Mindfulness for schools

Bespoke tuition available for your curriculum

There are many factors that affect a child’s educational experience, here are a few examples:

  • Their natural affinity to academia versus practical experience
  • Their ability to form relationships with other children as well as adults
  • The size of classes and the level of discipline maintained in those classes
  • The facilities / resources made available to them by their family / the institution
  • Whether they school close to home of live away / board

If any of the above factors are limiting a kids ability to engage at school, mindfulness can potentially help the child to come to terms with the situation they find themselves in and move forward positively.

Are you qualified to work with children?

Yes we are! All of our teaching team have completed nationally recognised yoga qualifications, which include in their syllabuses the study of physiology. This means that whether being taught in person or online, your students and their parents can be sure that they are in safe hands. Further more, all of our team have also completed standard DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks, previously known as CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks.

Do children need to meditate in order to be mindful?

Experience tells us that some people listen more intently than others, or appreciate the simple things in life more readily. However, just because you think you know how to do something, it does not mean you stop learning. The best sportsmen in the world prepare before their competitions, world renowned actors turn up for rehearsals even though they know how to memorise their lines. Indeed if you truly do believe that you are living mindfully, you would see the value in taking time out to meditate.

If kids meditate, do they need to separately practice mindfulness?

In our experience , if the former occurs with an open heart, the latter will quite naturally follow. Indeed not behaving mindfully when you are away from “the mat”, can be likened to cooking a tasty meal, but not eating it. You’ve spent all that time preparing, but you’re missing the main event… And to some of us, thats just what life is, the main event, and it will happen to you, regardless of whether you appreciate or hide from it…

Where does mindfulness come from?  What is its history?

The origins of living mindfully cannot be pinned down absolutely, as in itself “being aware” is not a formal practice, It is likely that in the ancient past, at least on a basic level, humans were more in touch with nature and with what was gong on externally, these children of the universe were definitely not multi-screening…

However as we now know ancient tribes have always had power struggles, made war and done all sorts or crazy things, so its probably best to correlate the beginnings of mindfulness with the first growth of meditation, which also pre-dates written record. It is generally accepted that the first people to formally practice meditation existing on the Indian subcontinent over 7,000 years ago.

Many people point to the view that meditation – which forms a huge part of Yoga – is a tantric practice originally followed by devotees of Shiva. Indeed the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, from the 15th century, states that it was developed by a tantric sage with the same name. Other written sources, such as the Shiva Samhita, claim the same thing. That is why in India, Shiva is called the King of Yoga. He is believed to have lived on the subcontinent during the first Vedic Aryan invasion of India over 7,000 years ago.

Subsequently meditation became integrated within wider Hindu society and overtime also became part of Buddhism, itself a development of that societies practices. Approximately 600BC, Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) reached “enlightenment” by meditating under a Bodhi Tree. The major break between Buddhism and Hinduism occurred, as Buddha’s followers did not believe meditation to be a means of getting closer to a higher being – a God, but rather as a means of realising one’s interconnectedness with all things.

More or less in parallel with the development of Buddhism, Daoism (also known as Taoism due historic issues in translation) was on the rise in China. Daoism, is a philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasises living in harmony with the Dao. Dao is a word signifying the “way” or “key”. Dao is the intuitive knowing of “life” that cannot be grasped whole-heartedly as just a concept, but has to be known through actual living experience of one’s everyday being.

Unsurprisingly, when followers of Buddhism and Daoism met, they had quite a lot in common, and started to adopt each others practices. Culminating in Zen Buddhism. Zen emphasises rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others. It de-emphasises knowledge of texts, and favours direct understanding through Zazen – the nature of existence.

In more recent times, the “developed” countries of the world are seeing an increase in the number of people that do not follow a specific religion. This has led to the growing popularity of “Mindfulness”, a way of being not directly tied to a faith – it’s open to all. Whilst it can be argued that their have been many mindful people before Jon Kabat-Zinn, his pioneering research which began in 1979 and led to the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme has popularised the term and alternative approach to meditative practice.

Why should schools offer mindfulness classes?

  • Improves concentration when learning
  • Enhances intuition
  • Enables more aware decision making
  • Releases attachment to habits
  • Increases empathy for other children & adults
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