“Mindfulness is paying attention
in a particular way: on purpose,
in the present moment
- Jon Kabat Zinn
A bit of Background:
Several years ago, a portion of the proceeds from our annual CCDS Oyster Roast Fundraiser was allotted to staff development. Those funds, combined with a generous donation from Ebb Tide Wellness, afforded our staff a series of mindfulness classes led by Ebb Tide Wellness co-founder Heather Rupp. This gift was invaluable and has offered lasting effects for the staff AND our students. As a result we sought a way to directly involve the children in a Mindful Movement program the children could apply to themselves in their lives, particularly at school.
Angie Lavazzo, a CCDS Mom and certified children’s yoga instructor, offers our Mindful Movers enrichment program and was instrumental in the design of our program. Angie offered our first Mindful Movers Program classes for both our Toddler and Primary classes during the 2019-2020 school year. The enthusiastic response from our children motivated CCDS to continue to offer weekly classes during the 2020-2020 school year. Angie’s class explores breathing and visualization techniques and age appropriate yoga poses and stretching. When we are able, and the weather cooperates, we take the mats and the kids outside for their practice.
We seek to create a playful and peaceful environment designed especially for preschool aged children. In this space, children will learn age appropriate yoga poses, as well as breathing techniques to manage stress and cultivate a calm mind. Movement is incorporated in a fun way through games, stories, and songs while simultaneously increasing strength and flexibility and improve gross and fine motor skills. By following these movements with brief periods of stillness and silence, the students are better able to understand and appreciate the power of a quiet body and mind. For centuries, yoga asana, or movements, have used to enhance the meditation experience. Our mindful movers are similarly being introduced to meditation with the mantra, “Peace Begins With Me.” By introducing the yogic elements of breathing, asana, and meditation to our students, we are encouraging a self-awareness in body and mind that they can continue to build on throughout their life.