Happy #Juneteenth! Today commemorates June 19th, 1865, the day Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas to deliver the news to slaves that the Civil War had ended two years earlier, and they were free. It’s the oldest celebration commemorating the end of slavery in America.
However we know slavery has not ended it has only evolved. Activism is an act of love towards the freedom and liberation of our shared humanity. We stand together at this critical time with everyone around the world to combat racism and oppression.
Stand with us and take action today!
Sun Breaths is a dynamic warm-up sequence that focuses on the flow of arms with the breath. The breathing pattern (inhalation-hold-exhalation-hold) guides the movement of the arms that acts as a tool to bring more awareness to the body and breath.
On the Tree of Contemplative Practices, the roots symbolize the two intentions that are the foundation of all contemplative practices. The roots of the tree encompass and transcend differences in the religious traditions from which many of the practices originated, and allow room for the inclusion of new practices that are being created in secular contexts.
The branches represent different groupings of practices. For example, Stillness Practices focus on quieting the mind and body in order to develop calmness and focus. Generative Practices may come in many different forms but share the common intent of generating thoughts and feelings, such as thoughts of devotion and compassion, rather than calming and quieting the mind. (Please note that such classifications are not definitive, and many practices could be included in more than one category.)
Starting a Mindful Practice Group by Meena Srinivasan
A GREAT WAY to support your practice is to start a mindful practice group at your school. You could meet once a week either before or after school, or if that’s too much, start with meeting once or twice a month. Perhaps you can use your classroom or talk with an administrator about using a common space to meet. Even though this space should be confidential so all participants feel safe express- ing themselves, I suggest forming various practice groups to suit people’s needs. For example, there could be a group for the entire school community or one just for teachers or just for parents. I had an experience where some of my teaching colleagues felt that if there were administrators or parents in the group, they would not feel comfortable or safe that the group would honor how they truly felt. So it’s important to create safe spaces in which individuals feel they can express themselves without being afraid of being criticized later.
Welcoming Inclusion Activities are brief, interactive experiences that bring the
voice of every participant into the room, making a connection to one another
and/or to the work ahead, with each perspective-laden, culturally-rich voice being
heard, respected and learned from. The more we fully share ourselves and are fully
received and understood by others, the stronger and safer our learning
environments become. Growing knowledge of and appreciation for our groups help
ensure that we will provide opportunities to welcome people in the ways they need
and want to be included.
Psychologist Barbara Fiese explains that routines are a way of communicating “this
is what needs to be done,” while rituals symbolically communicate the idea that
“this is who we are” as a group, providing continuity in meaning across time.
CASEL is transforming American education through social and emotional learning.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defined SEL more than two decades ago. Today, they collaborate with leading experts and support districts, schools, and states nationwide to drive research, guide practice, and inform policy.
We seek accountability for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the innumerable Black lives lost due to the horrific systems of oppression that are prevalent in our world today. As an organization and as people of color, we value and are devoted to our diverse communities and continue to serve through our programs and offerings that focus on equity and breaking down systemic imbalances. As we stand in solidarity and work to create spaces for healing for all, we wish to honor our front line activists who are tirelessly fighting to bring about structural change. We wish to contribute by sharing the importance of building more spaces for real conversations together that result in action. Abundant thanks to Craig Martin for offering a heartful conversation with our community on Mindfulness and Racial Justice.
Abundant thanks to Craig Martin for offering a heartful conversation with our community on Mindfulness and Racial Justice.
Craig is a 2018 National Distinguished Principal and Massachusetts Elementary Principal of the Year and 2009 Boston Public Schools’ Educator of the Year, currently serves as the Executive Director of Bridge Boston Charter School in Roxbury, MA.
In six years as Proud Principal of the Michael J. Perkins School, with strategic professional development, partnerships, and investments in socio-emotional learning, culturally responsive pedagogy, trauma-informed practices, mindfulness, 21st Century technology skills development, blended learning, and social media presence, the Michael J. Perkins’ School student achievement has improved over 320% leading to reversals in achievement gaps among English Language Learners and Latino American Learners, a 50% reduction in suspensions, a 25% decline in chronic absenteeism all while being named a 2019 Semi-Finalist for the Edvestors’ School on the Move Prize.
Learn About Eligibility & For What the Funds Can Be Used
Who is Eligible to Apply for the Yoga Alliance Foundation Emergency Relief Fund?
Applicants must be yoga professionals (yoga schools and yoga teachers). Yoga professionals who also teach mindfulness and/or other modalities are also eligible.
Applicants’ income must have been at or below 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) prior to loss or reduction of income due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis
Note: AMI is based on household size
Applicants must demonstrate a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.
Proof of yoga teaching, residency, income eligibility, and proof of loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) must be provided.
Immigration status will not be considered in determining eligibility (i.e. undocumented residents are eligible).
ForWhat Can the Emergency Relief Funds be Used?
The funds will be allocated for expenses that qualify as basic needs: rent or mortgage and utilities such as food andelectricity. The Fund will also be available to assist with other needs as detailed below.
Approved applicants will receive a minimum of $150 USD and maximum $1750 USD.
Note: The Emergency Relief Fund is not for overdue rent payments, overdue mortgage payments, or overdue utility payments owed prior to the loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
All applicants will be asked to provide a photo I.D. to prove identity.
The application does not require government identification numbers, so please delete them or cross them out prior to submitting.
Proof of loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19 must be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
Two pay stubs, one showing income before loss or reduction of income, and one showing income after loss or reduction of income and dated after January 1, 2020,
A letter from current/former employer that indicates change of income due to COVID-19,
A business closure notice from the applicant’s employer dated January 1, 2020 or after,
A tax statement that shows reduction of child support payments since March 1, 2020,
An affidavitfrom a family or child support provider indicating that they are unable to pay applicant because of COVID-19, OR
An affidavitof loss of income and wages since January 1, 2020.
Income reduction may include, but not be limited to: reduction of hours of employment, loss of employment, loss of other income sources (such as reduction or loss of family or child support, or other significant income disruption). Loss of income does not include loss of investment income. See Application Instructions for additional details..
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I continue to teach two weekly yoga classes online on a volunteer basis at no cost. Though this circumstance is not ideal, I am grateful to have this outlet to teach so that I can still connect with others and to not allow my teaching skills to get rusty.
Deepening my practice with consistency and openness for knowledge and new experiences has helped me feel grounded and my heart at ease during these uncertain times.