A service wide approach to mindfulness makes a difference
The Sector > Provider > General News > A service-wide approach to mindfulness makes a difference to children’s regulation

A service-wide approach to mindfulness makes a difference to children’s regulation

by Freya Lucas

November 21, 2023

The team from Explore and Develop Lilyfield have taken on a service-wide approach to addressing children’s emotional resilience after children were “crying out for help – literally,” on returning to early childhood education and care (ECEC) post COVID-19.  


“Their ability to cope with change diminished and their abilities to tackle challenging situations was minimal,” Educational Leader Monica shared. 


“Our educators were at a place where they too were exhausted from change, whilst trying to stay afloat for all the children and families in our education and care setting. At this point, we were open to any new possibility…incoming yoga and mindfulness.”


The service had heard about Beth Borowsky and The Karma Class through its professional networks, and agreed to trial the techniques, starting with a class for the preschool aged children. 


“Beth taught the children yoga poses and different breathing exercises using their body and different materials,” Monica said. 


Educators were supported with a three hour ‘fast track’ professional development session, exploring different yoga poses, breathing exercises and mindfulness activities, and how to bring minutes of yoga and mindfulness into the classroom every day. 


“At first, our staff were unsure of the professional development session,” Monica said. 


“In the week leading up to it, I had a lot of educators sharing their discomforts for yoga and their uncertainties about participating in the whole-team Saturday training.”


However after the session some educators decided that they wanted to take up yoga themselves. 


“They all found it relaxing, practical and inspiring and were ready to start incorporating the new skills and tools on Monday morning,” Monica said. 


Through trial and error, the service has established the most useful times to implement their Karma Class practices include: 


  • Transitioning between environments
  • Transitioning from a loud environment to a quiet environment (eg. entering the classroom after outdoor play).
  • Calming bodies for rest time
  • During rest time
  • During morning and afternoon group time
  • Out in nature
  • On excursions.


“Yoga and mindfulness have made a tremendous impact on our children,” Monica said. 


“Through daily rituals and routines (called peace pauses)  incorporating yoga, breath and mindful experiences, the children have learnt different poses and breathing exercises. When faced with conflicts and challenges, they use breathing exercises alongside their educators to calm down and/or resolve issues.”


“The children are more settled during transition times, adopting a calmer approach towards change. They are able to connect with their bodies and understand the many ways they can move. We even have children holding their own yoga sessions with their friends.”


Overall, she continued, the classroom environments have become tranquil, connected and light, and the benefits are extending into the children’s home environments too.


“Documenting our journey through Kinderloop, our families have shared their amazement towards their children adopting mindful practices. Some families have asked for pictures of the yoga poses to implement at home. One of the parents in our Possum room, who has previously networked with Beth and is a yoga instructor herself, was delighted to see these practices being implemented every day.”


Explore and Develop Lilyfield have shared some videos of the children practicing yoga which may be found here. This piece has been adapted from one which first appeared on the Karma Class website. Access the original here


Beth Borowsky is the Founder and Head of Wellbeing Education at The Karma Class, a company dedicated to elevating wellbeing culture within centres.

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