FC Youth News

Teaching Mindfulness with SYSTEMA at FightClub

December 5, 2017

Mindfulness education has proven benefits that include; increasing optimism and happiness, decreasing bullying and aggression, increasing compassion and empathy for others and helps kids resolve conflicts.

The dictionary’s definition of mindfulness is – “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique”.

Here are some exercises I use at FightClub that SYSTEMA teaches to develop mindfulness for the youth students. Feel free to test them out at home!

Breathing into the hands
Have the kids place their hands on various parts of their bodies and breath into them. They should notice how their hands’ moves rise (fill) and lower (deflate), as they inhale and exhale.

Tense & Relax Drill
While the kids are lying down (with their eyes closed or open), have them tense every (or some) muscle in their bodies. Have them hold themselves in tensed up positions for a few seconds, and then fully release and relax. This is a great, fun activity for “loosening up” the body and mind, and is a totally accessible way to get the kids to understand the art of “being present.”

Learn to Touch
Whether it’s when the kids wrestle, push each other with fist/feet, contacting the wall or falling to the ground it’s a way to teach the kids the practice of isolating their senses from one another, and tuning into distinct experiences.

Listen to the Whistle
I use a ‘Fox 40’ whistle and ask the kids to listen closely to the vibration of the sound. Tell them to remain silent and raise their hands when they no longer hear the noise it makes. Then tell them to remain silent for one minute and pay close attention to the other sounds they hear once the sound has stopped.

Feel Your Heartbeat Exercise
The kids run around the mats or jump up and down in place for one minute. Then have them sit back down and place their hands on their hearts. Tell them to close their eyes and feel their heartbeats, their breath, and see what else they notice about their bodies.

Walk and Talk
In this exercise, the kids walk around the mats and talk about what they just learned and how they felt about it.” A simple exercise that allows kids to communicate – casually and comfortably with each other.

I hope this helps,
Emmanuel

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