Emily McCormack, Founding Partner UB.U

The beginning of the new school year also was the start of our UB.U pilot program for 2014-2015. It’s been a whirlwind and we’re thrilled to be teaching mindfulness, movement and relaxation in 17 classrooms in Eagle County, from kindergarten through high school.

Last week, I got to spend time with kinder and first grade students at Eagle Valley Elementary School (EVES). Since this was the first time many of the kindergarteners had experienced a UB.U lesson we kicked things off with the basics: mindful listening.

Imagine being five or six years old and sitting mindfully – criss-cross-applesauce – with eyes gently closed, just listening. No moving, no thinking, no giggling, no twitching, itching or tapping. This is a tough exercise for many adults, so you can only imagine how the kids fare. So much for basic, right?

Kids’ bodies are biologically wired to be in motion. And yet we, as adults, ask kids to be still and listen. A lot. I can hear myself ask it of my own children and I cringe. But, in our society, this is sometimes a necessity (in school, for instance). Yet, we haven’t provided our kids with the tools to listen and be still.

UB.U to the rescue…we’ve got the tools!

We begin with mindful listening. First, I taught the kinders and first graders how to put on their mindful bodies (criss- cross-applesauce, straight spine, attentive and peaceful in their seats), which allowed calm and quiet to fill the room. We practiced the difference between mindful bodies and crazy, lazy bodies for a few moments, and then I introduced yoga bells. The kids LOVE the bells. I asked them to put on their mindful bodies and open their ears. And then I rang the bells. The kids listened and let big, bright smiles light up their […]