Mindfulness is a research-based practice that allows people to experience thoughts, emotions, and life in general with a lens of acceptance, curiosity, and compassion. Studies, including brain scans, indicate that the practice of mindful awareness improves the way the brain works, increasing the capabilities of the parts of the brain that perform executive functioning, focus, logic, decisions, and emotional balance. Practice also improves the sensitivity of the area of the brain responsible for fight/flight/freeze so this part of the brain turns on when we really need it, but stays more quiet when we are stressed, but safety is not an issue. The parts of the brain that are focused on relating to others and ourselves also grow with mindfulness practices. Mindfulness can be an important part of emotional and mental wellness.
The Brain Science & Benefits
Technology has made it possible to observe the brain in action. Researchers can now witness firsthand the impact of mindful practices on your brain, whether that is yoga, mindful walking, observing the body, listening to sounds, or paying attention to the breath.
After just weeks of mindfulness practice, research indicates that the areas of the brain central to conscious choice—making increase in grey matter, while other areas of the brain show less activation in stressful events. The studies are focused and numerous, and open many questions for continued study.
Video & Audio Practices
Visit our YouTube channel for more mindfulness videos:
Since 2000, more and more research has looked at how kids of all ages can benefit from mindfulness practices, of which yoga is one. Here's what we see:
Check out a few of our practices sheets:
Fan Love Breath (Student created)
Fingertip Affirmation Practice
Rainforest Breath (Student created)
Download our Mindfulness Calendar and Cards here.
With Teachers & School Staff
Working with kids is exhilarating, inspiring and incredibly demanding. Adults with the skills to calm themselves and regulate their own stress-levels, report being happier in their jobs. This also makes a difference for kids. Learn a bit more about how mindfulness practices support teachers and school staff in this way: