– MINDFULNESS PRACTICE –
Peaceful Generation Now@Nanda
Our mission is to offer yoga and mindfulness programs in the school setting. We teach children, teachers and parents the tools to cope and self-regulate in the face of the toxic stress they face every day. This, in turn, aids in the prevention of violence in schools.
Whether students are stressed due to over demanding schedules or poverty, the result is impaired attention, emotion and mood regulation, sleep, and learning readiness in school. Even more troubling, prolonged exposure to childhood toxic stress has lifelong impacts on mental and physical health.
By practicing daily mindfulness exercises, students learn and relate to their peers better. Studies find that youth benefit from learning mindfulness in terms of improved cognitive outcomes, social-emotional skills, and well-being. In turn, such benefits may lead to long-term improvements in life. For example, social skills in kindergarten predict improved education, employment, crime, substance abuse and mental health outcomes in adulthood.
Stress related to the demands of childhood educators and therapists starts as decreased productivity and creativity, escalating to more serious symptoms like frequent anxiety, dissociation, frustration, and, eventually, burnout. Roughly half a million U.S. teachers leave the profession each year – a turnover rate of over 20 percent.
When teachers learn mindfulness, they not only reap personal benefits of reduced stress and burnout but their schools do as well. In randomized controlled trials, teachers who learned mindfulness reported greater efficacy in doing their jobs and had more emotionally supportive classrooms and better classroom organization based on independent observations. They in turn are able to better support their students along the same journey.
Toxic stress can lead to a parenting style that looks more like a “to-do” list, rather than an empathic, present-centered relationship with a developing child. Exposure to parental stress in early childhood has been shown to impact gene expression even years later in adolescence. 1 in 4 children experience childhood trauma by pre-school. It is also important to note that 80% of neural pathways are developed by the age of 4yrs old. The likelihood of this presenting later in teen years and adults as mental health issues is eminent.
Working together with the parents of the kids in the school district and offering practical life skills that we explore practicing mindfulness and meditation help develop attention, balance, and compassion- three qualities that help people navigate life’s challenges with more wisdom and compassion.
Our Solution: Yoga & Mindfulness
Because the roots of toxic stress lie deep in the sympathetic nervous system, we need tools that go beyond the conceptual mind to directly target that system. To transform our habitual responses, we need to regularly practice our skills when we are not in “fight – flight – freeze” mode. More importantly, we need to learn how to move ourselves from this stress mode into a “rest and digest” mode so that our bodies and our minds are more balanced. This is easily achieved with simple tools and steady practice.
Our courses establish yoga and mindfulness as the foundation for teaching
other methods of stress management, emotion regulation and interpersonal skills.
Who we are
Peaceful Generation Now@Nanda is a local community full service Yoga & Mindfulness program that promotes a way of being uniquely present. It is an open-minded, open hearted exploration for teachers, students, administrators and parents. Using the 5 mindful literacies to cross-reference SEL, Common Core and IB Curriculum already in place in the schools, the program addresses the physical body, mind, heart, interpersonal relationships as well as globally with the world around us. There is flexibility with the program so that it can be infused in the classroom lessons allowing space for the teachers to pick and choose what works best for them in their classroom environment student collective.
We offer Professional Trained Staff
Peaceful Generation Now@Nanda is a team lead by Sharon Persky and MaryClare Chiofalo E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPP’s and Mindful Educators creating a staff that is specifically trained to support a fully customized yoga & mindfulness program for all divisions of Pre-K- 12th grade.
All of our teachers have at least 200 hour adult yoga RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) and 95 hour children’s yoga & mindfulness training RCYT (Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher) certifications. In addition, we have staff that are also comprised of Educators, Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapists.
The Development of Mindfulness Program
The development of mindfulness, a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment.
The Development of Yoga Program
The physical practice that allows body and breath to bring the nervous system out of fight and flight into rest and digest. This allows the student to connect with their physical body and focuses the mind to relax to learn.
These trainings improve our ability to manage a number of significant psychological challenges associated with stress, including:
- Overwhelm. The sense that life – and particularly your own thoughts and emotions – is “too much to handle.”
- Over Programmed The sense that “doing things” has become compulsive – that you are constantly avoiding simply being with yourself.
- Rumination. The sense that the same stressful thought patterns “loop” over and over again in your mind without being questioned.
- Dissociation. The sense that you maintain unhealthy psychological distance from life and from people, cut off from your own and other people’s emotions.
- Entitlement. The sense that life is about what you deserve, not about how you can support the world around you.
Modern Mindfulness – A Brief History
Mindfulness has become mainstream due to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, a professor and Founder of the Mindfulness Clinic at The University of Massachusetts. He began by creating the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program in the late 70’s. His research provides almost 40 years of data to support that Mindfulness has a positive effect on the brain and individual well-being. MRI’s have shown that adults with a mindful practice have a thicker frontal Cortex, the place behind the forehead that is in charge of learning and critical thinking.
In the world of children, we are just beginning to see this work implemented into schools in a larger capacity. Research is still in the infancy stage but putting “data” aside for a moment, it is visibly noticeable the educators using these tools in their classrooms. A missing link is that many teachers do not have a mindful practice, so like yoga, it is hard to teach something that one does not have a somatic sense of in their mind-body experience. There are many offerings with different ways to offer mindfulness tools to use in the classroom and that is what we will discuss here for each age group
Solid scientific evidence suggests that mindfulness interventions improve attention, self-control, emotional resilience, recovery from addiction, memory and immune response. Here’s a summary of benefits particularly relevant to educators:
Strengthens our “mental muscle” for bringing focus back where we want it, when we want it.
- Emotional Regulation
Observing our emotions helps us recognize when they occur, to see their transient nature, and to change how we respond to them.
Becoming aware of our patterns enables us to gradually change habitual behaviors wisely.
Awareness of our own thoughts, emotions, and senses grows our understanding of what other people are experiencing.
Breathing and other mindfulness practices relax the body and mind, giving access to peace independent of external circumstances.
Seeing things objectively reduces the amount of narrative we add to the world’s natural ups and downs, giving us greater balance.
How to get started- call for a free consultation
Customize a plan for your school
We will create and support an Implementation of plan with the support of our professional staff
Witness the change by being the change