Kids Mindfulness

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which means that classrooms everywhere are exploring the ways fitness can cultivate healthier, happier, and more productive students.   On a recent trip to the Brightwood Education Campus in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Education (ED) observed an entire student body committed to mind-body awareness and health. Many schools around the country and beyond have already incorporated yoga and meditation into their curriculum, so this news might seem old hat for those of us in the mindful community. But how often does the Department of Ed actually drop by these mindful classrooms and experience the effects first-hand? While we’re not sure if this is the first time... the visit made a big enough impact to appear on ED’s blog.  In a post written by an intern, ED staff watched young students use mindfulness practices to stimulate their brains after nap time. He noted a positive “peer influence” among students; when one student would lose their attention span in the exercises, classmates would encourage them to focus and get back on track. “After the exercises the students had a chance to sit up tall, close their eyes, and breathe in unison,” the intern wrote. “Beyond just physical fitness, students and teachers participated in meditation and stretching in order to ease their minds and connect with other people around them." The intern also claims that it is the emphasis on mind and body awareness that has enhanced shool culture. He wrote that students ranging from K–12, the staff, and even parents are all invested in their own well-being and approach their peers with more empathy as a result. Noting the cultural diversity of Brightwood, he felt that the common mission of health and wellness is what draws everyone at the school closer together. Even better is that the teachers are evidently practicing the mindfulness exercises right alongside the students.    "Planting the seed of healthy living at an early age will allow the students to feel more supported as their lives become more stressful both academically and personally," the intern wrote. One more reason Nama-stay in school, kids -

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