Wellness Wednesday Focuses on Mindfulness

The Upper School Wellness Wednesday series continues with a focus on Mindfulness. Mindfulness is described on mindful.org as “basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
To help students learn more about mindfulness, the School Counselors discussed the benefits that practicing mindfulness can provide, which include improved attention, emotional regulation, greater compassion, and most importantly, reduction of stress and anxiety. By understanding how the brain reacts to emotions and situations, students can better control and manage their emotions for positive outcomes. One way to encourage mindfulness is through the practice of yoga.
MVA partnered with Yoga6, a new yoga studio located in Clermont, who took students through a series of stretches and incorporated elements of mindfulness. Yoga helps to achieve mindfulness, encouraging non-judgmental thoughts and focus on being in the moment – not worrying about the upcoming test or game that was lost, but focusing on breathing in and out, noticing how the body feels and calming the mind’s thoughts to be fully present in the moment.
Amber Soler, general manager and lead instructor at Yoga6, and Summer Bautins, instructor, were excited to share yoga with students. Amber has been an athlete all of her life, has been practicing yoga for 12 years and teaching yoga for more than five years. Summer is a young teacher who became certified to teach yoga at 16 and is studied acupuncture and oriental medicine.
“Yoga is an amazing way to cope with high stress environments,” said Amber. “It is a natural way to alleviate stress that can be relied on to regulate our emotions and thoughts and help redirect ourselves to make better choices. Breath work in particular is a great way for young people to cope and regulate stress – whether it’s anxiety about a test or big game – focusing on the breath is a great way to feel in control and powerful.”
“I’ve always been driven – I was attending college at a young age, so finding yoga was an important way for me to succeed in an environment that was highly stressful,” said Summer. “I realized the benefits of yoga and mindfulness, which is why I chose to get certified as a teacher and study oriental medicine. I want to share these healthy coping mechanisms that are a productive with others to help them avoid other, destructive ways to cope.”
Students who participated were at first a little intimidated about getting on the floor and closing their eyes, but at the end of the session, they said they felt relaxed but energized.

Thank you to Mrs. Varnado and Mr. Robinson, who managed the day, Yoga6 for teaching students for the day and the students who participated in Wellness Wednesday!