Mindfulness & Movement: A Movement To Help Children Move2 Comments March 15, 2014 / Posted in Mindfulness
My daughters from early childhood were raised with the saying: If you want to know the future, create it. Their children are now creating their future. The future is created by what we do now, and hopefully intentionally.
I had the opportunity to dialogue with Leah Kalish, MA, former Program Director of Yoga Ed., about the importance of influencing our future generations mind, body and spirit.
Leah is Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Move with Me Action Adventures. She believes, alond with many early childhood educators, that movement and mindfulness skills are two essential missing links in early childhood learning.They are of one mind that we all are responsible to support all children in being physically fit, emotionally stable, and learning able.
She and her small team of educators at Move with Me develop, produce and offer a unique interdisciplinary integration of story + exercise + self-regulation that truly engages the whole child. Their offerings fulfill educational standards while building focus, fitness, motor and social-emotional skills the the children involved. Move with Me is part of an ever growing number of educators bringing Mindfulness to our school systems. Just put “Mindfulness and Children” in a YouTube search and you will see what I mean.
Leah and her team have created their award-winning movement story video programs. Their comprehensive curriculum provide affordable, easy-to-use resources. These programs help anyone working with young children to provide active play and mindfulness practice needed to maintain the self-control necessary for academic and social success. At the same time it helps the children sustain a healthy weight to counteract the problem with obesity among our children.
Learning how to de-stress when young is essential to our children’s nervous systems, brains, and personalities. All of us have experienced the stresses of growing up. Imagine if we had coping skills as children to deal with what frightened, scared or bothered us. How many of us carry the scars into adulthood caused by “amygdula highjack” or letting others “live in our head rent free.” How much of our creativity and coping abilities were derailed by chronic or excessive stress. Many of us live with the damaging effects on our learning, behaviors, and health because we reacted poorly to what bothered us.
Move with Me, like the growing number of programs, are resources and trainings to teach children and their care-givers/teachers to handle stressed states. They learn needed skills to overcome the triggered survival mechanisms of the stress response.
They learn and use movement and mindfulness practices to change their emotional state as needed. They cultivate and sustain a less-reactive, more aware, and compassionate state by recognizing the signs of stress and choosing to take positive action via self-care practices.
Remember Mindfulness is a practice. Daily, regular participation in self-regulation exercises reinforces our ability to sustain an optimal state of focus to better manage stress. Check out the Scooter & Me Program. Also they have a good number of YouTube videos to watch.
Remember to give the children in your life a foundation for a mindful life!
This conference presentation by Jon Kabat-Zinn’s was part of a benefit for Mindful Schools: The Role of Mindfulness in Education. As Jon mentions, he didn’t need to use the work Mindfulness to teach these techniques that help anyone no matter their age.