Kim Armstrong and Michel Spruance had both been thinking the same thing - how could we bring practices of mindfulness, breathing, and intentional movement to schools? Kim had struggled with anxiety for most of her life and found these practices to be so helpful. After doing yoga teacher training and mindfulness training and supporting her own daughter through some difficult times, she wanted children to learn these tools and practices when they are young, wishing she had learned them as a child. Michel was a former teacher and found that she did her best teaching and her students were most supported, when she was practicing mindfulness.
We are a non-profit organization founded in 2016 to support well-being by bringing mindfulness practices to school communities in the Greater Seattle Area. When integrating mindfulness practices into school communities, teachers are able to be more effective in their relationships with students, and students are better able to learn, develop friendships, and remain an integral part of school communities.
The space created between the stressor and our response gives people more agency for wise choices for much needed change in our systems and institutions. Being intentional about mindfulness today brings a brighter future to school communities.
Mindfulness creates systemic support for the mental health and well-being of students, teachers, and families in school communities. Almost forty years of research indicates that the practices of mindfulness, breathing, and intentional movement create a relaxation response in the nervous system.
We want do ensure all students are well and whole.
To facilitate human and school transformation through mindfulness practices.
Three core values shape and define our work and support across all of the students, schools and communities we serve. We believe in integrated mindfulness practices that promote:
- Alignment - grounded, centered, with balanced nervous systems
- Authenticity - being and expressing one's true nature
- Connection - connected to feelings, emotions, physical body, with self-compassion, and connected to others
School communities have become increasingly stressful and complex environments. The wellbeing of students, teachers, and families is interconnected.
Youth mental health issues are rising.
Children and teens are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety today. Poor well-being during childhood is directly linked to physical and mental health issues, substance abuse, and incarceration. Youth mental health issues and disorders affect children across socio-economic classes, race, environment, and other factors.
Teachers are stressed.
A recent study from the University of Missouri reported that 93% of elementary school teachers indicate a high degree of stress in their jobs and about 50% of teachers leave the profession within their first five years of teaching. Teachers today are expected to do more than teach academic lessons; they support students with emotional and social needs and address challenging behaviors more than ever before. The rise in teachers’ stress level directly impacts on students’ wellbeing and academic achievement.
What is mindfulness?
Mindful Awareness has scientific support as a means to reduce stress, improve attention, boost the immune system, reduce emotional reactivity, and promote a general sense of health and well-being.
What is yoga?
Yoga pairs your breath and movement in present moment awareness. It encourages freedom from judgement and self-evaluation. You orient your mind toward your current experience.
Why they work?
The simple practice of paying attention to your experience without judging it, or fixing it, changes the way your brain fires. Over time, your brain develops new synaptic connections that allow you to respond to life's joys and challenges, rather than react.