Earth Day Routine

We know that being in nature is vital for our overall well-being.

Taking time to get outside and breathe fresh air as we move our bodies can really change how we feel by decreasing stress, improving mood and increasing our feeling of connectedness to the world around us. Try these simple practices with your family this week to celebrate Earth Day.

Take a Mindful Walk

Mindfulness can easily be incorporated into our outdoor time. Next time you go for a walk, notice all the sounds that you hear around you – like the wind blowing or the sounds of birds chirping. Notice what you see around you. Can you spot little green leaf buds on tree branches or little green sprouts growing up through the ground? Notice what you feel around you – like the warm sunshine on your skin or a gentle breeze on your face. When you get home, write or draw about everything you witnessed on your walk.

Nature-Themed Yoga-Based Movement

All of these moves have wonderful connections to the natural world. 

Seed to Tree:

Kneeling on the floor, fold your body over your legs and make your body tiny like a Seed. Imagine warm sunshine and gentle rain getting you ready to grow (adult helper can press hands on child’s back for warm sunshine and tap fingertips on their back for gentle raindrops). Slowly grow into a Tree by pressing one foot into the floor and propping the other foot against your leg, or placing it below or above your knee. Stretch your arms like branches up to the sky. Drop another Seed to the ground and grow into Tree again, this time balancing on your other leg. 

Eagle:

Next, fly like an Eagle. Cross one leg over the other (both feet can be on the floor) and give yourself a big hug. If you feel like it, uncross your leg and send it behind you to fly like an Eagle. Now try on the other side. 

 

Butterfly:

Sit down on the ground to become a Butterfly. Press the soles of your feet together and put your hands on your shoulders. You have two sets of wings like a butterfly. Take time to write or draw about your Tree, Eagle and Butterfly.

Experience Nature-Themed Rest

Picture yourself in nature. Choose a favorite place to visit and experience it with all of your senses – what you would hear, see, feel if you were there right now. Write or draw about your experience after.

Here’s a short guided visualization about a Monarch Butterfly. Enjoy this calming story about spending time on a beautiful Spring day with a Monarch Butterfly and see how it makes you feel. Try listening to this story when you need a break between activities during the day or just before bedtime. Notice how listening to this story makes you feel at different times during the day. Write or draw your own nature visualization to share with your family.

How can you bring Breathing, Movement and Rest into your Earth Day celebration? Leave a comment!

Follow along with our Facebook Live video!

Chrissy Mignogna

Sunday Yoga with Kathy

Join us Sunday at 8:30 AM Central

Please email info@1000-petals.com for the Zoom Room!

Class is $10 to Venmo @kathy-flaminio and if you are unable to pay, take class on us!

Please fill out online waiver to receive room password.

WAIVER

Thank a Teacher!

Join us in thanking our teachers!

The first week in May is Teacher Appreciation Week! This year, in light of COVID19 and the added pressure teachers face to quickly shift their classrooms to distance learning, we are recognizing all the teachers working so hard to keep their students connected and safe. Fill out the form below to recognize your child’s teacher. The first week in May, we will recognize our winning teachers and give away daily prizes! Thank you teachers!

Submit Nomination

Sleep Routine

“How many of you have trouble sleeping?”

It is not surprising to see almost all hands slowly rise when posed this question. Sleep is such an important component to overall health and well being. Addressing these concerns should be a priority for all youth workers. Sleep is where everything happens for the mind, body and heart. Learning is integrated. Muscles are healed. Emotions are reset.

The promise of a restful night sleep is a motivating factor for students to bring this work out of the classroom and into their home. From infants to teenagers, our Sleep Routine works for everyone. It is crucial that children establish sleep hygiene habits at a young age. We have developed a series of positions from our Move Mindfully® Card Deck that are scientifically proven to get the body and mind ready for quality sleep.

Not only is this recommended for youth, but also adults! The quality of your sleep is more important than the quantity. Instead of rushing off to bed, taking 15 minutes with our Sleep Routine will pay off with high quality sleep to follow.

Here are the five easy steps to a great night sleep!

Child’s Pose

This is a great position to ready the body. It tunes out visual stimulation and allows focus on breath. We recommend staying here for 5-10 deep breaths. If you are using this pose with a child, the adult can place hands on back for back breathing.

Knees Hug In

Gently rocking side to side in this position to allow a decompression of the lumbar spine. It also massages the organs and soothes adrenals.

Legs Up the Wall

This inversion modification allows the legs to be above the heart, lowering heart rate and blood pressure. You can try this position on a chair or the bed if up the wall is not accessible.

Floor Twists

Keeping shoulders on the floor and twisting side to side not only readjusts the spine, but also has a detoxifying affect on the digestive system. After twists, it may feel good to do another Knees Hug In.

Final Rest

Even if you are a side or tummy sleeper, we recommend you spend the first 5-10 minutes on your back. Let all muscles release and focus on deep, restful breathing.

These positions should be taught and implemented throughout the day. Allowing 1-3 minute breaks trains the mind and body how to shut down. Also, keeping cortisol levels low throughout the day will have an impact at bedtime.

Have you tried a sleep routine with your children or yourself? How do you see yourself using these positions in your work? Leave a comment!

Be Well,

Stephanie Kennelly

Family Friendly Practices

Try these simple self-compassion practices with the whole family!

Having us all at home during #StayatHomeMN is the new normal for families in the foreseeable future. As our children adjust to distance learning, many parents find themselves working from home while caring for children. This can all feel like a lot to manage.

I must admit that I do not feel calm or in control when I think about the COVID-19 pandemic. But at the same time, I see my children looking to me to see if we going to be safe during this uncertain time. Author and activist, Glennon Doyle, describes this like being a flight attendant. When there is turbulence on a plane, everyone looks to the flight attendant to see if they are going to be OK. If the flight attendant looks calm and strong, then everyone feels reassured.

Even in uncertainty, when we don’t have all the answers, we can still reassure children that we are together and we are doing everything we can to stay safe each day. This can feel like a lot of responsibility when we are feeling uncertain and unsure, too.  This means that right now (and during all times of change) building in simple self-compassion strategies for our families to feel supported and safe is critical.

Here are three simple practices families can build into their day to help children build important self-regulation skills while at the same time allowing us to co-regulate together.

Morning

Start with slow breathing with affirmations As you start your day, practice Hand Tracing together. Hold up one hand like a stop sign and use your pointer finger to slowly trace up your thumb as you breathe in, and slowly trace down your thumb as you breathe out. Each time you breathe in you can think or say to yourself, I am and each time you breathe out you can think or say to yourself, I am Safe (or Strong or Brave or Ready – any word you choose). Do this for five breaths (one breath for each finger). Ask each other how you feel after five breaths. You can also place your hand on a child’s back while you do Hand Tracing to help them feel your reassuring touch as you breathe slowly.

Midday

Try Tree for Focus During the middle of the day, you might find yourself getting tired or distracted. Try a balance move like Tree to get ready for the afternoon ahead. Press your foot into the floor. Standing on one leg, prop your other foot up or place it below or above your knee. Rest your hands at your hips or reach them up like branches. You might remind yourself of the affirmation you used in the morning with Hand Tracing. Or you might choose to think or say to yourself “I can do this”. Repeat Tree with affirmation on the other side.

Evening

Legs up the wall with check in Lie on your back with your legs resting against a wall (or on a chair or sofa). As you breathe slowly and rest, ask each other to share one good thing that happened today. Then, ask each other one thing you are looking forward to having happen. Notice how you feel when you just breathe and rest together reset for nighttime. Turning our attention to all the good things that happen makes us feel more positive before bedtime.

Check out our audio, Recharge Your Batteries, to play at rest or bedtime.

Join us at 4:00 Daily on Facebook Live to follow along with Breathing, Movement and Rest strategies. Also, check out our Online Move Mindfully® Services, perfect for your organization or family.

Have you tried these simple strategies to take care of yourself and your family? Leave a comment!

Written By,

Chrissy Mignogna

Online Learning Tips

It’s the first day of online school… 

Now what? If you are like the thousands of teachers across the world trying to translate curriculum and instruction into an online format, and you are feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. Weaving in simple breathing, movement and rest strategies can help both adults and youth manage the big emotions that come with this transition.

Since school is currently online until at least May 4th, we are allowing educators to share Move Mindfully® practices in their online learning sessions. This means, you may use your Move Mindfully Card Decks and Permission to Pause Posters in your own videos for your own students. This is a special allowance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you use our content, include the following statement. “More information and resources for Move Mindfully® products and practices can be found at 1000-petals.com.”

“More information and resources for Move Mindfully® products and practices can be found at 1000-petals.com.”

None of the live online learning sessions or recordings showing Move Mindfully products can be used outside of your virtual classroom without permission.

Begin with a Breath

Starting each session with breath work can be a nice way to connect. If you are streaming live with your students, take a few breaths together to unify the group and create focus. In a recorded video, encourage the students to breathe as they watch the recording. When providing slides with written content, remind students to take some slow breaths before beginning. Here are three simple breathing techniques you could use to start your online learning day.

  • Hand Tracing
    • Holding up one hand like a stop sign, use your pointer finger to slowly trace up your thumb as you breathe in, and slowly trace down your thumb as you breathe out. Continue to trace up and down each finger with your breath, until you have completed 5 breaths.
  • Fingertip Breathing (Belly Breathing)
    • Pretend as if you are holding a ball. Press your fingertips together. Breathing in, feel your belly expand and pull your fingers apart. Breathing out, feel your belly draw in as you push your  fingertips together.
  • Pinwheel Breathing
    • Take a breath in and then slowly blow out to make the pinwheel spin. Use controlled breathing to move the pinwheel slowly. You can pretend you are blowing out a candle with your pointer finger if you don’t have a pinwheel.

Embed  Movement

Within academic content, offer suggested movements during online instruction. Moving the body will create readiness for learning by soothing the nervous system and activating the prefrontal cortex. We recommend choosing a few  simple movements and repeating them throughout the week. In addition, if you are streaming live, you can use movement in the middle of the lesson as a brain break to get the body up and moving. Here are three movements that you can try.

  • Tree
    • Press your foot into the floor. Standing on one leg, prop your other foot up or place it below or above your knee. Rest your hands at your hips or reach them up like branches. Focus your eyes on one spot. (Stand in Mountain and repeat on the other side).

  • Plank
    • Lying on your stomach, push your hands and feet into the floor to lift your body up. Keep your body straight (you can also bring knees to the ground). Follow Plank with Child’s (kneeling, upper body folded over knees with head supported by stacked hands) or lying on your belly.

  • Down Dog
    • Press your hands and feet into the floor making an upside down V. Follow Down Dog with a Forward Fold or Child’s.

End with a Rest

In the current reality of COVID-19, many of us are trying to navigate how to feel safe when everything is so different. Allocating a few minutes at the end of your lesson for rest can help students integrate the learning, soothe the nervous system and reestablish a sense of routine and safety. As you take breaks to rest throughout the day, you will have better sleep patterns at night. You can simply play soft music and prompt slow breathing while students rest and reset for whatever comes next. Here are three different ways students can choose to rest.

  • Head on Desk
    • Sit up tall with your feet on the floor. Breathe in and reach up high. Breathe out and fold forward. Rest your head on stacked hands to get your mind ready.
  • Legs up the Wall (or Chair)
    • Lie on your back with your legs on a chair or resting against the wall.
  • Prone Breathing
    • Lie on your stomach. Feel your belly press into the floor when you breathe in, and pull away from the floor when you breathe out. Notice your back rise when you breathe in and fall when you breath out.

Want to see these practices in action? Join us daily for short breathing, movement and rest demos on Facebook Live at 4 Central. Also, if you want to learn more, check Move Mindfully® Online Services to design routines for online learning. Move Mindfully combines movement and mindfulness practices to allow youth to self-regulate and attune to their physical, social/emotional and cognitive needs.

Share your photos with our online community using #PauseMoveLearn

How have you used Breathing, Movement and Rest in your online instruction? Leave a comment!

Be Well,

Stephanie Kennelly and the Move Mindfully Team