With mindfulness, students learn to give themselves the breathing room they require to take in what’s happening in and around them, see through a clearer lens, and respond more intentionally. By being curious about, and attending to, our present moment experiences; students learn about their reactions, patterns, and themselves. They begin to understand that they have a choice and can take space so that they may respond with compassion towards themselves and others.
UWCT is considered a pioneer in embedding wellbeing and mindfulness into our curriculum. Under the direction of our Head of Mindfulness, our entire community (students, staff, and parents) is invited to engage in practices that help them handle their emotions and behaviour skillfully, through a positive lens, with care and concern for themselves and for others.
PRIMARY STUDENT PRACTICES
Worry Balloon Practice
Great for letting go of worries and focusing your attention somewhere else.
Practice once a day or whenever you feel worried.
My Best Self Practice
A practice for remembering your strengths.
Great for practicing positive emotions, remembering what you are good at and getting motivated.
3-2-1 Awareness practice
Great for re-focusing, being present, making the mind a bit clearer and transitions.
Train your attention with kindness.
Learning to persevere with a kind attitude, noticing the way you speak to yourself, and training your attention for a longer time.
Cat Stretch for Younger Kids
Practice being present, focused and motivated along with Kru Lucy during this cat stretch practice.
Mindful Walking Practice
This simple practice is great when you need some mindful movement to connect with nature and be present.
Butterfly breathing Body Scan
Great for taking care of your body, focusing your attention and learning to notice sensations in the body.
Friendly Wishes Practice
Great for practicing positive emotions, connecting to kindness and connecting to people or pets you miss or care about .
Feel Your Feelings Practice
Soothe tricky and uncomfortable feelings.
Practice once a day or whenever you feel any uncomfortable feelings.
Gratitude Audio Practice
Practice being thankful for different things in your life.
Great for noticing good things when you have been thinking negatively. Helps to create a balanced way of seeing things.
Intro to 'Tree Balance' Yoga Pose for Kids
Practice Tree Pose with Kru Lucy and Stella the Cat. Visual credit to Shane Moret whose pictures I discovered on Linkedin and used at the end of the video.
Sometimes being together without much space can take its toll on everyone. By taking some space we can return with kindness.
Great for times when you may be frustrated, annoyed or angry.
Cuddly Toy Breathing
Explore being still and taking a few deep breaths with the help of your cuddly toy, to relax.
Great for times when you need to relax.
'Cobra' Yoga Pose for Kids
SECONDARY STUDENT & ADULT PRACTICES
Mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware of what is happening right now without judgement and with an attitude of curiosity and kindness. It is best practiced regularly and without the need for the practice to have any particular goal. Many people think mindfulness is an antidote to life’s problems and challenges—it is not. The benefits that come from practicing mindfulness arrive when one practices consistently.
Breath Awareness (15 mins)
Want to begin a regular mindfulness practice? This is a foundational practice that invites you to come to the present moment by noticing your breath.
Feel your Feelings Audio Practice (6 mins)
Learn how to work wisely with more challenging feelings rather than react to them and push them away.
Body Scan (20 mins)
Train your mind by practicing bringing attention to your body and scanning different parts of the body with curiosity and kindness. Notice how this is different from the way we usually pay attention to our bodies.
Body Awareness Practice (5 mins)
Drop into a short body awareness practice to let go of ‘doing’ and take space for ‘being’. Practicing regularly can make you become more aware of your body throughout the day.
3 min - Arriving and Landing Practice
Our minds are often in the future, planning and preparing for what will come next or dwelling on past experiences.
Drop into a three minute “Arriving and Landing Practice” so that you can be more present.
Affectionate Breathing (5 mins)
Do you treat yourself in the same way as you would treat a dear friend? Explore offering yourself some tenderness and see what you notice.
This is a compassionate twist on your regular breathing practice inspired by Dr Kristin Neff and Chris Germer professors, teachers and researchers of self compassion.
Mindful Movement (34 mins)
Want to begin a regular mindfulness practice but find sitting really challenging?
Beginning with gentle movement could be a helpful place to start. Practicing mindful movement regularly helps us to be more present and to develop respect and care for our bodies.
Gratitude Practice (13 mins)
Noticed that you are slipping into a place where you are noticing all the things that go wrong? Times like these are normal as our brains are hardwired to protect us and constantly look out for problems and threats.
This is great for keeping us safe and very necessary, but at times like these, we need more balance. Practicing gratitude daily helps us to focus on what is good and to connect to the positive so that we may see through a more balanced lens.
Stressing Out? S.T.O.P.
Stop what you’re doing; put things down for a minute.
Take a few deep breaths.
Observe your experience just as it is.
Proceed with something that will support you in the moment.
Welcoming and Befriending Ourselves
When we are struggling, sometimes we ask ourselves ‘what’s wrong with me?’ Or tell ourselves to ‘just get on with it’.
Welcoming involves an acceptance of both the joys and the struggles without judging either as right or wrong.
Training our minds to pause and connect to the things we appreciate each and every day can break the cycle of only focussing what isn’t going so well.
Great for when you need a change in perspective.