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Yoga in Schools: Meditation over Detention!

It's no secret that at The Calm Club, we are passionate about bringing Yoga and Mindfulness to young people. A huge part of what we do is work with schools and teachers, to bring these practices to a wide range of children.

Yoga and mindfulness are popular topics when it comes to schools. Using a "whole child” or “social emotional learning" approach is increasingly popular as we understand more deeply the emotional development of children.

Most of us have heard of the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in West Baltimore which replaced detention with meditation and made international news.

So why are some schools implementing meditation rather than detention?

What's the problem?

With anxiety and stress on the rise, many children today are faced with problems much bigger than they can deal with when at school.

And here at The Calm Club we have a dream: that ALL children grow up, understanding how to care for their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Data from NHS Digital suggests that one in six children and young people has a probable mental health condition. And sadly, the number of children reporting these problems has gone up since the start of the pandemic.

So increasingly, children are feeling disconnected from themselves, dis-regulated by their environment and often unsure of ways to cope. This has a cascade of impacts on their lives both inside and outside of school, including struggling to focus, challenges in relationships, feeling physically unwell, and poor sleep. All things that impact their school day.

What's being done? & How can it help?

There have been many studies carried out within schools that implement the practices of yoga, mindfulness and meditation during the school day.

This could be in the form of a club, a short teacher led meditation, or yoga programmes as part of PE for a term. Following are some researched examples of how meditation over detention can improve school lives.

1. Coleman Elementary in USA

This school implemented a mindfulness programme and made news in doing so!

This primary School starts with a breathing exercise over the announcement system and ends with an after-school program where, in addition to sports and tutoring, students can learn yoga and meditation.

And the data says that it’s working. In the 2013–14 school year, Coleman had zero suspensions.

" The meditation rooms look nothing like your normal detention room. Instead, it’s filled with lamps, decorations, and purple pillows. Misbehaving kids are encouraged to sit in the room and go through practices like breathing or meditation, helping them calm down and recenter. They are also asked to talk through what happened. "

2. The Dell in Monmouthshire

A school which has implemented mindfulness across the curriculum and throughout all years. They consider themselves ambassadors in Mindfulness and their children are practicing mindfulness techniques in the playground, without being prompted, and cascading these skills to family members.

The Head says: “the daily mindful Moments routine gives children that calm space in their heads which has a knock-on positive effect for teachers as children are ready to start learning in the afternoon”.

Mindfulness is ‘felt’ at e Dell, it is authentic and very ’present’: not just a ‘ticking the box’ exercise.

3. Rosary Primary School - The Calm Club

The Rosary implemented yoga into their PE programmes and after school clubs, and amazingly because the students asked for it. I visited the school weekly to provide all years with PE sessions focussed on breathing, moving and resting together.

Over the two terms working there, I gained feedback from staff and pupils that confirmed that these practices were 'trickling down' to classrooms and games that the children played.

A child's feedback was: "I love the rock pose because it helps me focus on my breathing. My favourite pose is the starfish pose it is SO relaxing!"

Bring Mindfulness & Yoga to your School:

So, our mission is simple. Introduce mindful, empowering techniques to children into classrooms for an impact that goes beyond their walls. We want to empower children and their families to live in a balanced and wholesome way.

Schools, enquire here to bring mindfulness and yoga into your school day:

And look out for a NEW course training teachers in mindfulness & yoga for the classroom!

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