Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement
A Guide for Educators
- Christine Mason - Founder and Executive Director, Center for Educational Improvement
- Jeffrey Donald - Mindfulness Coordinator
- Krishna Kaur Khalsa - Y.O.G.A. for Youth
- Michele M. Rivers Murphy - Associate Director, Center for Educational Improvement
- Valerie Brown - Lead Smart Coaching, LLC - Principal
Foreword by Ruschelle S. Reuben, A Joint Publication With Kundalini Research Institute
Learning & the Brain | School Culture | Student Engagement & Motivation
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.
"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!"
“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.”
"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."
“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.”
"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."
"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."
“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.”
“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.”
"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."
"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."