AUG 2017

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Page 73 of 84 • august 2017 • [ 71 ] © GETTY IMAGES W ellness education is slowly making its way into previously unconsidered arenas, and that includes children's classrooms. One current example is the recent introduction of meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices into schools, especially as substitutes for more traditional and punitive disciplines such as detention. Programs like California's Mindful Schools—which has provided training in 48 states since 2010—and the David Lynch Foundation's Transcendental Meditation rollout in Queens, New York, are making a dent, say educators. Last year Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore became one of several schools in the city to implement an after-school meditation or yoga program to address skyrocketing suspension and expulsion rates. Happily, since opening its Mindful Moment Room— where emotionally and behaviorally challenged students can go to learn and practice calming and centering activities such as guided breathing and yoga poses—Robert W. Coleman has had no suspensions. The school also reports higher attendance rates and generally improved student attitude. In fact, an overall push toward using alternatives to detention has been credited with a 20 percent decrease in suspensions across the nation, says the U.S. Department of Education. A growing number of private schools have independently taken the step to incorporate mindfulness into their daily agenda. These include Katherine Del Mar Burke's School for Girls in San Francisco, with a mindfulness program covers everything from morning group sessions to individual practice for students who are feeling overwhelmed. "Mindfulness enables us to shift our attention from the world outside," explains Burke instructor Yara Herman. "Using the breath to connect to feelings of presence and calm allows students to better absorb and interact with new information." H E A L I N G N E W S Mindful Discipline

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