With the involvement of a non-profit foundation, the school has completely transformed its student body through yoga and meditation.
Let's imagine that we are working in a school and one of the children is beginning to misbehave. What do we do? Traditionally, the answer would be to give you a detention or suspension. But generally, detention tends to involve a group of children staring at walls, bored and either trying to talk to other people without being caught or trying to read a book. But at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, they have been doing something different when students disobey: meditation.
Instead of punishing disruptive kids or sending them to the principal's office, the Baltimore school has something called the Room of the Mindful Moment. The place is filled with purple plush lights, decorations and pillows where misbehaving children are encouraged to sit up and exercise practices such as breathing or meditation, helping them to calm down and re-focus.
Mindfulness meditation has been around in one form or another for thousands of years, but recently, science has started looking at its effects on our minds and bodies, and has come across some interesting effects.
One study, for example, suggests that mindfulness meditation could give soldiers a kind of mental armor against disturbing emotions, and it can also improve memory.
Another study suggests that mindfulness meditation could improve a person's attention span and focus. It has even become an important part of certain psychological therapies with considerable success.
The meditation room was created in partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a local Baltimore non-profit organization that also runs other programs. For more than 10 years the foundation has been offering the Holistic Yo program, where children from preschool through fifth grade practice mindfulness exercises and yoga.
Children can even multiply their knowledge at home. According to the association's co-founder, Andrés González: “We have had parents who tell us,‘ I came home stressed the other day, and my daughter told me, hey, mom, you need to sit down. I need to teach you to breathe. '"
The program also helps teach them about the environment: they help clean up local parks, build gardens, and visit nearby farms. They even teach children to be teachers, letting them lead the sessions.