Arriving at a school recently for a Rockin’ Yoga assembly, I was told one family had kept their child home, objecting to the word “mindfulness” in the program description, apparently on religious grounds.
This has happened before, but not for quite a while, and I had hoped it wouldn’t again. I felt badly that this child missed the joyful moving, singing, and simple breathing exercises that the rest of the kids got to experience.
There is no religious aspect to mindfulness in schools. We are simply practicing paying attention to our breath, bodies and emotions, in order to better regulate ourselves. We do it in fun and kid-friendly ways—we jump and dance and move, and then we practice holding still; sometimes we’re loud and silly and sometimes we’re quiet, eyes can be closed if kids want, or not.