HUFFPOST HEALTHY LIVING – Bullying Can Be Stopped With Yoga

Posted by:

Bullying Can Be Stopped With Yoga

This is an interview with Dee Marie, MA, CYT who has been practicing yoga therapy in clinical settings since 1986 and instructing classes for students comprised of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. In the middle of a professional dance career she suffered a freak accident, after which she was forced to look for therapies to help counteract the news: “You will never walk again.” Therefore she decided to train in classical yoga therapy with Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayan Institute starting in 1990, received a master’s degree from New York University in Exercise Therapy, Child and Motor Development in 1993, and studied with Mukunda Stiles in Structural Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda from 2003 to the present. Today, she is able to dance, ski, and hike in Boulder, Colo.

Rob Schware: What motivated you to start Calming Kids (CK): Creating a Non-Violent World? Where were you in your life at the time?

In 2004, I attended the annual meeting in Denver of the American Medical Association Alliance, which is a division of the American Medical Association that implements community-based health care programs addressing aspects of the nation’s well-being. The alarming rise of bullying in the schools was the focus of the meeting, which inspired me to address bullying with an educationally-based yoga program during the school-day curriculum to teach ahimsa — nonviolence to self and others. In 2004, yoga was not as mainstream in the schools as it is today.

Is there evidence that what you are teaching kids works?

Yes. I set up a pilot study to determine if yoga would result in a decrease in bullying. And it did. I spent four years gathering information while teaching 4th and 5th grade students during the school day. The students were surveyed before and after my instruction period. Statistical evaluation of the questionnaires addressed topics related to bullying as well as interpersonal relationships, stress management, and concentration abilities, and showed a dramatic decrease in violent behavior. I also interviewed the teachers and the principal to determine the effectiveness of the program. They enthusiastically endorsed the changes observed in the students.

The CK curriculum was created after the first year of research, because our pilot study [indicated] that children taught to relax, self-regulate, communicate, and have compassion for others could dramatically increase their abilities to manage their anger.

[See four-year research study results here.]

Is it an adult idea that kids should practice yoga?

No. There is a huge need for this type of education for kids. With the constant advancement in technology, kids and teens are continually bombarded with external stimuli. But their communication skills are often lacking, self-awareness is difficult, and relaxation/centering techniques are nonexistent. Therefore, Calming Kids: Creating a Non-Violent World definitely works for kids and teens.

Students of all ages love yoga. It is fun and very relaxing. The CK system teaches children how to balance their lives and how to communicate effectively. Students do not ask for asanas (yoga postures); they do ask for relaxation, concentration or conflict resolution scenarios. It is the lifestyle of yoga that sparks their interest. Yoga is an enjoyable way to learn self-reflection, introspection, and relaxation, which most children greatly appreciate. It helps them to counterbalance their reaction to the busy world they live in.

Nowadays, everyone is teaching “kids yoga.” Please compare and contrast what you teach with the way it’s being taught by more-recently trained instructors.

Many of the current children’s yoga approaches become just another movement experience in childlike form — “Be a tree, jump like a frog, stand like a flamingo.” All of this has its place, and children respond joyfully to the animal imagery of yoga asana. Addressing the physical body is a way into the energetic and emotional bodies, but what about the student who cannot walk, has a special need, or just came back from soccer practice, or the teen who does not like to sweat? How do we reach this population? Calming Kids yoga looks at a deeper aspect of managing one’s life by giving techniques not only with exercise, but with a traditional approach to yoga education by teaching practices for the body, the breath, the mind, and nonviolent communication strategies.

Yoga used to be a practice to prepare the body for meditation. What is it you are teaching kids? Is there anything spiritual about your teaching or is it strictly about stretching and breathing?

The spiritual aspect of Calming Kids emphasizes to the students how to have positive social interactions with their families, peers, community and world.

CK is taught within the school-day curriculum. And it addresses more than stretching and breathing. CK explores five out of the eight classical Ashtanga limbs. Since students learn in different ways, the CK system addresses all learning styles by presenting yoga education in a variety of forms: visually, physically, orally and intellectually. The CK program introduces how the regulation of involuntary breathing will create a comfortable body and a focused mind subsequently developing compassion for oneself and others.

What is your vision for yoga with the kids you are trying to serve? What would you like to see happen?

To have yoga education mainstream in every school nationally by 2020, in order to offer school-age students an alternative to sex and guns as communication techniques. I want the schools to teach ahimsa (nonviolence to self and others). And this would certainly not be an exercise system, but rather the ability to relax and communicate effectively in stressful situations. To take a few moments to breathe, center, reflect, and gather one’s thoughts before reacting in a violent manner.

What continues to motivate you?

I live in one of the largest yoga-populated cities in America: Boulder, Colo. Yet there are still so many individuals here — children, teens, young adults, seniors, families, brain-injury survivors, wheelchair-bound students — who cry out for the knowledge to calm down, relax, focus, release, and communicate effectively. What motivates me is helping to address these cries, to help those who want to learn a lifestyle of freedom within their body and mind. I am continually motivated to help the youth who have nowhere else to turn in order to learn svadhyaya (self-study) and ahimsa (nonviolence to self and others). There is clearly an intense need to offer solutions in response to the loud cries because of the number of shootings we have in Colorado.

I’m interested in your thoughts on service, and the types of service that come from a yoga practice. What kind of service opportunity does a yoga practice offer to a teacher in a place like Boulder?

Typically we start our journey into yoga for self-satisfaction and balance, and after many years of practice we attain a comfortable, confident, balanced attitude within our own lives. We can then turn to helping others who are struggling. Yoga is for everyone. When we say, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear,” it means that if we are ready to serve in any situation, the opportunity will present itself.

Besides training youth providers and children nationally, Calming Kids is developing an online Children’s Yoga and Bully-Proofing Training for elementary-age youth professionals, as well as, a Spanish version of our CK Training Manual.

Dee Marie, MA, CYT 303-530-3860 dee@calmingkidyoga.org.
www.calmingkidsyoga.org 
facebook.com/calmingkidsyoga
twitter: @calmingkidsyoga

Editor: Alice Trembour

Are you a yoga instructor giving back to underserved or un-served populations? Email rschware@gmail.com if you’re interested in being interviewed for this series. Thank you for all you do in the name of service!

Hot-Off-The-Press

Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Coping with Trauma, a collection of simple but effective yoga practices developed by Suzanne Manafort and Dr. Daniel Libby through practical and clinical experience working with veterans coping with PTSD and other psycho-emotional stress. While benefiting trauma patients safely and comfortably, the practices can be used by anyone dealing with stress.

The Give Back Yoga Foundation is making this manual available free to veterans and VA hospitals. It is also available on the GBYF website, if you would like to purchase the book and support free distribution to veterans. This practice guide includes a supplement (poster-size) of the yoga practices.

Join us at the Yoga Service Conference at Omega June 7-9th http://yogaservicecouncil.org/?page_id=5

For more by Rob Schware, click here.

For more on yoga, click here.

yogapose1nu

Boulder Source of Good News

Posted by:

Calming Kids: Creating a Non-Violent World offers classical yoga education that focuses on “self-regulation, relaxation and communication,” says CK founder, Dee Marie.

SAVE (Stop America’s Violence Everywhere) Colorado representative, Dee Marie has been a Masters Certified Yoga Therapist for 28 years. She’s worked with kids and adults from all walks of life and has dedicated her practice to preventing violence in schools. Designed for educators, health care providers, all youth facilitators, yoga teachers and parents, the Calming Kids Yoga teacher training teaches adults how to implement an award winning yoga curriculum that reduces bullying, improves anger management, concentration and relaxation in pre-school through high school age students.

Through four years of research in conjunction with American Medical Association, Boulder County Medical Society Alliance, Harvard University, and Boulder’s Heatherwood Elementary, Calming Kids proved that a 4.5 hour exposure to yoga over a period of two weeks has been shown to result in up to a 93% decrease in aggressive behavior in 4th and 5th grade children as well as improved concentration and relaxation. Since its conception, teachers from Cherry Creek, St. Vrain, Denver, Summit County, Boulder and Ouray School Districts have participated in the Calming Kids training and have been joined by educators throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Canada.

Yoga in schools is not a new concept—it’s often incorporated into PE curriculum as a form of exercise. Though staying physically fit is indeed a benefit of yoga, the Calming Kids program initiates yoga as a way to reduce violence and anxiety in schools and improve concentration. Boulder Valley School District has engaged Dee Marie to create a district wide curriculum for middle and high school Physical Education and health teachers for 2013.

Calming Kids Training Given to Educators from Troubled Region

Posted by:

Boulder-Nablus partnership sees yoga as balm for troubled region

Practice shows results in reducing tension in young practitioners

Yoga is incontestably a practice dear to many Boulderites’ hearts, so the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project is asking the local yogi community to share its love and knowledge of the practice internationally.

Suheir Tannous from Ramallah, the capital of Palestine on the West Bank, and Mirna Al Alhindi from Nablus are visiting Boulder through Wednesday. Tannous and Al Alhindi are yoga teachers hoping to obtain certification in children’s yoga therapy during their stay so they can bring healing back to their region.

Dee Marie, director of local Calming Kids Yoga Teacher Training, will teach Al Alhindi, Tannous and other yoga or youth educators who wish to participate in her five-day training.

“We were sought out by the Nablus Project because many of the children in these two women’s areas are dealing with so much trauma. They’re being raised in a very violent world, so we’re going to use yoga therapy techniques to help with some of these issues,” Marie said.

The partnership is underway, despite the fact that the Boulder City Council last June voted to reject a request from a community group that includes many pro-Palestinian activists to make Nablus a sister city of Boulder.

Calming Kids conducted four years of research proving the effectiveness of yoga for elementary-aged children. After six 45-minute sessions of yoga in the school day curriculum, fourth and fifth grade students reported a 94 percent decrease in violent or aggressive behavior, 87 percent increase in ability to focus and a 65 percent decrease in general feelings of anger.

Marie made the distinction that while yoga is generally a spiritual practice, her yoga therapy takes out the spiritual aspects so it can be taught in schools and focuses primarily on the health and emotional benefits. She said it is these benefits that make yoga therapy so healing.

“Yoga brings about self-awareness of the breathing, self-awareness of the posture, as well as awareness of our behaviors — how we think and how we act. The exercise of yoga, in general, has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and physical functioning. The thing about the yoga therapy is because of the concentration practices we do, it improves attention and the ability to have emotional control,” Marie said.

Essrea Cherin, co-founder of Boulder Nablus Sister City Project, said she sees two main benefits to Al Alhindi and Tannous’s visit.

“I’m mostly motivated to see how this is going to help more people in their community. My main interest is hearing the stories of how the children are responding favorably to the techniques that are being used,” Cherin said.

“On the other side, I’m really excited that they’re going to be able to tell their story to American audiences. I think most people in Boulder may not have ever met a Palestinian and to find that Palestinians are just as warm and kind and funny and your regular human being may help dispel some stereotypes that people may have without even knowing it.”

Yoga Fool Presents Calming Kids

Posted by:

yogafool

The mission of Calming Kids is “to train and certify educational and healthcare professionals how to teach yoga in the school systems and clinics.”  CK addresses and manages childhood obesity, stress, self-abuse, bullying and violent behavior with a comprehensive, nondenominational, classically-based yoga program in the school and healthcare systems.  The methods include yoga psychology, breathing practices, concentration techniques, exercise postures, conflict resolution skits to control violence and aggression, and increase concentration.  CK targets preschool through high school students, with emphasis on not harming oneself or others, learning to respect personal space and high-level concentration practices to enhance academics and encourage non-violent behavior.

 

 

Dee Marie, a Boulder resident and yoga therapist for 20 years, as well as Colorado’s Stop America’s Violence Everywhere representative, created the classical yoga program and booklet under the American Medical Alliance that specifically targets the issues of violence and bullying in schools.  Ms. Marie performed a study of 4th and 5th graders in Boulder County, showing a 93% decrease in hitting in school, 68% decrease in feeling angry for no reason, a 57% increase in the ability to control anger, and an overall improved ability to sleep, in only six 45-minute sessions.
The CK program received the Ester Long Award from the Colorado Medical Society Alliance for innovative community health programs in 2005.  In 2006, CK received the Health Awareness Promotion Award from the national division of the American Medical Association Alliance.
The CK program has been incorporated into academic curriculums in Boulder, Lyons, Denver, and Summit County, Colorado, as well as in Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware.  Dee Marie’s program is also gaining attention globally, with many requests from various other countries with bullying issues such as Canada, Columbia, and Europe.
Jes Lucero currently offers the CK Yoga program to all ages of children; pre-school through high school.
For more information about Calming Kids: Creating A Non-Violent World, and Dee Marie, visit:http://www.calmingkidsyoga.org/

yogapose1nu

Calming Kids found at 4Kids

Posted by:

askamy

4Kids.org – Ask Amy

4Kids.org is a cool place for kids to go and learn stuff.

Ask Amy is a popular column that kids might check out and in this case, learn about health or other fitness ideas in general.

yogapose8

Children are Well Versed in Achieving the Delicate Movements that Yoga Requires

Posted by:

Parents are always looking for new ways to enhance their children’s intelligence and discipline.However they need to make sure that it’s not boring! Yoga is the perfect solution to this problem.

Read on if you’re in this predicament:


Quiet
Children often have a hard time being quiet in the classroom. Since yoga is a very silent activity, it can help them to learn that being quiet does not have to mean being bored. If they become comfortable with silence outside of the classroom, they may not be as likely to chat during a lesson in school.

Various
Howard Gardner is famous for his theory of multiple intelligences, and yoga can help children to better understand some of the theory’s concepts. For example, children who are well versed in achieving the delicate movements that yoga requires will be working on their body/movement/kinesthetic intelligence. Additionally, children who are introduced to yoga as a spiritual and/or reflective movement will be working on their intrapersonal intelligence skills. They will be communicating with themselves and learning more about themselves as a result of the quiet, reflective moments that yoga provides to them. Children can see that intelligence does not come in a “one size fits all” package.
Learning
Anyone who has practiced yoga certainly knows that it is no easy task. Yoga requires paying careful attention to the structure of the poses, since the poses are at the heart of a yoga session. By taking part in a session or series of classes, children will quickly learn how important it is to pay attention to the
exact movements that the instructor is doing. The instructor will most likely walk around and help them to achieve these poses. Such precision can help children in school. As a result of yoga, they may wind up paying more attention to the exact way in which the art teacher uses a technique or the math teacher
solves a problem.
Not
Chances are, children are not going to get every single yoga move correct the first time that they do it. One of the wonderfully motivating aspects about yoga is that instructors are generally very patient and focused on helping their students week after week. As long as the child is actually trying, the instructor is going to provide constructive feedback in a non-judgmental way. Yoga is a way for children to realize that they do not have to be perfect, but if they keep trying with a lot of effort, they can completely succeed in certain disciplines. Clearly, yoga has a number of benefits for children, two of which are increasing the child’s understanding and potential for intelligence and determination. These two qualities are important for children to learn about, since they can absolutely and directly affect the success and levels of achievement that the child has in the educational setting.
Milo Hunting writes about parenting, fitness & finance.

The Peaceful Warrior

Posted by:

On the elementary school playground the new girl, Katie, who had just moved in from out of state gets isolated by a pack of girls. “You wear such strange clothes,” “Yeah, you look so weird,” “Why don’t you go back to where you came from” are just a few of the comments from the crowd. The more Katie gets laughed at and ostracized the bigger the crowd gathers around her, even boys stepped in.

Katie has to make a quick decision, break down, and slump into a defeatist posture and or run away to tell a teacher. Or even worse, put a lid on her voice and escape to a bathroom to cry it off only to be terrorized by those girls again another day.

But having had yoga bully proofing training at her previous school, Katie knew which choice to make. She stood firmly planting her two feet flat onto the earth, straightening her back and broadening her shoulders.  Standing in Tad asana, mountain pose, the first posture she learned in yoga education, and then Katie took 3 deep breaths before replying to the mob.

With confident body language, Katie spoke in a strong voice, “I feel good when I wear these clothes. Sorry if you don’t like them, but I never asked your opinion. This is how the cool kids dressed at my old school. Maybe you could help me learn your style so I can be as cool as you!”

The crowd went silent. No one knew what to say. Katie’s confidence shined through and the slight flattery towards the group shocked the onlookers. Finally, a soft spoken girl from the crowd said, “Sure, we can teach you a lot of what we do here.” Almost unanimously the others chimed in, “Yeah”, “OK”, “We’ll help you.” Finally, the leader (the bully who started it all) spoke, “I can show you, I even have some magazines in my backpack we could look at together for current fashion ideas.” The spell was broken. Katie proved in that moment that she would not take abuse from anyone.

The other students got it and never approached her again in this way. One definition of a bully is someone who intentionally hurts another person physically or verbally. Research shows that bullies are typically insecure within themselves and often come from a troubled family life, they are sometimes even victims of bullying within their own family dynamics. Thus, they carry this to school and put down or torment others.

Often times the school systems are preoccupied with disciplining the bully or trying to change the bullying behavior. This approach misses the point and is not working. Just look at what kind of shape the nation’s schools and colleges are in today regarding violent issues.

Often parents come to me and complain about the schools approach to intervention. They tell me that the school blames their son or daughter because they are an easy prey to the bully. The support is just not there within the schools. Seeing this I realized it was time to jump in and help the families of victimized students.

In 2004 I began, CALMING KIDS (CK): Creating a Non-Violent World, in order to teach children, teens and young adults how to avoid becoming the victim in school or in the neighborhood. The primary task is to train students how to become “peaceful warriors,” a Buddhists term meaning to be calm yet strong when dealing with confrontation. To teach school age youth how to stand tall, centered and grounded, how to speak confidently from a strong position, able to express their personal beliefs. Techniques are taught to build self-esteem and courage combined with the practice of important verbal tactics such as humor, flattery, compassion, and self-love.

Training Educators How to Implement the CK Program

Posted by:

Here is a 4 minute video with Day 3 of Dee’s Teacher Training Program, where Dee is presenting to a small group of school teachers, several conflict resolution strategies to help counteract bullying behavior at their schools.


CALMING KIDS: Creating a Non-Violent WorldCALMING KIDS (CK) is an innovative bully-proofing program for pre-school through high-school aged students. Founded on the yogic principle AHIMSA, meaning non-violence, CK blends yoga with non-violent communication techniques to develop an attitude of non-violence toward the self, toward peers, and toward the community. CKs award-winning, scientifically-proven curriculum improves anger management, increases concentration, reduces stress, improves physical well-being, and causes more effective, compassionate communication.CALMING KIDS has proven it works! In order to improve student behavior and education, we want your help to reach more children and classrooms with our CK Teacher Training Program.

Learn this easy six day system now in one day.


We offer a 5 day in person training in the Boulder/Denver area as well as in various national & international destinations throughout the year. To sponsor us to come to your area, click here.

To become a Certified CALMING KIDS Teacher, you must complete all five days as well as a post-training journal written on your first implementation of the program. It is possible, however, to sign up for just 2 or 3 days of the program in order to focus on specific age groups.

  • CK Training Day 1 & 2: Pre-School and Elementary Age Curriculum
  • CK Training Day 3 & 4: Middle and High School Age Curriculum
  • CK Training Day 5: Ayurvedic Balance and Asana Form and Fundamentals

University Level Continuing Education Credits: Our in person certification program has been registered with Adam State University and approved for 2 credits. Please contact pd@adams.edu to get the credit applied.

Yoga Alliance Credits: If requested, you will receive a certificate of completion upon finishing your desired section of the CALMING KIDS training.

Children’s Yoga in School for Bullying Prevention

Posted by:

Children’s Yoga in School for Bullying Prevention

“Right Click” this link to download the full report in PDF.

Dee Marie, M.A., S.Y.T.

Jivatam Jyotiretu Vidyam,” “True education (self-knowledge) enlightens human life,” according to Shrii Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar the founder of the international Neohumanist Education System and the Ananda Marga Schools.

“If we wish to create lasting peace we must begin with the children” Mahatma Gandi

There is a growing concern throughout America regarding the increase in childhood stress, bullying, and violence. Living in Colorado, we are haunted by the incident at Columbine High School when two students felt the need to take revenge and take action in a violent manner leaving 15 dead and creating fear and sadness in the hearts of students and parents. This was the first wake up call that affluent, suburban schools were not always safe places. Violence and bullying continue to escalate according to statistics. Seventeen states across the United States report having instituted laws to reduce or eliminate bullying in schools.. In Colorado, each school district is required to have a bully prevention policy and program. This paper will discuss a classically based yoga program incorporated within an upper elementary school system in Boulder, CO. The main hypothesis of this project was to evaluate whether yoga training would effectively decrease bullying and increase anger management for 4th and 5th grade students. The rationale for this hypothesis was based on the first vow of raja yoga, ahimsa, that one vows to be non-violent to self and others.

The yoga curriculum was presented for six, 45 minute sessions during the academic school day for 101, 4th and 5th grade students in 2004, repeated for 108 students in 2005 and reviewed again for 105, students in 2006. The children learned yoga philosophy, practiced yoga postures, learned breathing and concentration techniques, as well as, traditional conflict resolution strategies and dialogues. Through the use of pre and post questionnaires the program was evaluated and statistics obtained. The program proved to be successful and effective. Boulder students’ self reported a decrease by 60% in their own bulling behavior and a 42% decrease in regard to being bullied by others at school A comprehensive yoga program can greatly reduce violence and bullying, but, the long term lasting effects are still unclear. The results of this intervention acknowledge yoga as an effective method for increasing anger management skills and decreasing physical outbursts of violence for upper elementary school age children during the time of implementation.  Click the Download link to read more….

CalmingKids Facebook

Posted by:

7 hours ago

CALMING KIDS

YOU’RE INVITED: Boulder’s 8th Sister City – Set in Stone! 🎉

Dedication Ceremony for Boulder’s 8th Sister City, Nablus, Palestine. The event will unveil the Nablus commemorative tile installed into the sidewalk in front of the Municipal Building alongside Boulder’s other 7 Sister City tiles. Palestinian cookies and refreshments will be served. The celebration will continue at the Dushanbe tea house 6:30-8:00.

When: October 18th 5-6:00pm.
Continued at the Dushanbe Tea House 6:30-8:00pm.
Where: Boulder Municipal Building Sister City Plaza (East side/Broadway).

FREE EVENT – Open to the public, family friendly.

View on Facebook

19 hours ago

CALMING KIDS

Just in case no one’s told you yet today… 💜

View on Facebook

6 days ago

CALMING KIDS

It’s SAVE Day (Stop America’s Violence Everywhere) as designated by the American Medical Association Alliance! 💜

CALMING KIDS: Creating a Non-Violent World was developed under the AMA Alliance to help stop violence in schools & neighborhoods. Our evidence-based research is available on our website (link in bio). 📲

View on Facebook

1 week ago

CALMING KIDS

Kids will be kids… let them be little!!

View on Facebook

1 week ago

CALMING KIDS

Present over Perfect: strike the prose that’s right for you in this moment!

View on Facebook

The CALMING KIDS Facebook page has up to date happenings with new pics and videos posted all the time.

Page 1 of 2 12