Mindfulness and Meditation in Schools for Stress Management
Posted Jan 29 2008 12:00am
Several recent news pieces, including this New York Times article, have reported on an emerging trend: schools using techniques such as yoga and meditation to help students manage anxiety and stress. To better understand what is going on, we are pleased to bring you this article thanks to our collaboration with Greater Good Magazine.
Mindful Kids, Peaceful Schools
With eyes closed and deep breaths, students are learning a new method to reduce anxiety, conflict, and attention disorders. But don’t call it meditation.
— By Jill Suttie
At Toluca Lake elementary school in Los Angeles, a cyclone fence encloses the asphalt blacktop, which is teeming with kids. It’s recess time and the kids, who are mostly Latino, are playing tag, yelling, throwing balls, and jumping rope. When the bell rings, they reluctantly stop and head back to their classrooms—except for Daniel Murphy’s second grade class.
Murphy’s students file into the school auditorium, each carrying a round blue pillow decorated with white stars. They enter giggling and chatting, but soon they are seated in a circle on their cushions, eyes closed, quiet and concentrating. Two teachers give the children instructions on how to pay attention to their breathing, telling them to notice the rise and fall of their bellies and chests, the passage of air in and out of their noses. Though the room is chilly—the heating system broke down earlier that day—the children appear comfortable, many with