This week we kick off our “Yoga In The Schools” program. This is a very exciting time for our business! It is yet another facet that we are adding on to the beautiful entity we have created. Challenge To Change, Inc., along with the Dubuque Community School District, have received a $20,000 grant from the McDonough Foundation to implement the practice of yoga and mindfulness into the classrooms of four schools in our district. These schools are: Fulton, Lincoln, Sageville, and Kennedy. These four schools will receive teacher education, support tools and classroom teaching strategies to help students self regulate and practice the art of mindfulness.

Studies of mindfulness programs in schools have found that regular practice — even just a few minutes per day — improves student self-control and increases their classroom participation, respect for others, happiness, optimism, and self-acceptance levels. It can help reduce absenteeism and suspensions too. A mindfulness practice helps reduce activity in the amygdala, the brain’s emotional center responsible for fear and stress reactions.

“The other thing we know mindfulness does with the brain is it increases the activity in the prefrontal cortex,” said Vicki Zakrzewski, education director at the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, which studies the science behind mindfulness. “This is where we make our decisions, how we plan, our abstract thinking,” she said.

To keep up on our journey this year, keep checking our blog, Instagram posts, and Facebook page. Namaste friends!