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  • Nov 9 2016

    Mindful Meditation Is The New Detention

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    How Mindful Meditation Can be The New ‘Detention’

    ONCE AN OUTCAST, NOW A COMMUNITY

    Most of us remember ‘the detention room’ at school: the designated classroom or space where ‘disruptive’ students we were told to go sit and think about what they’ve done wrong, and in some cases write out a repetitive assignment as punishment. This was the room where the teacher, via school system, could give a grown child their ‘time out’ so the class in session could resume with more order.

     

    ALIGNED APPROACH

    What if schools offered meditation in place of detention…or suspension? This conscious practice is exactly what Robert W. Coleman Elementary school has implemented as a mindful strategy to encourages children who have misbehaved or were disruptive, to practice breathing and meditation. The school’s Mindful Moment Room allows them to cool down and re-connect with themselves. So that instead of the Principal’s office or a bare, windowless detention room, they have a space to practice yoga (led by a teacher) or sit in quiet meditation – a space has been thoughtfully filled with plush pillows, mood lamps and tasteful accent pieces. Nothing fancy, just warmer and more ‘zen’.

    The school created the room with the help of the Holistic Life Foundation (HLF), a nonprofit organization that promotes wellness among underserved kids and adults.

     

    HOW MEDITATION HELPS

    Meditation is a way to bring peace and stillness to the mind, allowing for increased attention span and focus, thus teaching children to become aware of their emotions, and giving them tools to deal with the consequences of such emotions. Instead of embarrassment and anger for lashing out due to a heightened emotion (natural human reaction), children feel calm, connected and most importantly: understood. Breathing exercises ideally replace fist fights…going into a yoga pose works out the kinks in body and mind: imagine the monumental possibility this could hold for new generations.

     

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    INSPIRING STATS

    Incredibly, the Robert W. Coleman school has reported zero suspensions since implementing the Mindful Moment Room. Amazing. Perhaps they’ve turned theory on its head?

    The school’s Principal, Mrs. Carlillian Thompson shared on HLF’s site:

    “There are some children who have anger management problems. The yoga program has enabled those children to do meditation techniques and instead of them reacting and getting angry, they’ve learned how to meditate and redirect their anger.”

    Considering this could be key as an option, by teaching our children from a young age to become connected, in tune with their feelings, and ultimately respectful individuals who start out learning self-awareness and an awareness of their emotions and actions which in the past would not be considered or they could be made to feel shamed.

    It is concepts like this – if implemented more organically in more schools – that give new direction and hope more peace and presence in future.

     

    RESOURCES AND POSITIVE ACTION

    • Upworthy published some results about Robert W. Coleman School’s shift: article
    • And Casey Feicht, who founded Kids Yoga Trainings in Denver approved by Yoga Alliance, created this beautiful yoga ‘sun salute’ for children:
    1. Reach up I touch the Sun.
    2. Bend down I kiss the Earth.
    3. Look up I see the Bluebirds fly.
    4. Jump back I watch the Ants go by.
    5. Face up I smell the Air.
    6. Press back without Care: Breathing 1 > I love the Sun. Breathing 2 > We are all one. Breathing 3 > I am the light. Breathing 4 > That shines so bright. Breathing 5 > Get ready to GO!
    7. Jump up I lift my Heart.
    8. Bend down just like the Start.
    9. Reach up I touch the Sun.
    10. Namaste we are all Done.
    Shared with permission by Casey Feicht.

    Namaste.

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