Self-Care Tip for Teachers:
Present Moment Meditation
Incorporating yoga + mindfulness into classroom settings is most effective when teachers practice what they preach. Taking time to care for yourself shows students that self-care does not equal selfishness – it’s vital to our physical and mental health to make meaningful, purposeful time for ourselves. And it doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive! The important thing is to find something that you enjoy and can realistically work into your daily routine.
This week’s tip comes from NGY Teacher & Trainer Amy Nucera of Ambler, PA. Amy shares a short meditation that helps her mindfully navigate even the most hectic of days.
One of my favorite acts of self-care is to do a short present moment awareness meditation whenever I arrive at an appointment, meeting, etc. Taking this time helps me unload any mental junk that traveled along with me to my destination so I can move onto my next task clear-headed and focused. I invite you to try it!
Two Minute Present Moment
- Sit in a comfortable, relaxed position. Close your eyes or lower your gaze, and begin deep, even breaths in and out.
- Close your eyes and focus on the most obvious sounds around you. As your concentration sharpens, bring your attention to more subtle sounds such as a distant bird call or music from a passing car.
- Next, bring your attention to your body. Simply notice the sensations – feel your arms resting on your lap, your legs on your seat, the clothes against your skin. Notice any pains, discomfort muscle tightness, or feelings of stress or anxiety.
- Next, bring your attention to your thoughts. Notice them, without judgment or feeling like you have to fix or do something about them. As different thoughts arise, notice them and then let them go. Think of watching your thoughts drift by like a cloud in the sky.
- Finally, bring your total awareness to your breath. Notice the natural changes in your breathing as you become more relaxed. Take a few more deep inhales and exhales, and when you’re ready, flutter your eyes open or lift your gaze, and bring your awareness back to your surroundings.
Written by: Amy Nucera
Next Generation Yoga Teacher for ages 2-13
EVOLvED Heart-Centered, Mindful Education Trainer
Amy began her career in early childhood education, specializing in imaginative play and creative movement. Years later she joined team NGY was able to combine her loves of yoga and education. Sharing yoga + mindfulness in schools became her main focus. She is thrilled to be able to share techniques and tools with children and educators that help cultivate a positive & healthy school environment, manage stress and reduce anxiety for students and teachers, and promote empathy & tolerance towards others. Learn more about Amy here.