Outside the Classroom – Yoga & Mindfulness for Educators

Mar 07, 2016, Sonya Patel

“Rest and self-care are so important…You cannot serve from an empty vessel” – Eleanor Brown

There’s been a lot of recent research studying how yoga and mindfulness can positively impact the stress levels of students, but teachers are just as likely to feel stressed from classroom activities – if not more!

Everyday, teachers are responsible for educating and molding the next generation. Considering that most people in the US go to school at some point during their lives, this is a huge undertaking! It’s understandable that most teachers report high levels of stress (from an online survey from the American Federation of Teachers).

It’s just as important for teachers as it is for their students to make time for de-stressing activities. Yoga and mindfulness are both great techniques that can be adapted any amount of time available. On weekends, a yoga class can work wonders at relieving tension that has built up during the workweek. Simply connecting with your breath and breathing deeply ten times is a great strategy for dealing with a stressful situation in the moment. If you need help, check out these quick mindful strategies from World of Psych, including these two acrostics that can help you move through a particularly challenging moment.

RAIN

  • Recognize the strong emotion present
  • Acknowledge that it is there
  • Investigate the body, feelings and mind
  • Non-identify with what’s there

STOP

  • Stop what you are doing for a minute
  • Take a breath. Breathe normally and follow your breath coming in and out of your nose.
  • Observe your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
  • Proceed with something (talking to a friend, walking, etc.) that will help you in the moment

 

If you don’t have the time to get away and take a studio or gym based yoga class, there are lots of videos online, including our own AmaZEN U videos. Many of the videos are geared towards teaching kids in the classroom, but the same techniques can be practices on your own, either at home or on the go. The first month of videos is free; after it is $5 per month of $50 per year. Ask your school to sign up or have your parents group sponsor a subscription and start an after school yoga session for the teachers at your school!

Regardless of which method you choose, remember that it is nearly impossible to instill calmness in the kids you teach if you are dealing with enormous pressure and stress yourself.

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