Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN)
provides technical assistance to support school districts’ systematic implementation of evidence-based practices.

Mindfulness + School-Based Yoga Tools

In recognition of the need for evidence-based, universal, trauma-responsive practices that support the complete physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being of children, youth, staff, and caregivers, the TASN School Mental Health Initiative has partnered with Little Flower Yoga to develop an online video series introducing practices that can be: a) instructionally embedded, and b) accessible to all.

Application for Children and Youth + Application for Staff and Caregivers

Children and Youth

The following videos can be played directly for children and youth. Each series includes an introduction and seven 20-minute lessons featuring over 30 mindfulness and school-based yoga practices.

Elementary (Children)

  1. Introduction (13 minutes)
  2. Exploring the Five Elements (22 minutes)
    • What are mindfulness and yoga?
    • Introduction to the five elements and foundational activities.
    • Share guidelines for participation.
  3. Connecting to My Body (22 minutes)
    • Create opportunities for children to notice sensation in their bodies in various poses.
    • Review what yoga and mindfulness mean.
    • Increase self-awareness in relation to physical sensations.
  4. Coming Soon!
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Middle and High School (Youth)

  1. Introduction (13 minutes)
  2. Exploring the Five Elements (24 minutes)
    • What are mindfulness and yoga?
    • Introduction to the five elements and foundational activities.
    • Share guidelines for participation.
  3. Connecting to My Body (25 minutes)
    • Create opportunities for youth to notice sensation in their bodies in various poses.
    • Increase self-awareness in relation to physical sensations.
  4. Coming Soon!
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Staff and Caregivers

An introduction and four, 5 to 20-minute lessons in energizing, restorative, chair yoga, and breath work practices.

  1. Introduction (8 minutes)
    • Introduction to the well-being program, the 5 elements and pathways of mindfulness, and guidelines for participation.
  2. Energizing Practice (13 minutes)
    • Chair-based mindfulness and yoga practices to help bring more empowered and alert energy into the body and moment.
  3. Coming Soon!
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Research on Mindfulness and School-Based Yoga

Neuroscientific research documenting the interconnectedness of social, emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being is well-established. Healthy cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal skills require regulation of the limbic system, or protective brain. Embodied mindfulness practices - with the express goal of building social and emotional competencies - support the regulation necessary for students to engage their prefrontal cortex, or thoughtful brain, and build the additional skills necessary for learning and healthy interactions. Kids need to move and connecting with sensation in the body is a particularly effective way to explore mindfulness. Practices derived from yoga1 serve to enhance existing efforts around social and emotional growth through the development of biological self-regulation skills. When mindfulness and yoga are taught together, each become more powerful teaching tools to cultivate inner resources that maximize resilience and support healthy navigation of challenges internally and externally:

For systematic review papers and meta-analyses research on yoga and mindfulness for youth, see Serwacki and Cook-Cottone (2012), Khalsa & Butzer (2016), Carsley et al. (2017), Felver et al. (2015), Maynard et al. (2017), McKeering and Hwang (2018), Weaver and Darragh (2015), Dunning et al. (2018), Mak et al. (2017), and Zoogman et al. (2014). For guidance on the application of mindfulness and yoga in schools, see Secularity: Guiding Questions for Inclusive Yoga in Schools.

Adapted from Little Flower Yoga.

This resource is intended for educational purposes only. The information contained herein is not intended to take the place of informed professional diagnosis, advice, or recommendations. The KSDE TASN SMHI assumes no liability for errors or for the way in which this information is used. The TASN School Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (#H323A17006) and is administered by the Kansas Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education and endorsement by the Office of Special Education Programs should not be assumed. The SMHI does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies should be sent to: Deputy Director, Keystone Learning Services, 500 E. Sunflower Blvd., Ozawkie, KS 66070; 785-876-2214.

References

  1. Little Flower Yoga. 2015. LFY Training Manual: Level One. (p. 9). Little Flower Yoga. 
  2. Kansas Communities that Care. (2019). Depression. Retrieved 2020, May 11 from http://kctcdata.org/Manage/ViewQuestion?code=30120&building=0&questionId=Sui15_142&riskProtective=0&surveyType=KCTC&selectedSurvey=CTY&selectedCounty=30120-0&selectedCategory=-999&CategoryName=Depression%2FSuicide 
  3. Kansas Communities that Care. (2019). Problem Behaviors: Violence. Retrieved 2020, May 11 from http://kctcdata.org/Manage/ViewQuestion?code=30120&building=0&questionId=Q0066F&riskProtective=0&surveyType=KCTC&selectedSurvey=CTY&selectedCounty=30120-0&selectedCategory=-999&CategoryName=Problem%20Behaviors
  4. Weaver, L. L., & Darragh, A. R. (2015). Systematic review of yoga interventions for anxiety reduction among children and adolescents. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(6). https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.020115 
  5. Chi, X., Bo, A., Liu, T., Zhang, P., & Chi, I. (2018). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on depression in adolescents and young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 1034. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01034 
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  7. Dunning, D. L., Griffiths, K., Kuyken, W., Crane, C., Foulkes, L., Parker, J., & Dalgleish, T. (2018). The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on cognition and mental health in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. PsyArXiv, 9. Retrieved from https://psyarxiv.com/rj5mk/
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  9. Brown Wright, L., Gregoski, M. J., Tingen, M. S., Barnes, V. A., & Treiber, F. A. (2011). Impact of stress reduction interventions on hostility and ambulatory systolic blood pressure in African American adolescents. Journal of Black Psychology, 37(2), 210-233. doi: 10.1177/0095798410380203. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3319013/
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  11. Chen, D. D., & Pauwels, L. (2014). Perceived benefits of incorporating yoga into classroom teaching: Assessment of the effects of “yoga tools for teachers”. Advances in Physical Education, 4(03), 138. doi: 10.4236/ape.2014.43018
  12. Purohit, S. P., Pradhan, B., & Nagendra, H. R. (2016). Effect of yoga on EUROFIT physical fitness parameters on adolescents dwelling in an orphan home: A randomized control study. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 11(1), 33-46. https://doi.org/10.1080/17450128.2016.1139764 
  13. Kansas State Department of Education. (2018, July). Kansas Social, Emotional, and Character Development Model Standards, p. 10. Retrieved 2019, October 9 from https://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Special-Education-and-Title-Services/Social_Emotional_Growth
  14. Kansans Can Competencies. Retrieved 2019, October 9 from https://ksdetasn.org/competency and http://www.cccframework.org/
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  18. Frank, J. L., Bose, B., & Schrobenhauser-Clonan, A. (2014). Effectiveness of a school-based yoga program on adolescent mental health, stress coping strategies, and attitudes toward violence: Findings from a high-risk sample. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 30(1), 29-49. https://doi.org/10.1080/15377903.2013.863259 
  19. Frank, J. L., Kohler, K., Peal, A., & Bose, B. (2017). Effectiveness of a school-based yoga program on adolescent mental health and school performance: Findings from a randomized controlled trial. Mindfulness, 8(3), 544-553. doi: 10.1007/s12671-016-0628-3
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  22. Bakosh, L. S., Snow, R. M., Tobias, J. M., Houlihan, J. L., & Barbosa-Leiker, C. (2016). Maximizing mindful learning: Mindful awareness intervention improves elementary school students’ quarterly grades. Mindfulness, 7(1), 59-67. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-015-0387-6
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  24. Butzer, B., van Over, M., Noggle Taylor, J. J., & Khalsa, S. B. S. (2015). Yoga may mitigate decreases in high school grades. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4546979/