Articles and Practices: For Parents

Navigating Anxiety in Children with Compassion and Personal Power

Anxiety is on the rise in our culture, both for adults and for our children. As educators and caregivers, we want to do everything we can to reduce anxiety and help our kids thrive, but often our actions do the opposite, especially when we struggle with anxiety ourselves. Because we so badly want our kids… Read more »

Three Challenges Kids Face During the Holidays, and How You Can Help

The holiday season is wonderful, but it is also a challenging time for many, including many children. While this time of year is joyful and exciting and can be a wonderful celebration of family and community, it can also be overwhelming for many kids, even those in the warmest of households. Below are some of… Read more »

3 Simple Chair-Based Mindful Movement Practices

Mindful movement is an effective way to reduce stress and its physical consequences. When we bring a mindful approach to chair yoga, we provide an accessible and simple way to integrate mindful movement and practice into our daily life to get out of our heads, into our body, to find the present moment. Increasingly, researchers… Read more »

Working with Teens: Creating Engaging Mindfulness Experiences for Adolescents

As a high school teacher in the Bronx for 14 years I got to meet and deeply know a lot of teens. Having those relationships taught me a lot about what makes adolescents tick. I saw that the way adults view teens impacts the way teens see themselves, and ultimately the lives they think they… Read more »

Nurturing Gratitude in Young Hearts: Activities and Quotes to Inspire Appreciation

Gratitude is the ability to be thankful and to see and appreciate the good that’s in our lives. As an educator, mother of two children, and program director, gratitude is both professionally and personally important to me. In my own life, gratitude helps me keep a wider lens to allow my mind and heart to stay… Read more »

The Peace Corner: An Essential Classroom Resource

The peace corner is a powerful and touching space in the classroom that supports self regulation.  It’s private. It’s structured. It includes choice. It’s an experiment. It’s inviting. It’s a movement toward independence onto the mat (or the desk or the rug spot) and ultimately into everyday life. It’s called the “peace corner” because there… Read more »

Power Down: Robot Relaxation for Kids

With the increase of ADHD, behavioral disorders, child stress and anxiety, relaxation is becoming more and more important for children of all ages. With so much going on in their lives, children need to find time to simply unwind, put their feet up, and have some quiet reflective time where nothing is being asked of… Read more »

This Moment is Your Life (and so is This One). A New Resource by Mariam Gates

When new books to share mindfulness and yoga with teens are released, we typically await them eagerly, as this can be a hard population to reach and good resources are scarce. Mariam Gates new offering, This Moment is Your Life (and so is This One), exceeds all of our expectations and provides teens and tweens with a… Read more »

Holiday Gifts for Little Yogis

My Top 10 – Holiday Little Yogi Gifts The most important gift for any child is your attention and presence.  But if you happen to be looking for a gift for the special yogi or yogini in your life then below is a list of just a few or our favorite yoga gifts for kids.  We included the… Read more »

Spread the Love: Great Books to Cultivate Gratitude for Children of All Ages

Research from the Greater Good Science Center tells us that gratitude actually blocks toxic emotions even as it allows us to celebrate the present. Additionally, its been proven that grateful people are more stress-resistant and have a higher sense of self-worth. How can we help kids be happy with what they already have and cultivate an attitude… Read more »

Finding Your Anchor: 3 Creative Ways to Explore Mindful Breathing with Your Students

Anchor breath is one of my favorite practices to teach my students. Anchor  breath is the practice of using your breath to help focus your mind on one point. The instructions are to place your hand where you most feel the breath in your body.  I offer three options: on your belly, on your chest,… Read more »

Tips for Teaching Trauma Informed Yoga to Children and Adolescents

I’ve been reflecting on my time spent this summer teaching yoga to children living at a local shelter in NYC and want to share some of the things I learned. The NYC shelter I worked in is provided as transitional housing for children and mothers who were victims of domestic violence. Due to the nature… Read more »

Managing Frustration – Empower Tools for Children

Life comes with a lot of challenges. Sometimes these challenges can lead to frustration. I find one of my most effective ways to empower the children I work with is to give them tools that help them navigate big emotional experiences, like frustration. What triggers frustration can be different for each individual. Some examples of triggers… Read more »

5 Ways to Teach Thankfulness to Kids

Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to help students and our own children cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.” And it turns out, there’s a lot to like about gratitude. Research from the Greater Good Science Center tells us that gratitude actually blocks toxic emotions even as it allows us to celebrate the present. What’s more, grateful people are… Read more »

How I Learned to Police from Within: Thoughts from a School Resource Officer

I have always believed that my job as a Police Officer was about serving and protecting my community with compassion. Early in my career, I realized many people feel the police are heavy-handed enforcers of the law, devoid of empathy and reliability.  And for many, many years, I was upset with these people. How can… Read more »

Practice: Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxations are some of our favorite practices to teach students and teachers, teaching you how to relax your muscles through a two step process. First, you systematically tense particular muscle groups in your body, such as your neck and shoulders. Next, you release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you… Read more »

Working with Autism in Your Yoga Class – 5 Helpful Resources

Each month we will take an inquiry or subject (proposed by you) and offer direction and feedback.  Feel free to write in with your concerns or questions and we will answer and provide all the advice we can offer. —————————- Increasingly there has become more interest regarding yoga and autism.  If you are a parent… Read more »

Wishing Tree Reflection – Music, Yoga & Mindfulness

Each month Lianne will be writing a reflection on each one of her songs on her soon to be released album, “Breathe In”.  Her first song and reflection is called “Wishing Tree” and we hope you enjoy this as much as we do.…When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart… Read more »

5 Reasons Teens Love Partner Yoga

In my last fifteen years of teaching yoga in schools, community centers and studios, one of the most effective methods I have found for engaging adolescents is partnership. ! Developmentally, teens have a strong need for interaction. Unfulfilled, the need for positive social experience can drive young people to lives of loneliness, depression and long-lived anxiety.… Read more »

Layers of Sound

This mindful listening practice asks your children and students to explore what they can hear around them in an intentional way.  Our hearing is so sensitive.  All of the sounds around us are competing for our attention all of the time.  Learning to attune our hearing to the sounds that are most important at the moment… Read more »

Less Reactivity and More Reflection

Simple tools to create more space in student/teacher interactions     Every so often teachers are caught up in interactions with a student or even a whole class where they feel reactive.  Anger arises, and it is very easy to say something regretful when we are caught up in the heated moment.  Reacting from anger is… Read more »

5 Tips to Reduce Anxiety

“Give It A Try”  So simple yet so full of power – yet so scary for some of us.   This morning I was fortunate enough to attend a conference at our local Board of Education for my son.  This was specifically for Special Needs Parents but one of the breakout sessions I attended was on Anxiety and… Read more »

Caring Feelings: Practicing Kindness and Compassion for Children

The Caring Feelings activity is a child-friendly version of a Loving Kindness practice, which is a type of meditation that can help your child develop compassion, contentment, and a feeling of well-being. In a traditional adult Loving Kindness practice, kind thoughts would be sent to the self, to people close to you, to people you… Read more »

Mindfulness for Kids – A 5 Second Practice

Well-Wishes Creating a practice takes time for all of us and for children it’s no different.   In our home I like to think of it as building a house.  First and foremost we have to build a foundation.  If there isn’t a strong base with anything we may be setting ourselves up for failure.   Nothing… Read more »

The School Yoga Project and Social Emotional Learning: Research

CLICK HERE FOR ENLARGED VERSION OF RESEARCH POSTER   Database Coding and Interpretation:  April 20, 2014, Colin Pearsall Social emotional learning (SEL) theory posits that a child’s capacity for self-understanding and self-regulation is a gateway to achieving personal goals and participating in the community.  This research takes the reporting of SYP yoga teachers and interprets… Read more »

How to Start and Maintain an At-Home Yoga Practice

    My yoga practice really deepened and developed when I started to practice at home by myself.  When you give yourself the opportunity to practice alone with only your inner guidance leading your movement (no online classes or DVDs!), it can open up a new opportunity for healing.  There is much value in practicing… Read more »

Help Your Child Find Their Own Strengths (I Am So Strong – A Meditation for Kids)

This is a powerful form of meditation that can help kids learn to focus rather easily.  There are various ways that you could fit this into a fun yoga class or add to a theme within a sequence of poses but I’d like to begin by making it as simple as possible. For me, I find that the best atribute… Read more »

Six Simple Ways to Help Your Child Increase Focus Today: Tools from a Yoga and Mindfulness Practice

We often ask our children to pay attention. Pay attention to your school work, pay attention to your father, pay attention to your teacher. But we don’t always have a clear idea of what we are actually asking of them. When we ask our children to pay attention, what we really mean is something along… Read more »

A Counselor’s Thoughts: Let’s Get Moving

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids.  To learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers click here:  http://littlefloweryoga.com/about —– Throughout the school year, we have… Read more »

In the Spotlight: The School Yoga Project – Montebello Road Elementary School

The School Yoga Project, a program of Little Flower Yoga, is honored to work with some incredible schools. Each month we will be sharing the story of a school with you, so that we can explore the wide range of options for integrating yoga and mindfulness into your learning community, and celebrate the impact on… Read more »