Mindfulness and Compassion for Educators

May 25, 2022

By Jeannie O'Neill

Mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, without judgement, to the present moment. Awareness, attention, empathy, kindness and grounding are all benefits of mindfulness practices. 

In the numerous schools and classrooms where I have taught mindfulness, the most consistent outcome for teachers has been a renewed sense of empowerment. By taking the time to incorporate breath practices throughout the day, teachers report a heightened ability to find ease. Consistency is key to creating lasting effects. Perhaps the best way to explain mindfulness is if we do it together. 

Close your eyes and notice your breathing. Feel your chest rise and fall. Feel the cool air come in your body and the warmer air come out. Notice, where you feel breath the most. Where do you imagine it is going? 

Do you feel your breath in your nose? How about your throat? Do you feel your breath in your chest? Perhaps you feel it in your stomach. Wherever you feel your breath, that is what we call an “anchor spot.” It anchors you to the present moment. Practice being aware of your anchor spot, your anchor breath, for 60 seconds. Then try 90 seconds, or two minutes. You can use this practice when you feel yourself overwhelmed, stressed or agitated. 

Once teachers tap into their own ability to reduce reactivity, students are able to follow suit. It is only natural that when a teacher models self regulation and taking care of their own mental health needs, students will follow that behavior as well.  Ultimately practicing mindfulness regularly creates a more calm, connected and kind classroom. The inner landscape of the teacher sets the tone for the energy of the space and the students.

We are super excited to announce the launch of our first ever, fully self paced Radiant Warrior YTT.  Why are we talking about it here? Because this is a perfect course for teachers who want to dive deep over summer break! You can participate in all the coursework of our live YTTs without having to wait for the live classes to happen this fall, everything will be recorded and ready for you as soon as the course opens on July 5th!  And you still get access to the live classes, office hours and cue rehearsals for community building and support, and the full year timeframe to complete. We hope you'll join us!

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