Class Relax

refocus, renew and get ready to learn

A New Gig!

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Update: Sept 24th

Class Relax once more entered the Telem 9th Grade class.

Once more I took the position at the front of the class and waited for Gila, the homeroom teacher, to introduce me and participate in the brief session to get in touch with body posture and breath.

I had fans amongst the students. I saw some faces smiling and happy to work with me.

Looking forward to next time!

 

Class Relax has been invited to begin morning sessions with a 9th Grade “Telem” Class. This is a special, smaller class of Jr. High kids who need a tighter framework in order to succeed. They are smart kids, often with specific talents, dealing with inattentiveness due to various factors. Until now, it’s been hard for them to connect to the demands of the school schedule.

Gila, their homeroom teacher, and I have been discussing how class relax techniques might be beneficial as a tool in their quest to deal with daily school life – whether it be academics or authority or any number of things that oppress and aggravate inner struggles.

Class Relax is based on the premise that once a few techniques are practiced, they can be applied anytime, anywhere. And if needed, there’s a clip available from the Class Relax blog to offer guidance – in school or out.

So, this past week, I arrived at their “Good Morning” pre-school session and spoke for a few minutes about what I was offering; about learning how to be present in the moment. About how to listen without reacting. About how to begin to re-center when things grab our attention.

Breathing

Breathing

I turned on the computer and considered starting in with a Class Relax meditation, but I thought better of it. First, unplugged.  That way, pupils would see that anywhere, anytime, they have within them the power to re-focus.

We started with noticing the body: feet on the floor, body on the chair. We made one small adjustment, as if a magnet was pulling us up taller towards the ceiling.  Our spines were elongated, but our shoulders relaxed.

We exhaled, until our stomach was empty.

I looked around. A few kids were totally with me. Then someone walked in late. I kept my focus. Then someone knocked on the door. Then someone shouted. Then someone else said something and there was some laughter. Gila came to stand beside me and together at the front of the room, we both followed my instructions.

I told them that one of the best ways to re-center is to notice their breathing. I invited them to count 5 breaths, with their hand on their bellies, if they wished.

Inhale-exhale = 1.  Inhale-exhale = 2.  and so on. I kept the pace for those two counts. Then invited them to continue.

When they finished they were to raise a finger.

My voice was even.

After fingers went up, together we made 2 huge cleansing breaths and came back to reality.

We stretched, arms outstretched to our sides, screwing them in different directions in order to get a good stretch in the back and chest. Up to the ceiling – first one arm stretched and then the other. Out to the walls – one side then the other. Down to the floor, one arm and then the other.

  • And then shaking out the arms.

  • Shaking out the legs.

  • Slapping the knees

  • Clapping the hands

  • Palms together, bowing and wishing: “Have a wonderful day”.

No matter how many participated, no matter how many paid attention, at the end the room lit up with smiles!

What better way to begin a good day?

I said bye. Gila thanked me as did a few students!

Me? I was off to administer a test in the 7th grade. And there too, I conducted a short Class Relax session in order to oxygenate our brains. The homeroom teacher, Amos, asked if he could participate. “Please!” I said. And he did! And the kids were enriched by his presence. They understood that this was a positive thing to do.

Twice that morning.

Even with the superheat of the day and throughout the intensive testing conditions, those class relax sessions nourished me.

This, in truth, is the most delicious side-effect of doing Class Relax with students. The teacher reaps rewards. Each time it’s done, you get a prize!

In this upcoming week, there will be a Class Relax Mindfulness group and another visit to the 9th Grade class.

I’m looking forward to new experiences. No doubt, these sessions are going to offer many opportunities for observing how pupils encounter the practice of mindfulness and give me the chance to address their questions, spoken or not.

May the week be safe, healthful, full of happiness and may we live in peace.

molly hahn's buddha doodle. Be in the moment

molly hahn’s buddha doodle. Be in the moment

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