Breath. If you haven’t practiced that activity yet, it can be helpful to feel comfortable moving with the breath before jumping right in to your Mindful Suns!955698710_48bb837761_b

If you practiced Moving with the Breath, but feel like you might need a little refresher, don’t worry! We will be practicing Moving with the Breath to warm up for our Mindful Suns. You might notice the ways that they are connected when we practice.

To begin, find a space as long as your body and wide as your arms to practice in. You don’t need a mat, but it can be nice to have if you plan on doing lots of Mindful Suns. We will begin by finding our Mountain Pose. You might remember that Mountain Pose can be the starting point for many kinds of Mindful Movement, including Mindful Suns!

Begin with your feet as wide as your hips, arms along your side, facing forward. Get really tall in your spine by reaching up through the tippy top of your head and down from the soles of your feet. Breathe in to grow up through your crown, breathe out to ground down into the feet. In order to grow, we must also have roots. This is true for a lot of other parts of our practices of Mindful Living.

From Mountain Pose, breathe in to lift the arms slowly up overhead. Breathe out to bend the knees a little and fold forward. Breathe in, hands to the shins and look forward. Breathe out to fold forward and step your right foot back, then left foot back to Plank! Take three full, Mindful Breaths here. Notice when you breathe in, and notice when you breathe out.

At the end of your third out-breath, lift your hips up and back to Down Dog! When you get here, check in to see that your hands are as wide as your shoulders, with your fingers spreading really wide. Check that your feet are as wide as your hips with your toes pointing straight ahead too. Take three breaths in and out here too. Notice your in-breath and notice your out-breath.

Press into your pointer finger and thumb to ground your hands down and breathe in to lift your right leg up. Breathe out to step your right foot forward and then your left foot forward to a fold. Breathe in to look forward, hands to shins. Breathe out to fold over the legs again. Root into your feet to rise all the way up with a long flat back, arms reaching over your head, as you breathe in. Breathe out, return to Mountain Pose and catch your breath. Everyone take a big breath in through the nose and sighhhhh it out of the mouth.

Now for round two! We will move in the same Mindful way, but starting with the left side leg this time. Breath in, arms up high overhead. Breathe out, bend the knees a little to fold with a long, flat back. Breathe in, hands to shins, look ahead. Breathe out, left foot back, then right foot back to Plank! Three Mindful Breaths here.

Now hips back and up to Down Dog, and hang out here for three more Mindful Breaths. Your head can relax, and you can close your eyes if this feels nice.

After your third out-breath, use your next in-breath to lift your left leg up and back. Breathe out to bring the left foot between your hands, and then your right foot. Breathe in to lift up half way. Breathe out to fold back down. Breathe in to root and rise all the way up, arms over your head. Breathe out to let the arms rest at your sides, back in Mountain Pose where we began.

Student Tip: Stay tuned for Plank to Down Dog Tips and Mindful Breath to learn even more about making your Mindful Suns as Mindful as possible! You can practice Mindful Suns a few times in a row if you’re really feeling like moving some energy.

Teacher’s Tip: If anyone’s wrists hurt in Down Dog or Plank, let them know that they can bring their knees down for support.

Refueling the mind and body: Refocusing our Attention

Refueling the mind and body: Refocusing our Attention

Refocusing our Attention is the final part of our Mindful Midday Series. After refueling our minds and bodies through nutritious lunch choices and movement, it is time to refocus our attention for the rest of the day ahead of us. When we move and leave the classroom environment, it is easy and natural for us to get distracted. We use mindfulness to bring us back into the present moment so that we can be our best selves wherever we are.504975350_c4efb5c515

There are many ways to refocus the attention when coming back into the classroom from your lunch break. Some of the ways we have learned before are: Mountain Pose, Senses Ladder Activity, Body Awareness Activity, Tree Pose, and even Waking up the Brain: Becoming Present from our Mindful Mornings series. If any of those activities worked well for you in the past, you can go ahead and try them out to see how they work as an after-lunch activity. It’s okay to try different ones each day until you find what is right for you. On some days, your teacher might want everyone to practice the same activity together, as a community. In this case, it is best to listen to your teacher’s instructions, and follow that practice the best you can.

Teacher’s Tip: The following is a group exercise than can be used to Refocus Attention. Reading the Mountain Pose post may be helpful, but it will be instructed briefly in this exercise as well.

Refocusing your Attention

Begin by standing up tall, with your feet as wide as your hips, and your palms facing forward. Mountain Pose is a wonderful way to become grounded in the present moment, so we will begin our exercise here. Notice your feet pressing into the floor below you, your fingers spreading wide, and the crown of your head lifting up high to the sky. Allow your eyes to gently close, and begin to breathe in and out through your nose.

See if you can direct your breath to the tips of your toes. Notice how it feels to move your breath and attention there. Now begin to slowly move your breath and attention up through the feet- pausing here, through the legs- pausing at the knees, into the hips- taking a few extra breaths there, the belly and low back- breathing in deeply, the chest and upper back- breathing deeply here too, and up through the throat to the very top of your head. We start at the feet so that we can feel centered and connected to where we are at this moment, both in the body and the mind.

Begin to notice the sounds in the room around you. Seeing if you can hear the sounds that are farthest away and the quietest first, and eventually listening for sounds that are really close by- like your own breath. As we bring our attention back in, notice how you are feeling now compared to when we started.

Take a moment to write or draw one reflection before we start our afternoon lesson.

Student’s Tip: You can use this practice anytime you would like to bring your attention back into the present moment, not just after lunch. Remember that there are many other activities you can use too, like the ones mentioned earlier in this post, and the best way to see what works best is to try them!

Refueling the mind and body: Move your Muscles

Refueling the mind and body: Move your Muscles

Have you ever noticed how nice it is to take a big stretch in the morning when you wake up? If not, try it tomorrow morning! After lying down in one place, it usually feels really good to move your muscles a little bit to help wake up your body and your mind. This can also be true after a long morning of sitting down at school. You can hit the refresh button for the mind and body during your Mindful Midday by Moving your Muscles after your Mindful Lunch Choices. Mindful Lunch Choices will give you the energy to Move your Muscles and wake up your mind and body so you’re totally refueled and ready to finish up your school day.sport-927759_640

There are so many different ways to Move your Muscles, depending on how much time you have and what you like to do. You can look at some of our past activities for ideas, which include: Walking Nature Meditation, Tree Pose, Mindful Steps, and our Mindful Movement activity.

What are some ways you like to move that we haven’t learned in this blog?

1.

2.

3.

If you eat a big lunch, and plan on moving a lot, it is probably a good idea to wait a little bit before you Move your Muscles so that you can digest. Leaving time to digest is important so your body can take in all the nutrients from your Mindful Lunch Choices.

Notice how you feel before and after you Move your Muscles. If you feel good, it looks like you’ve found a way to move that is right for you. If something you tried out didn’t make you feel very good, try something different tomorrow, or the next time you’re at school. Every day is different, and our bodies might need to move in different ways depending on how much energy we have, and how much lunch we’ve had too!

Teacher’s tip: if you know there are resources available like basketballs, soccer balls, hula hoops etc., consider suggesting that more athletic students help their peers learn how to play these games to Move their Muscles. This can be a good team building activity, and an alternative for students who don’t want to practice the suggested activities, or don’t know what to try.

Student tip: it can be fun to Move your Muscles with your friends. Playing a team sports game or even going for a walk around the field while you talk can be great ideas.