Sushumna Yoga is dedicated to the holistic treatment of the mind, body and soul
Mindfulness is paying attention to your inner life, here and now, with curiosity and kindness.
It is the western way of understanding Meditation, which can because of a certain conditioning, not be recognised as an accurate state as it brings up concerns of dogma or religion.
One of the primary paradoxes of modern education is that we ask students to “pay attention” many times a day, yet we never teach them how. The practise of mindfulness teaches people how to pay attention, and in this way it enhances our academic, social and emotional learning.
As human beings we have the unique ability to be aware of our internal and external worlds and how we interact between them. We can be present when we are attending to our breath, body, thoughts, emotions, smells, tastes, sounds and sights. This triggers our impulses and actions and their obvious effects on others and our environment. The aptitude to pay attention is a natural, innate human capacity.
As a classroom teacher, you are very aware that many of your students are stressed. Especially in a world where you simply have to walk down a street and feel threatened or paranoid that anything can happen. The stress we all feel about this has made us more violent and uncaring.
Then the other concern is performing, succeeding and getting into further education. Many children in Europe are trying to survive in extremely challenging, traumatic home environments and heartbreaking life circumstances. You have also realised that pupils who are stressed have difficulty with their ability to learn, and that the emphasis on achieving, is neglecting the development of the socio-emotional qualities essential to accomplish a place of relevance in this world.
Students are being diagnosed with depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, OCD, cutting and many other addictions with self‐destructive behaviours at epidemic rates. Cruelty, bullying and violence are the norm. All children benefit from learning to focus their attention so that they become less reactive, and learn to be more compassionate with themselves and others.
Our preoccupation with scientific methods is finally now documenting the negative impact that stress is having on the ability to learn new things everyday. Not surprisingly the research proves that executive function correlates with working memory, Data shows that stress and poverty results in the inability to make proper decisions, and affluent teens are just as stressed, depressed and anxious as their lower‐income peers.
Over 30 years of research with adults has shown that Mindfulness decreases anxiety, stress, hostility and depression and enhances proper function, compassion and empathy. Related studies have shown that self‐compassion has academic benefits, especially when dealing with perceived failure.
The heart of my work with children is centred towards helping to equip them with the skills and techniques that they need in order to reach their full potential as creative, resourceful, grounded and unique individuals who are able to cope with the rising pressures of living in the 21st century, including those pressures at school.
My desire to help children of all ages is reflected in my carefully planned and structured mindfulness (yoga) classes for children, with the drive to equip them with exercises that help them to cultivate and grow the qualities of kindness, gratitude, joy and compassion. This is achieved through exploring the possibilities found in the present moment, the here and now. My work has a proven track record of showing how mindfulness contributes to positive behaviour for learning and consequently their progress and attainment, therefore making it an inclusive, holistic practise for all children, including those with EAL and SEN. The raw emotions of anger, sadness, jealousy, hatred and fear are universal. Mindfulness helps equip children to face and deal with these emotions in positive and constructive ways.
My unique interpretation of mindfulness has proved that children can sustain a ‘living in the moment’ state of mind, allowing them to be more aware of their thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, the other people around them and their surrounding environments.
If the teachers and students can benefit from all of the above, then it stands to reason that most parents, irrelevant of their financial or class status, would if they were educated on the advantages of this age old form of living a better, healthier and more happy life, take advantage of it with full support.