October is Non-Violence Month

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CALMING KIDS (CK): Creating a Non-Violent World was founded on the principle of AHIMSA, which means respect for all living things and avoidance of violence towards oneself and others. CK believes that fostering peace by training young people in techniques proven to promote harmony, nonviolence, and positive interactions will eventually phase out violence from our world. October is Non-Violence Month, and it is kicked off by the UN International Day of Non-Violence on October 2, which is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. For Gandhi, AHIMSA meant non-injury, nonviolence, non-harm, the renunciation of the intention to hurt any living thing, the abstention from hostile thought, word or deed, and compassion for all living creatures. Gandhi said, “Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.”

CK promotes nonviolence in young people, but it was inspired by violence perpetrated by and against young people – the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. Our children are a barometer for the health of our world, and CK’s primary goal is to promote a positive, peaceful attitude leading to calm and effective communication among members of the school community. Since 2004, CK has impacted countless students, teachers and schools, sharing this “greatest force” that Gandhi spoke of with the people who will lead the next generation.

As we enter Non-Violence Month, you might contemplate ways that you are promoting harmony through the things that you think, speak and do. When you have an impulse to speak with anger, can you pause, breathe, and remember your intention to refrain from hostile thoughts, words, and deeds? What happens in your own body and mind when you think about speaking or acting in a way that would harm another being? And how can you practice AHIMSA – compassion – towards yourself? Black Elk said, “All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves.” Perhaps in that brief moment of awareness before word or action, we can remember that if we think, speak or do something harmful to another, it very likely will bring harm back to us. It is especially obvious when it involves our spouse, child or student, and perhaps less so with a stranger, but the harmful impact on ourselves is just as real.

Martin Luther King Jr, who firmly believed in nonviolence as a means for social change, said, “Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love.” This month, practice your commitment to the way of love…even and especially when that is difficult. Let the “greatest force at the disposal of mankind” give you the power to be the change you wish to see in the world.

And see HERE for a free lesson plan on bringing non-violence and communication skills to young people!

Kids Yoga Teacher Training Lesson Plan FREE

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Kids yoga teacher training for all teachers and instructors PLEASE use the following syllabus guiding you through the proper method to present a 6 Day Yoga program to your Kindergarten or Elementary School classroom ensuring these proven outcomes:

Yoga Mat

  • Kids Yoga Enhances Confidence
  • Kids Yoga Improves Concentration and Focus
  • Kids Yoga Helps Kids Manage Stress Through Breathing
  • Kids Yoga Promotes Inclusivity
  • Kids Yoga Introduces Kids to Mindfulness
  • Kids Yoga Promotes a Healthy Body
  • Kids Yoga Improves Coordination & Balance

Classroom Yoga ~ a solution to school violence and it works!

CALMING KIDS: Yoga and Mindfulness in the Classroom
2018-2019 Study Results

Students reported: 2018 – 2019
Feeling good about themselves 48%  increase     
Standing up for themselves 48%  increase 
Focusing in school 30%  increase 
Feeling angry for no reason 55%  decrease
Physical altercations in school 38%  decrease
Trouble controlling anger 35%  decrease 

In addition, three times the number of students reported that they could handle others making fun of them in school as compared to before learning the CALMING KIDS techniques (178% increase).
Statistics based on 100 students between the ages of 11 – 13 reporting their experience before and after 6 sessions of movement, mindfulness & meditation training and practice throughout the school year. CALMING KIDS (CK): Creating a Non-Violent World since 2004


Day One – What is Yoga?

The Balance of Body and Mind

Gather the kids into a circle and seated on the floor, ask: What is yoga? By beginning your presentation to the children with an explanation of the purpose of doing Yoga, you open their minds and begin the discussion regarding the benefits of yoga. This gives a foundational knowledge and they will be eager to learn what is next. The Day One, online training video gives a concrete image for the students to understand these concepts and get excited to learn more.

Game Plan: Here’s where the fun begins:

Begin with the CALMING KIDS Opening Pledge or a Namaste song, depending on the ages of your students. CK has some Namaste songs found in our “Songs & Pledges” booklet and soundtrack, or the CK Opening Pledge can be recited to engage the kids as we begin to unify the classroom.

Stand everybody up and begin some yoga balancing poses.You will then begin positions or exercises to limber, ground, strengthen and stretch the body. At the end of the movement session, you finish with the floor or seated relaxing stretches.

Explain that the yoga system gives us ways to come into balance.

The complete CALMING KIDS program for school classrooms includes videos of children and teens explaining how to help all aged students with mindfulness, movement, and body and breath awareness.

Our booklets “YOGA KEEPS ME Calm, Fit & Focused” and “YOGA KEEPS ME Feeling Just Right” demonstrate both easy and more difficult positions to practice balance.  The simple movement routines that you can all do together each day will calm the community and strengthen the connection in the classroom.

[From here, you would continue with your regularly scheduled classroom curriculum.]

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

Day Two – How Do You Breathe?

Practices to Regulate the Breath 

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

CALMING KIDS breathing videos explore the proper mechanics of breathing. Within the online training, simple visuals are explained as a way to convey breathing mechanics using various props and interactive skits. Age appropriate explanations of breathing correctly and the importance of good breathing are included because the breath connects the body and mind. Students enjoy this concept and they can be playful as they learn the breathing techniques which are also illustrated in our program booklets and our manual handouts.   

Kids Yoga Breathing

  • Basic Breath Training
  • Breathing Questions
  • Breathing Diagrams
  • Diaphragm Activity
  • Breathing for Self Regulation
  • Calming Breathing Techniques
  • Lion’s Breath 
  • Bees Hum
  • Rabbit Breath
  • Snake Breath
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing

Preschool, kindergarten and young elementary aged children love the CK “Body Awareness Tunes” downloadable from our website store. This keeps the momentum going and the learning fun. We have songs to move with and follow along called “Breathing,” “Two Little Holes,” “Belly Button” and “The Walk Song” among others. Then students lay down quietly so they can listen to their breathing and feel the Hum inside.

The CALMING KIDS music from our “Songs and Pledges” list includes, “The Sun Salutation Song” and “A Circle Dance.” Both offer ways to increase the respiration rate and breath awareness. If time permits, you can repeat some of the yoga asanas (postures) you practiced on Day One – focus the students’ attention on their breathing during this session and for all sessions from now on. Notice that they get a little better implementing the breathing with some of the standing still asanas (postures).

Next, take 2 – 3 minutes to sit or lie down to rest the body and become mindful of rhythmic breathing. “The Sleep Poem” from “Songs and Pledges” is great to recite to help their inward focus. 

The students start to understand that the connection of the body to the mind is their breath.

[As you return to the school curriculum, if you see some ‘fidgeting’ going on, mention a mindful breathing practice and have them practice it on the spot.]

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

 

Day Three – How Do You Feel?

Checking in: emotional awareness, communication and anti-bullying

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

Seated in a circle on the floor or at their desks, get students’ feedback by asking them: 

“What do you remember from what you have learned so far in yoga?”

“Have any of you started to be mindful of your breathing outside of class?”

“Has thinking about your breathing helped you control your energy, mood, or sleep?”


Then we listen to their answers and smile.

Then ask them if anyone has ever been bullied. Have them describe the situation and how they handled it. Discuss some of the bullying that the students see in the world and the feelings they experience around bullying behavior. Tell them about a time you were bullied and how you dealt with it.

Then, set up some anti-bullying role playing to help students learn effective communication and to help empower them for the rest of their lives. They can create the scripts based on their imagination, or they can use the bullying stories the kids have previously revealed. Or you could use the CALMING KIDS scripts which were created for us by elementary aged students, found within Day Three of the CK Online Teacher Training.

Print out copies for each of the actors involved, to read and play out the scenario. Skits and Role-Playing offer the kids a chance to learn together as a team. Once a skit is performed, the audience (other students) can suggest a good plan of action to solve the negative encounter. Remind them to use a strong grounded stance, speak with confidence, and take time to breathe.

The CK videos for role-playing within our online training are performed by The Rocky Mountain Theater for Kids. Bullying encounters happen in: The Lunchroom, On The Bus, On The Playground, In a Classroom, etc. These videos include confrontations with other students, with an adult, or self-bullying. Instruction is given on how to approach communication in a calm, centered, confident manner, with self awareness and compassion, as well as guidance for when it is important to ask for help.

[Before returning to the regular school curriculum, give a homework assignment: Teach anyone in the family something you have learned this week.]

  • Yoga Postures
  • Breath Awareness
  • Concentration Practices
  • Peaceful Communication Strategies 

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

[Here’s Naomi, a Calming Kids Yoga Teacher with a personal comment about A Chakra Guide Book]

Day Four – Community 

Finding Our Heart 

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

Next, Check In with how the students are feeling on this day. It is OK for a child not to say anything and not participate. Then, discuss the homework assignment to discover who has been ‘taking in’ the concepts and passing this knowledge on to their friends or families.

Day Four videos within the online training include ‘Inner Light Introduction’ in order to teach the concept of caring and compassion.

In order to keep it very child friendly and understandable, CALMING KIDS presents our connection to ourselves and our community as the word picture: Our Heart’s Inner Light.

We use metaphors and similes to describe the inner connectedness we have with ourselves and others in order to find connection and compassion. 

Kids yoga musicIt’s a great day to do teamwork activities. Circle dancing can be effective. CK has created choreography to music found on the “Playful Yoga” soundtrack. 

If you choose to repeat the standing and floor poses, begin to hold the poses longer than before. Encourage students to, “Hold this position and take 4 – 6 deep breaths.” Do this in order to deepen the students’ inward focus and connection to the feelings in their body and the feeling of their breath.

A wonderful concentration practice at this stage can be eye exercises in order to strengthen, stretch and ultimately tire the eyes from looking outward. Then, close the eyes and direct the attention inward with a guided journey or inward visualization. Our Inner Light is a metaphor: the sun, a candle, or a flashlight can be used.

“We all have this light within. This light connects us to each other.”

Guide the children in a way that helps them understand that the light within each of them resonates in their heart and mind. And that light is important enough to respect in each other.

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

 

Day Five – Why Exercise?

The Benefits of Exercise

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

Check in: Get feedback from the class as to any changes in their lives due to what they have been learning. How or when have they been able to use the breathing or respectful compassion?

Day 5 is about moving the kids smoothly though the ‘asanas’ and “Vinyasanas” (series of poses). 

Guide them through the poses and encourage them to focus on their breathing while holding difficult poses. Practice moving poses, standing asanas, and floor asanas or seated positions for 20 – 30 minutes.

Yoga Exercise

There are CK supplemental kids yoga videos of children and teens practicing yoga which guide the class as they watch the postures and follow the routines.

While the students hold the asanas for a few moments, take them on a mental journey that brings  joy and peacefulness, and the remainder of the school day can go more smoothly.  

NOTE: If this routine (Opening pledge/song followed by the Vinyasanas) is regularly followed daily within a school curriculum, the results can be astounding. See the research results found on our website: calmingkids.org-StudyResults

Have a discussion at the end regarding the benefits of yoga. Explain how yoga has a multitude of benefits: not only can it improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina, it also reduces anxiety and stress, improves mental clarity, and even helps one to sleep better. When done regularly, it can help them to focus on their homework, and control their thoughts & feelings. The power of strengthening their inner core as well as their outer physical bodies while having an awareness of the breath allows for improved personal connection and communication. 

[At least 80% of the class will develop a new mindset from the program at this point.]

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.

 

Day Six – Relationships 

Anti-Bullying – Relationship Games – Bring It All Together

Begin the day with the CK Opening Pledge or a Namaste song.

Ask the question: “Who has been sharing the yoga information and concepts with their friends or families?”

“Has there been a time when you have personally used a CK yoga technique to help shift any situation?”

Once you hear what students report, then you can decide which area of the yoga practices need more attention. Review any specific concepts that you have presented over the past few weeks with an open discussion in order for students to understand how important it is to use these ideas within our lives: The yoga exercises help us to come into balance in our bodies and minds and breathe better. Good breathing allows us to focus our mind and balance our emotions. When we feel balanced we can communicate better and our relationships improve. With practice, we can deflate any negative confrontation.

Find a comfortable movement routine that your students respond to positively that can be done daily. Our CALMING KIDS supplemental videos include a simple range of motion sequence called the “AM Wake-Up” which can be done seated or standing.

Follow the exercise routine you have chosen with a mindfulness, reflection and relaxation session. The CALMING KIDS little book “Finding Calm in a Moment” has relaxation, creative visualization and mindful practices to read to your students. This book gives ideas on how to instruct the meditation.

Starting with movement and mindfulness is a great way to start each day!!

[As you return to the regular school curriculum, give the lifelong assignment: Teach your family and friends these yoga, mindfulness and communication skills. Share the tools that help you to calm down, self regulate and balance your mental health. Someday you may help someone in serious need.]

At the close of each day, a quiet moment is taken and you all recite together the Closing Pledge: 

With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher.


Calming Kids

 

Allowing 10-15 mins at the start of every day for this type of centering will increase focus, social emotional balance, and positive communication skills.

 

 

 

 

 

The CALMING KIDS (CK) Six Day On-Line Kids Yoga Teacher Training Lesson Plans includes:

  • Handouts illustrating all the concepts presented with coloring pages, activity ideas and songs. 
  • Scripts with non-violent communication models for the play acting scenarios.
  • A discussion forum with thought provoking questions and insights shared by other teachers.
  • An easy quiz at the end of each module of learning to review what you have learned.
  • Open access to the online site for reference and to enhance your capacity to teach mindfulness and non-violent education to elementary age students.

CALMING KIDS offers two levels of certification. One is given upon the completion of the online course. Participants are issued a downloadable certificate to hang in the classroom, school or studio. For teachers who would like to receive continuing education credit, CALMING KIDS offers a deeper level certification in order to become a nationally accredited CALMING KIDS Children’s Yoga Educator for Elementary Age students. This is achieved by teaching a minimum of six hours of the CK program to children and keeping a detailed log. This log is submitted to CALMING KIDS for evaluation and certification. A small additional fee is applied. To enroll in the full course please CLICK HERE.

 

Bullying | Local Non-profit Addresses School Violence

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With all the tragedy and violence in our schools today, teaching kids self regulation and stress reduction is more important than ever. Since 2004, CALMING KIDS (CK): is a local Boulder non-profit, has been focused on immediate and direct impact to reduce bullying and increase self regulation in kids and teens. 

On February 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida experienced one of the deadliest school shootings in American history. This tragedy Bullying in schoolshas left Americans across the country heartbroken, frustrated, and wondering how we, as individuals, can make a difference in stopping this vicious and violent behavior.

CALMING KIDS has been addressing this issue for years. CK, a Colorado 501(c)3, was created after the tragic shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, for this exact reason. For the past 13 years, they have worked with teachers and students in Colorado and around the world to reduce bullying and violence in schools. In addition, to helping develop better coping mechanisms and increasing students’ compassion for one another.

Calling your state representatives and supporting today’s youth in creating safer schools in the long term is undeniably important. But, what can we do right now, TODAY?

If you want to make a positive difference and feel passionately about ending school violence, then the best place to start is in the schools! This is exactly what CALMING KIDS is doing with their classroom programs.

CALMING KIDS has impacted 3,500 teachers and over 40,000 students through their work in schools locally, nationally and globally.

Anti Bullying Teaching Program

There is still so much more to be done. CK is looking to expand its impact and wants to get the word out to as many school teachers and administrators, students, parents, and to those who feel concerned about this issue. We CAN make a difference and help to create a non-violent world, stop bullying in schools and help kids focus.

In addition to classroom programs, CK has also produced a variety of support materials for teachers and students:

  • including classroom workbooks,
  • self regulation posters,
  • educational films

and a new pocket sized movement, mindfulness and meditation book, Finding Calm in a Moment. This book guides students of all ages through a variety of simple practices to release stress and self regulate immediately. Get involved NOW! Visit our website to learn more www.calmingkids.org

For more information contact: calmingkidsyoga@gmail.com or 303-530-3860.

Checking In for Self-Regulation

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Click here for a 2 minute video demonstrating Checking In: CALMING KIDS ~ Checking-In

Checking InThe First Step Toward Mindfulness At CALMING KIDS, we strongly believe that a child who practices nonviolence is also a child who practices self-awareness and mindfulness. Children who are aware of themselves also tend to be more aware of the effects their actions have on others.

anti bullying videoOftentimes, kids who feel frustrated or angry will lash out by bullying or hitting one another before even taking a moment to assess what they are feeling and why they’re feeling that way. We created the CALMING KIDS curriculum for schools to teach children to pause after experiencing whatever it is they’re feeling, so that they may understand it — and themselves — better. As a result, the amount of bullying and violent acts among children is greatly reduced.

The first step to helping children achieve mindfulness is to teach them to “check-in” with their bodies and minds. With younger children, ages preschool through third grade, it can prove extremely helpful to start with an introduction to body awareness.

For children of all ages, CALMING KIDS approaches mindfulness with an exercise called “Checking In.” Children are encouraged to check in once or twice a day, especially when not feeling their happiest. They are taught to observe their postures and breath, which will help bring awareness to which emotions they’re feeling, and the kinds of thoughts that are coming to mind. In checking in, kids are learning how to get in touch with themselves and gain more control over how they express themselves. For a short video tutorial on Checking In ~ click link above