Articles and Practices: In the Classroom

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 »

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 »

Secularity: Guiding Questions for Inclusive Yoga in Schools

As the school year begins and we have the priviledge of working with children from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, it is essential that we work to create inclusive and welcoming learning communities. An important part of this work, particularly in public schools, is a committment to secularism in our teaching, and to respecting… 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 »

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 »

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 »

What Can We Do When The World Feels Like It’s Falling Apart: Cultivating Safety in Community

I recently had the pleasure of being a panelist for the East Harlem Scholars Academy charter network community in a discussion about how to cope in the face of the rash of conspicuous police brutality, terror attacks, not to mention the inflammatory and degrading remarks provoked by presidential campaigns, and innumerable other anxiety producing incidents that have flooded our… Read more »

Songs for Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness

There are certain points in your life when you feel like everything is decided for you. You can clearly see your next hour, day, week and year. Life is a finished book, each chapter named, edited and ready to read. Some may feel that being in this space provides clarity, safety, and security because the… Read more »

Bringing Best Practices to Yoga in Schools

LFY founder Jennifer Cohen Harper was recently interviewed, along with Traci Childress, by Kelli Love for YogaDork on the process of creating Best Practices for Yoga in Schools, a guidebook published by the Yoga Service Council and Omega Institute. Read these short exceprts below and find the full interview, in two parts, on the YogaDork website. … Read more »

Kids Yoga, Music and the Arts: “I Am” by Lianne Bassin

The creative process is a funny thing; I’ve always been fascinated with how and when inspiration strikes. Some songs that I wrote for Breathe In took so much time, so much writing and rewriting. And yet other ones hit me immediately, and it seemed like I finished them in just ten minutes.   “I Am,”… Read more »

Six Classroom Management Strategies to Live & Breathe By

A few years ago I decided to take on a position as a full-time Yoga Specialist at a charter school. I was ecstatic about the groundbreaking experience that lay ahead. It is also fair to say that I was totally naïve and in over my head regarding the enormous tasks that lay ahead: Design a year-long yoga… Read more »

So What Is It That First Year Teachers Need To Know?

This year as an adjunct lecturer at Hunter College’s Department of Curriculum and Teaching I’m getting the opportunity to work with a lot of first year teachers and that’s made me think a lot about what supports good teaching. At Hunter College I’m working with dance, theatre, and music first year teachers.  These are Lincoln… Read more »

Beginning with Intention by Kelli Love

As I explore my intentions for the beginning of another school year, I take a look at what I want for my teaching practice and turn to vital topics such as embodied teaching and self-care.  My presence in the classroom is what I know to matter most, and yet the only way for me to… 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 »

Kids Yoga, Music and the Arts: Chirp Chirp – It’s Spring!

I love having my hands in dirt.  Something about its texture, the way it falls right through my fingertips and its vibrant, earthy smell makes me want to pause and take a deep breath.  I remember planting lima beans with my kindergarten students a few years ago on a beautiful Spring morning. Each child filled… 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 »

From The Field: The Empowerment That Comes from Understanding the Brain

In the Little Flower Yoga community The Whole Brain Child by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson is revered as a treasure trove of insight for educators and parents, and rightfully so.  Tricia Stevens explains some of the most poignant lessons she received from the book here.  I would like to add that it’s also a… Read more »

Cultivating JOY While You Teach

As we embark on the holiday season, I am realizing more and more that joy is an essential quality of life that needs to be present when I teach. Oftentimes, joy gets knocked down the totem pole of qualities of teaching, in both traditional and non-traditional classrooms, and many people think feeling joy simply means… Read more »

From the Field: The Value in Allowing Kids to Share What They Learn

As a children’s yoga and mindfulness educator I enter each lesson with a plan in mind, but there is also a grand scheme, my ultimate purpose for exploring this work with children. It’s my view that these life skills are a basic right of education, that there are certain underpinnings to what I’m trying to… Read more »

Let It Go: The Importance of Reflective Teaching

Did you ever have a moment teaching where you say something or do something that in retrospect was not supportive to your students? Yes, is the answer, no matter who you are (almost). Making mistakes is part of the nature of this work, and when you make a mistake or when you have a bad… 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 »

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 »

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 »