I have watched my wife practice yoga for years. I’ve been the amateur photographer lining up shots of her doing back-bends on the edge of a mountain, in the ocean surf, on the path in the forest. And, in that time, I’ve seen her body and mind grow stronger and more focussed. It is impressive in every way. To be honest though, as an exercise, I’ve never been interested in the bends. I envy her flexibility, but I have always preferred the social element of exercise and sport. However, her focus, her concentration and her presence is an area that I know I need to develop in myself. It is what would keep this post from taking twice as long to write as need be.
Mindfulness – defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as, ‘…paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally.’
I see real benefits to introducing similar approaches with my students as well. 5 minutes of meditation before beginning a lesson. Closing eyes and envisioning the work to be done. These may be helpful. I have seen my colleague in PE use it with students before they went on to practice a karate sequence. Why couldn’t the same principles work in Humanities?
In a quick search, I also found a SoundCloud page with short guided instructions for student meditation. The resources are there, not it is only a matter taking the risk to make it happen.
Please let me know if you have experiences or other suggestions for bringing mindfulness into the classroom.