“I believe in myself more. I am not always getting mad. ”
Increasingly, educators and counselors are incorporating yoga and meditation practices into K-12 schools. Studies have revealed that mindfulness programs have improved mind-body awareness and physical and emotional well-being at many ages, including the critical adolescent years.
Mindfulness strategies have also helped youth in communities with low socioeconomic status and high trauma prevalence learn self-regulation techniques to mitigate stress and increase their self-control and self-esteem. As curriculums continue to expand, the inclusion of resilience-based programs will enable adolescents to have more access to strategies to improve their wellbeing, as well, as enhance their sense of self and connection to others, helping to build strong, healthy communities.
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The Latest Evidence-Based Research
- A yoga program offered within a school-based setting was found to be an effective way for student’s to learn and develop self-regulation techniques (Butzer et al., 2016)
- Students at an alternative school in a neighborhood with high rates of violence participated in a mindfulness-based program that combined yoga and social-emotional wellness. Researchers found that after participating the students had significant reductions in anxiety, depression and improved psychological wellbeing (Frank et al., 2014)
Rooted in an Established Trauma-Sensitive Methodology
- The pivotal Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study found a correlation between reduced wellbeing in adulthood and exposure to traumatic events in childhood. The greater number of ACEs an adolescent has the higher the risk they are for cancer, heart disease, mental illness, and violence (CDC, 2019). However, research has also found protective factors that foster inner resilience and healing, including trauma-sensitive and trauma-informed practices.
- Mindfulness programs may mitigate the negative effects of stress and trauma related to ACEs and have been shown to improve wellbeing into adulthood (Ortiz and Sibinga, 2017)
- A trauma-sensitive yoga program offered to youth with PTSD found improvements in their self-awareness (Spinazzola et al., 2011)
We are committed to evaluating our Youth programs to better understand the benefits of our offerings to participants.