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.

New! Find the videos on our Moodle page.

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. Embodied mindfulness practices – with the express goal of building social and emotional competencies – support the regulation necessary for students to engage their prefrontal cortex and build the additional skills necessary for learning and healthy interactions. Children and youth 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:

A Note on Evidence-Based Practice

Implementation of an evidence-based practice is a three-part process of integrating best available science (1) with clinical judgment (2) within the context of patient values and beliefs (3).25 Emerging science in the fields of psychology, social work, developmental disabilities, rehabilitation, school mental health, and medicine indicates that yoga and mindfulness-based practices do indeed, have particular benefit when used preventively and/or as part of a holistic intervention regimen:28

LFY Mindfulness and School-Based Yoga Training

The *Mindfulness and School Based Yoga training developed by Little Flower Yoga are based on the available scientific literature and are informed by practitioners with years of experience in the school setting. Additionally, trainees are taught to develop yoga and mindfulness-based sequences that are sensitive to trauma, physical and developmental disabilities, a child’s developmental level, and the environmental context. In a pilot study of a 12-session Little Flower Yoga program for high schoolers, effects included improved emotional awareness, academic skills, and coping skills Therefore, the Mindfulness and School Based Yoga trainings provided through Little Flower Yoga are evidence-informed practices that can be used in the provision of evidence-based practice.

*See https://www.littlefloweryoga.com/why-mindfulness/#social-emotional-learning.

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
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  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
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