You are here

Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement

Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement
A Guide for Educators

Foreword by Ruschelle S. Reuben, A Joint Publication With Kundalini Research Institute

January 2022 | 320 pages | Corwin

In chaotic times, a deep breath can bring calm to your classroom.

As the pandemic recedes and the world gradually returns to “normal,” it’s more important than ever to make your classroom a place that supports mental health and improves overall wellness. In this book, you’ll discover the why and the how of using techniques to reduce stress, improve executive function, and set the stage for increased memory and attention, better self-regulation, and improved cognition and academic learning.

With this practical, research-based guide, you’ll incorporate age- and grade-appropriate meditation, breathing, mindfulness, and secular yoga activities into your teaching, in ways that work for in-person as well as virtual and hybrid settings. Features include

  • Adaptations for special populations, including those who have experienced trauma
  • Recommendations for family involvement in social emotional learning
  • Guidance on self-care for teachers and school staff
  • Data from successfully implemented programs
  • Dozens of illustrations, QR codes, and reflective questions

Mindfulness isn’t just a buzzword-it’s a time-tested, teacher-tested technique for reducing anxiety and improving you students’ outcomes. Incorporate it into your classroom and see for yourself how much good a deep breath can do.

Foreword by Ruschelle Reuben
Resiliency and Healing in the Moment: Mindfulness

How to Use Cultivating Happiness, Resiliency, and Well-Being


Cultivating Happiness, Resiliency, and Well-Being – The Book

Key principles

About the Authors
List of Online Resources
Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Research Support for Mindful Breath Work, Meditation, and Yoga Movements
Reaching for Stars

Research Base Supporting Mindfulness, Yoga, and Meditation with Children

Alleviating Stress

Anatomy and Body Alignment

Start with Breath

Impact of Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation on the Endocrine System

Yoga Postures and Alignment

Heart Centered Meditation

Principles for Success

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 2: A Few Basics
Strengthening Our Own Metacognition Through Mindfulness Practice

Heart Centered Connections

Mindfulness Games

Restorative Practices – Building Resiliency, Building Community

Who Can Teach Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation in Schools?

Teaching Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 3: Teacher Stress and Teacher Practice
Teacher Stress and Burnout Were Alarmingly High Before COVID

Your Own Daily Practice

Where Are You?

Observing Your Progress

Creating a Yoga-Meditation-Mindfulness Practice

Using Your Practice to Plan for Teaching Students

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 4: Organizing Space, Materials, and Instruction
I. Preparing to Teach: Yoga Space and Materials

Places to Access Yoga Supplies and Materials for Schools

Resources to Guide Yoga Instruction

II. Components of Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation Instruction

Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation Instruction

Your Presence and Your Voice

When You Teach

Teaching Meditation

Students as Co-Leaders

III. Integrating Yoga, Meditation, and Mindfulness with Academic Instruction

A Mindfulness Intervention Room

Developmental Stages and Appropriateness

Adaptations for Younger Students

Yoga Before or After School

Progress and Impact

Mindful Reflection

Part II: Heart Centered Learning – the Five Cs
Mindful Reflection

Chapter 5: Overview of the 5 Cs
Practices for Life

The 5 Cs Chapters

Curricular Context

Student Motivation and Accommodations

A Few More Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation Basics

As You Teach - Timing and Pacing

Infusing Practices throughout Classrooms and Schools

Are You Ready?

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 6: Consciousness
Teacher Notes

Consciousness and Self-Awareness

Curricular Context

Consciousness Warm-Up

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Consciousness Curriculum Integration Planner

Consciousness Opens Us to Compassion

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 7: Compassion
Teacher Notes

Curricular Context

Compassion Warm-Ups

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Compassion Curriculum Integration Planner

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 8: Confidence
Teacher Notes

Confidence Fosters Mental Health, Well-Being, and Happiness

Curricular Context

Confidence Warm-Ups

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Confidence Curriculum Integration Planner

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 9: Courage
Teacher Notes

Finding Our Voice, Living in the Present, and Co-Creating

Curricular Context

Confidence Warm-Ups

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Courage Curriculum Integration Planner

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 10: Community
Teacher Notes

Warm, Supportive Environments for Learning

Expanding our Community Consciousness, Creating Transformative Change

Curricular Context

Community Includes Families

Community Warm-Ups

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Community Curriculum Integration Planner

Mindful Reflection

Part III: Leadership
Mindful Reflection

Chapter 11: Mindful Educational Leadership: Practices to Transform You and Your Leadership
The Inner Life of Leaders Linked to Outer Life of Leadership

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Mindfulness Practices for Educational Leaders

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 12: Being a Mindfulness Coordinator
Mindful Leadership

Montgomery County Public Schools Mindfulness Program


The Coalition for the Future of Education

Mindful Reflection

Sources for Yoga Breathe Work, Kriyas and Meditations

"As a parent, I know how strongly we hope our children will thrive and flourish. With the enormous challenges facing our world today, I am worried, as many are, about the world we will be leaving them. How can we best equip our children to navigate their challenges today and the world’s challenges tomorrow? For centuries, meditation and yoga have provided a gateway to calmness and insights that can guide our actions and interactions as we strengthen our health and well-being. To protect and support them, and for our collective future, these teachings must reach our children. Dr. Mason and her team of dedicated yoga-meditation teachers have written a manual to help schools implement practices that can make a profound difference for each and every child and for our planet. Filled with hundreds of photos and time-tested yoga sets, breathing exercises, and meditations, Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement provides a pathway to a better, brighter future as it addresses students' and teachers’ immediate needs. This book will be useful for yoga instructors as well as public and private school teachers, school counselors, and administrators. I encourage you to read, practice, and reflect, watching in wonder at the significant improvements in your own happiness, resilience, and well-being as well as in all the children in your life!"

Amrit Singh Khalsa
CEO at Kundalini Research Institute

“Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement offers a comprehensive and compassionate approach to personal growth, awakened education, and enlightened living. As a practitioner of Kundalini yoga and mindfulness I have found these practices to be complementary and supportive of one another and important in developing a whole human being in the journey of evolution. This book provides a clear understanding of how to integrate these teachings in a public educational setting as well as in an environment dedicated to expanding consciousness. I look forward to using this as a constant companion in my teaching and as a source of inspiration as I travel on a path of self-awakening.

Mahan Rishi Singh Khalsa, D.C.

"Convincing research has demonstrated that our children and adolescents are experiencing an almost universal burden of mental and behavioral health challenges that they will carry with them into adulthood. Our schools are not providing the strategies and skills necessary for successful coping with the worldwide epidemic of unmanaged chronic stress. This book provides a comprehensive rationale, description, and instruction on the implementation of the yoga-based practices of physical exercises, breath regulation and relaxation techniques, and meditation and mindfulness into schools that research is demonstrating improves the stress and emotion regulation and overall mental and behavioral health necessary for our children to succeed and prosper."

Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, PhD
Harvard Medical School

“In today’s ever-changing world, learning cannot take place without paying attention to the well-being of K-12 students and teachers. This powerful book grounds the reader with the scientific understanding of why the connection of mind, body, and heart can enhance one’s capacity to navigate daily stressors. It also contains essential strategies and activities that lift the knowledge off the pages and into personal and professional practice, as well as yoga-mindfulness-meditation exercises and teaching tips on how to effectively lead and guide others. Authored by a village of exceptional individuals with years of experience in the field of social-emotional well-being, this book will influence systemic change in education and, in turn, positively impact the health and resilience of future generations.”

Theo Koffler
Founder of Mindfulness Without Borders

"I have had the pleasure of working with Chris Mason and have benefitted from her expertise in engaging educators in much needed reforms. We need more of the authors' vision and the holistic, human-centered approach described in this book in our work. As we move to prevent and alleviate the impact of trauma, we must build skills like mindfulness to best prepare current and future generations in our ever-changing world." 

Jesse Kohler
Executive Director at Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice

"This is an excellent, informative, and well-researched book. It is a must-read for all future and current teachers, school counselors, and administrators and is without question one of the best books written on the topic. Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement  is a valuable guide to improve teacher training, schools, and personal happiness and will be added to my classes’ reading lists."

Dr. Sandra McElroy
Professor of Early Childhood Learning, Pine Manor Campus, Boston College

“This book is beautiful in its clarity. The authors are lifelong practitioners with a profound understanding of the practices they teach. They manage to distill, demystify, and make accessible some very confusing terrain. In this book educators will find everything they need to know to help their students (and themselves) cultivate greater happiness, resilience, and well-being. But this book is more than that. It is one of the most precise expositions of mindfulness available. It can and should be used by everyone interested in understanding and offering mindfulness to others.

Michele Milan
Mindful Society Global Institute

“Too often we forget that our personal and professional well-being and health are directly related to our individual efforts to remain mindful, reflective, and balanced. Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement is an outstanding resource for all who wish to continuously learn, grow, and improve. The advantage here is that this work provides the reader with practical and replicable steps and skills to increase one's overall well-being. This is a must read for anyone interested in elevating and enriching both personal and shared experiences.”

Joseph L. Ricca, EdD, Superintendent of Schools
White Plains Public Schools

"The practice of using meditation, mindfulness, and movement should be in every educator’s toolkit of strategies under the labels of self-preservation and decision-making. This is the book they need to learn these stress-reducing techniques. The book is situated on a stable foundation of theory and what theory looks like in practice. The authors provide validating research and align it with evidence-based activities educators can easily incorporate during their working hours, and they demonstrate how these techniques decrease the risks of empathic distress and burnout while increasing an educator’s capacity to become more compassionate and impartial when making judgments about their students."

Victoria E. Romero
Educational Consultant and author of Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences and Race Resilience: Achieving Equity Through Self and Systems Transformation

"The comprehensive and heartfelt exploration of both the scientific evidence base and practical hands-on approaches found within the pages of this book will support teachers, parents, and students to foster learning environments where everyone can flourish and thrive. The thoughtful narrative includes reviewing the research, developing personal practice, curating an effective teaching space, and implementing practical activities and makes this book a pragmatic and approachable resource for both those new to the field and longer-term practitioners."


Elli Weisbaum, PhD
Assistant Professor of Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health, University of Toronto

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781071852811

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.