Guest Blogger Kate Bartram-Brown

kate

 

Do kids get enough opportunity to make choices ?

I have found that through kids yoga, we are able to listen to what a child wants. This in itself is one of the most empowering gifts we can give to a child as adults!
You see, children need to be able to make decisions, but when do they get to do this?
Most children are told what to wear, what to eat, how to eat, what school they will go to. What books they will read, and who they socialize with, is already determined by our set of friends or which school they go to.
Our children are already being what is called “conditioned” from a very early age. In psychology, this is talked about a lot and how it affects a child’s mental and emotional well-being not only as a child but also as a grownup.
Some children around the world are encouraged to do what we call critical thinking but not all societies that I have seen support this.
Once I came across two children that when asked if they would like to draw a picture  of anything they would like, cried, as they felt so uncomfortable in making the decision in what to draw. They had no idea what to draw, as their entire lives (aged 4 and aged 6) they had been told what to do and how to do it.
To think and create for themselves was so far beyond their comfort zone it caused them distress.
So what does all that have to do with kids yoga? Well in kids yoga, (Mini Me Yoga Program)  children are encouraged to select their own cards/poses, to do the poses as they see them, be the leader of the game, they are in control of managing their emotions through breathing.
In the MMY 15 minute program, I made sure that we offered the child a chance to create their own yoga flow, select their own music if they so choose, pick their own cards, select which breathing exercise they wish to do, choose who they want to send love out to, which people, which animals and which places around the world. From here, their minds are opened to the endless possibilities that exist within each section and we start to see the children grow with confidence in their choices.
I do get it though, as it’s easier to allow children to make choices through kids yoga for sure, instead of asking them each day what they want to eat, wear, whether they want to go to school, whether they want to go to after school club that day or not, if they want to do maths or not .. I get it-it doesn’t fit into our system and we know that in life we need to follow some rules.. However the lack of opportunity a young child has to make choices has a direct effect on how they make choices when they are growing up.
But luckily we can do something about this! Through a very simple 15 minute program each day or indeed a local kids yoga class we can help children to feel confident and comfortable in making choices, decisions and experiencing the consequences of those decisions.
Did it make me feel happy? Did I fall over? Do I need to try harder at that next time? And so on.
We can give children the opportunity to make a choice that affects their daily life, and in doing this we support them taking responsibility for their own well-being and life as they grow.
Happy Yoga for everyone!

 

Peace, Love & Sparkly Diamonds,

Kate Bartram Brown

Founder – Mini Me Yoga

Mini Me Yoga

Mini Me Yoga as a Classroom Management Tool

Mini Me Yoga as a Classroom Management Tool

 

image

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

  • Breathing
    • Meditation
    • 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

 

 

 

 

Mindfulness, Mini Me Yoga, and Body Image

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. 

 

image

girl meditating

Neurodiversity, Education, and Classroom Management

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.

 

banner hopefully

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.

Kids Yoga
Kids Yoga

 

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)

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

www.institute4learning.com

thomas@institute4learning.com

Neurodiversity Principle #6: Success in Life Also Depends on Modifying Your Surrounding Environment to Fit the Needs of Your Unique Brain (Niche Construction)

Inclusion Teaming Offers a FREE Program for High School Youth in the New Haven Connecticut Area

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.

http://inclusionteaming.blogspot.ca/

Guest Blog: by Doreen Fulton, Transformational Author and Transition Coach

On the Same Wavelength!

 

Guest Blog:  by Doreen Fulton, Transformational Author and Transition Coach
http://believeinarayofhope.com
I had a fabulous time connecting with Heather McCrae at Neurodiversity Coaching last night.  I found that this former Special Education Teacher and I had much in common!  While our brains think differently we are both on the same wavelength.  We are both committed to making the lives of those we love with Special Needs better.  We both want to give voice to unspoken dreams and to help those who live with special needs celebrate their unique talents and gifts.
During our conversation, I shared my current projects and specifically talked about the launch of “Pebbles in the Pond,” a wonderful anthology, comprised of transformational stories from authors around the world.  I share my story “Finally, An IEP for Mom,” in this wonderful book and it will be released on May 20th.   You can watch my story unfold as I read my chapter here.  Everyone has a story and I encourage you to share yours and get a sneak peak of the book here: http://pebblesinthepondbook.com/.
Heather asked me about the 2-part webinar that I am co-hosting with Sandra Pearson from Our Special Families Village and I was happy to share that registration is still open.  Our webinar has a playful title and is delivered in two parts.  It’s titled,  If Mama Ain’t Transitioning, Ain’t Nobody is Transitioning.  It is jammed packed full of great info for Moms, Special Educators and Advocates and is designed to help you launch into a great summer.  I hope that you will join us.  Part 2 of this webinar will be aired on Thursday at 12pm.  Register nowand get the replay of part 1, with slides, notes and exercises.
I concluded the interview by talking about what comes next and was happy to report that Sandra Pearson from Our Special Families Village and I will be launching An IEP for Me, Coaching Circle for Moms, Special Educators and Advocates on May 15th.  This is a great resource for those who are facing a big transition without a game plan in hand.  Participants are asked to shift gears, and to focus on themselves.  To learn more about our Oasis of Support and join us, please visit Sandra and I at: http://www.believeinarayofhope.com/an-iep-for-me.
We would love to have more visitors at our facebook page.  http://www.facebook.com/AnIepForMe Please come over, “like us” and tell us Heather McCrae sent you and I will give you a free audio download from the IEP for Mom Telesummit.
Before signing off, I want to say once again how thrilled I am to be connected to the world’s only NeuroDiversity Coach!!   I am convinced that working together we can help more people to live the lives they were meant to lead without labels and stereotypes!  Together, we can let go of the past, embrace the beauty of the present and envision a brighter world.
Please contact me at Doreen@believeinarayofhope.com if you have any questions.
 
 
Doreen 
 
 

Temple Grandin

Neuro-of the brain, Diversity-the state or fact of being diverse;difference, unlikeness

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

 

This website and its content is copyright of Neurodiversity Coaching –
© Neurodiveresity Coaching TM 2012. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: