Mindfulness and the Japanese Department of Education: Part 1
December 11, 20202 min read
When Chizu, children's yoga book author and friend of a friend, reached out to take my online mindfulness course, I was thrilled.
Yuko Kudo, my yoga teacher that is a friend of Chizu, originally from Japan, had put us in touch. Chizu purchased yoga and mindfulness lesson plans and had been emailing me to ask if we can all connect over a zoom call.
The three of us decide to have Yuko come to the mindfulness workshop as an interpreter and our plan to spread mindfulness to Japanese school-aged children is hatched. How will this work? Our meetings leave us with more questions, leading us to meet 5 times over the past 6 months.
Many meetings later, we have now streamed to over 250 Japanese DOE educators with an interest in mindfulness to share our intent to offer the first mindfulness workshop in Japan. Our workshop is scheduled for January 15 and 16, 2021. We will meet on zoom.
The Flow and Grow Kids Yoga Integrating Mindfulness Into the School Daycurriculumwill be translated and distributed to all teachers in attendance.
This may be the first mindfulness course for the Japanese DOE ever, but it won't be the last.
In our livestream to the educators in Japan, we discussed some of the issues with yoga in the school day: Time, Space, equipment, and that mindfulness was just a more practical approach for similar results. We see yoga as a tool for after school or for enrichment classes, but not as something to sprinkle throughout the day. However, breathing, attentional activities, and mindfulness meditation fits nicely.
Mindfulness has been proven to increase feeling of compassion for teachers, improves their relationship to stress, and increases career longevity. While for students it is proven to improve empathy, compassion, attention and decrease test anxiety and behavior issues.
While it is critical for students to find time to exercise, stretch, and other aspects of a traditional yoga practice, we decided that chair yoga and mindfulness would be best for the Japanese student and educator needs.
With the consulting, teaching, and curriculum, of me, Lara Hocheiser, and the translation of yoga teacher and actor Yuko Kudo, and the contacts, interest, co-teaching, and hard work of Chizu 太田千瑞, we now have planned, scheduled, and booked this workshop!
Stay tuned to learn about development in implementation, further training, and outcomes!
This week, we go over the Turtle Pose. Inspired by the patient turtle, this pose increases mental focus and stretches the arms, back, and legs. This pose looks like a turtle withdrawing into its shell!