Mini Me Yoga as a Classroom Management Tool
I made a promise to myself when I was trained as a Mini Me Yoga Ambassador, that I would work tirelessly to make sure Mini Me Yoga was in every school and daycare in Canada. I am the Ambassador for Mini Me Yoga Canada.
I work with Kate Bartram-Brown, who founded Mini Me in the UK in 2014. I wanted specifically to train Educators and give them an effective and positive Classroom Management tool.
Mini Me Yoga is taught in over 20 countries around the world! I share Kate’s passion to bring Joy to children, and I immediately saw during my Ambassador training that this program is a positive classroom management tool that every teacher of younger children can use!
No previous experience with Yoga is required.
Mini-Me Yoga is a Heart-Centered, playful approach that teaches children breathing techniques and yoga postures. We foster a child’s innate curiosity to explore yoga without rigid expectations, leaving them free to fall in love with deep belly breathing, heart-centered living, and freedom of movement, relaxation and meditation.
In this 2-hour Mini Me Yoga workshop, parents, grandparents, childcare providers and teachers learn simple techniques for introducing 15 minutes a day of yoga and positive thinking to preschool and elementary-aged children using games and exercises designed to make it fun and engaging.
Each participant receives:
Complete set of 14 Magick Yoga Cards
Online training for additional resource
Mini Me Tote Bag
Certificate of Completion Online access to the Mini Me Yoga website with additional resources for Facilitators
You learn The Mini Way
• Making energy water
• Why we do kids yoga
• Plus, at least 14 yoga poses
It’s action-packed and full of information as well as practical tools.
Everyone leaves with what they need to get started right away.
I stress to all my Facilitators when we start the training that you do not have to be proficient in Yoga or even have your own Yoga practice-all you need is an open mind and an open Heart.
Why this is effective in the classroom:
- Starting the day with the 15 minute Program, puts everyone in positive and relaxed mindset-including Educators!
- Elements of the program are so easy and practical to use to get the children’s attention
- Whenever you find yourself with a last-minute schedule change, or in need of a transitional activity, Mini Me is perfect for that
- When you are trained, you receive a deck of Magick Yoga cards and games to play with the children using the cards! These are perfect activities for indoor recess or for transitions
As a Culture, we have a real opportunity to make changes from the ground up, and that means starting with our children. Countless studies have shown that Meditation has positive effects on both the brain and the whole body’s ability to deal with stress. This isn’t even bringing Spirituality into the conversation. Meditation is good for you. I am both the Mini Me Yoga Ambassador for Canada and a Certified Facilitator of The Max Meditation System TM.
I have stated in all the information I give to potential clients, that our program is a gentle, heart-centered program that is not rigid. We don’t want or need the kids to do “Perfect Yoga”. We want them to be able to enjoy it and feel safe exploring! For many children, Mini Me Yoga is their first experience with Yoga and we want them to enjoy it so the principles of deep belly breathing, relaxation and meditation stay with them!
I fell in Love with Mini Me Yoga when I first attended my Facilitator Training. I was relaxed, happy and open. I have giggled so many times, when adults have told me the same thing when I’ve taught Facilitator Classes. I’ve had requests for Adult Mini Me Yoga Classes! We have a Yoga portion, but also a Meditation portion too. Giving children a chance to gently connect to their bodies and souls is so important!
The reason our program isn’t rigid is that we are in the Love Business. We want our children breathing, and relaxing into their Hearts and bodies without fear, shame or guilt. We want the children loving and accepting themselves, just as they are when they come to class.
As you may see from my profile picture, I don’t have a “standard yoga body”-whatever that means. I am short and curvy, like many women and girls. Kate Bartram-Brown, our founder, is committed to Mini Me Yoga as a safe space for everyone to come and be exactly as they are, and know they are enough. I am on the same page as my good friend, Kate!
My Mission for Mini Me Yoga in Canada is the same as it is in 23 other countries around the world. We want kids relaxed, happy, joyful and loving themselves!
We also want the adults who attend Facilitator and Ambassador Training to know they are enough and just the right size, shape, and kind to teach Mini Me. What matters to us is that you are a Heart-Centered person. I will not train anyone who isn’t.
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20…If I had known what I know now, in terms of skills and tools, I would have had a lot more to offer my at-risk students when I was a Special Education Teacher.
Children living in poverty have extreme behaviours, at times, because they are living in extreme circumstances. It is completely understandable for hungry children to be restless and hyperactive. This can also happen when they are exhausted from not sleeping.
There are some very grounded and practical reasons why I joined forces with Kate Bartram-Brown to bring Mini Me Yoga to Canada. I am a Mini Me Yoga Ambassador. I want all children-regardless of background and income, to feel Joy and Safety at school and at home. I train parents and educators both, on our core 15 minute program, because it’s important. I teach Teachers how to use Mini Me as a classroom management tool. There are very gentle ways to manage kids, especially little ones, that are fun and not stressful. If I had Mini Me when I was teaching, even with Middle School kids, I absolutely would have made use of it! Mini Me is modified Yoga. The poses are modified to be appropriate for growing bodies without stressing muscles or joints. There are games that absolutely are appropriate for a classroom setting, and can be used whenever there’s a last-minute schedule change or even at the end of a class period or the end of the school day. This is constructive fun. From a health perspective, Mini Me Yoga teaches healthy breathing and heart-centeredness.
The other important tool I offer is meditation. For all of you old school educators, you’re going to have to believe me, the kids are ready to learn and it helps so much in terms of classroom atmosphere. You may think this is totally crazy, but there is plenty of research out there about how meditation and yoga help kids. I have ADHD and trust me, I have used the Max Meditation System TM, among other tools, to manage it successfully and to get off medication completely. It is not only possible, it’s necessary. I have plenty of derivative tools I teach educators and parents. I teach the actual Max Meditation TM class in weekly in Oakville Ontario.
As parents and educators, it’s so important to stay relevant and also to seek out the most gentle and clear methods of classroom management. I have co-taught Mini Me Yoga to children with autism. Every child can learn and benefit. I taught mostly children with behaviour issues for 7 1/2 years. Alternative methods that are grounded and practical transform classroom settings, whether or not the children have learning or behaviour issues.
Neurodiversity Principle #6: Success in Life Also Depends on Modifying Your Surrounding Environment to Fit the Needs of Your Unique Brain (Niche Construction)
I can create my Life to make sense to me!
I am a Different Thinker. I am not Like other people and I don’t have to be! I have choices and options and resources to help me take back my Life and make it what I want. This is my Life and I am enjoying creating it!
For more information about the Principles:
Contact Dr. Thomas Armstrong, PhD
Inclusion Teaming is an educational program that provides students, with and without social skill challenges, communication skill they can use for a lifetime—for future success in any field!
We are experiencing difficulty getting the word out to families of high school youth with high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.
Our program is FREE and takes place at Yale New Haven/St. Raphael Hospital. It begins on Thursday, September 27th.
This is a MUST SEE for those wanting a glimpse into someone’s Neurodiverse World!
On the Same Wavelength!
Please contact me at Doreen@believeinarayofhope.com if you have any questions.
Temple Grandin, if you don’t know already is a full-blown Autistic who has been a trailblazer in so many ways: women’s rights, Autism Advocacy, Humane treatment of animals.
If you have not had a chance to see her life story on HBO, it is a real mind-blower! the visual description of how her mind works is such a gift! I am visual and auditory and also an adult living successfully with ADHD, Depression and probably a touch of Aspergers.
Temple has done so much good, truly by her willingness to simply not settle for being less that all that she is! She has helped millions of people understand what Autism is and how it has nothing whatever to do with intelligence or a lack thereof. She suffered much in the 60’s and 70’s as a woman who was not taken seriously, because of Autism, and also because she is a woman. She did not give up and was successful in creating transformative changes to the treatment of cattle and livestock in processing plants-making their final journey so much more humane than ever before.
I, for one, am so grateful for Temple’s work and am very excited that she will be a guest on Neurodiversity Radio when we can schedule the time!
Light and Love to you!
Heather M. McCrae, MM MEd
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