It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year since the 2019 Muir Empowered Mental Health & Wellness Conference. I had an amazing time being a part of such a positive, empowering event for Muir Middle School.
Throughout the day, I taught several Mindfulness & Yoga classes to Muir students and staff. It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to the practice of Yoga and Mindfulness. We filled the cafeteria with mats and students were able to take a 60 minute class. They were able to practice intentional breathing, movement, stretching and Yoga poses and of course Savasana.
It was amazing to see the transformation in the students and staff from when they came in, moving through the practice and relaxing in Savasana. Many participants came up to me and commented on how great they felt after class, shared that this was their first yoga class and that they were going to seek out yoga in the future. I love that they were able to experience the benefits of Mindfulness and Yoga in a safe, compassionate, supportive environment.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga can have positive benefits both on both physical and mental health. Dr. Marylynn Wei states that “Yoga improves balance, strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity in children. Yoga and mindfulness offer psychological benefits for children as well. A growing body of research has already shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behavior, and can even reduce anxiety and stress in children.” in her article More than just a game: Yoga for school-age children, January 2016, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.
Pics of my classes taken at the event by myburbank.com photographer Ross Benson.
I love sharing Yoga and Mindfulness with others and believe giving children the skills they need to maintain both physical and mental health is imperative. The earlier they can incorporate these practices into their routine, the better equipped they will be to handle things like stress and anxiety.
Yoga as a Practice
Yoga is also a place of non-judgement where there is no such thing a perfecting a pose. You practice the poses as your body allows you to – and that is the beauty of it. Yoga is for every BODY, there is always a modification available or a way to level up for those looking to challenge themselves more. In Savasana, practitioners are able to unwind, relax and recharge – these minutes of mindfulness are critical components for both mental and physical health.
… the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.Yoga for anxiety and depression, May 9, 2018 Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School
I’ve been thinking a lot about children and stress, especially now when so many students are distance learning and really need tools to help with stress, anxiety, focus and self-regulation. We may not be able to fill the cafeteria with classes or practice in studio, but with technology we can maintain our mindfulness and yoga practices. These classes allow students to stay connected, breathe, move and relax from home. Namaste, my friends.
Here is the full article on the Muir Empowered Mental Health Conference: