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The Benefits of Mindful Movement for K-5 Students

Amy M. Starkey, COTA/L, CTP-E, CYMHS

June 15, 2024

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Question

What is mindful movement and what are its therapeutic benefits in educational settings, particularly in managing stress, improving self-regulation, and aiding sensory processing disorders?

Answer

Mindful movement is an umbrella term encompassing breathing exercises and intentional slow movements, such as yoga, designed to enhance focus, awareness, and body-brain organization. In educational settings, it offers a plethora of therapeutic benefits. These include significant reductions in stress and anxiety, leading to improved mood and diminished acting-out behaviors among students. Additionally, mindful movement fosters enhanced socialization and relationships with peers and adults, boosts self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-awareness, and encourages creativity and creative play. It facilitates self-regulation and focus while promoting body awareness skills, spatial awareness, and proprioception. For students managing sensory processing disorders, mindful movement provides the proprioceptive input they seek through specific movements like yoga stretches and poses. By incorporating mindful movement into classrooms or therapy rooms, students can better manage their nervous system needs and enhance their ability to self-regulate effectively.

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course Yoga Tools for Children K-5: Mindful Movement for Pediatric and School-Based Therapists by Amy M. Starkey, COTA/L, CTP-E, CYMHS.


amy m starkey

Amy M. Starkey, COTA/L, CTP-E, CYMHS

Amy M. Starkey has worked in pediatric OT for 25 years, specializing in sensory processing, trauma, and school-based OT. She is the founder of YOGA-2-GO, a children’s yoga & mindfulness organization specializing in therapeutic yoga, SEL, and mindfulness for children of all ages & ability levels. She’s combined her expertise as a children’s yoga instructor, a certified Qigong instructor, a certified trauma practitioner, and a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA/L) to help children of all ages and ability levels become ‘educated, encouraged, and empowered’!

 

 


Related Courses

QiKIDS™ - Qigong for Pediatrics
Presented by Amy M. Starkey, COTA/L, CTP-E, CYMHS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Amy M. Starkey, COTA/L, CTP-E, CYMHS
Course: #4866Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'very informative'   Read Reviews
In “QiKids: Qigong for Pediatrics”, participants will learn gentle, effective mind & body-based movements, breaths and acupressure points proven to decrease stress, calm anxiety, improve mental focus, boost immune system function, and build resiliency. Qigong is the perfect therapeutic movement exercise for both clinicians and clients wanting to create a regular mindfulness practice that supports mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being.

Yoga Tools for Children K-5: Mindful Movement for Pediatric and School-Based Therapists
Presented by Amy M. Starkey, COTA/L, CTP-E, CYMHS
Recorded Webinar

Presenter

Amy M. Starkey, COTA/L, CTP-E, CYMHS
Course: #4794Level: Introductory2 Hours
  'The instructor was amazing at presenting the information for this course'   Read Reviews
This course teaches pediatric therapists evidence-based yoga tools and trauma-informed, mindful movement strategies to help young clients build resilience, self-regulation, and nervous system regulation in school and clinical settings; attendees will gain skills for leading therapy through experiential learning and integrating therapeutic yoga and mindfulness into K-5 classrooms to support student self-regulation and learning preparedness.

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