Week 1: The Body

Summary
In our first week, we will provide an overview of the pre-training course. We will also describe how why movement is a crucial component to overall health and wellness.

How to use this

  1. Please watch these videos sequentially.
  2. Acquaint yourself with the movement and breath by following the instructions included in each video a few times before moving on.
  3. Acquaint yourself with the language and breathing cues that are used in each video, noticing patterns of movement and breath.
  4. After you have watched and practiced along to the first 7 videos, there is an 8th video that will lead you through a short sequence, tying together the individual videos. This is a sequence that you will be using when you teach, and that you can also use for your own short practice.
  5. After completing the videos and the reading, please take and submit the quiz.

Lesson


We have summed up our approach to wellness in five interconnected aspects of our being, which we call the Five Points of Health and Wellness. They are:

  1. Body
  2. Breath
  3. Mind
  4. Attention
  5. Engagement

Through these wellness exercises, we teach the ability to energize, strengthen, and stretch the body. The objective behind the physical aspects of the wellness exercises is to help build energetic, joyful bodies equipped with multi-potentials, such as strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, spatial awareness, and sensitivity.

One of our key lessons is that we are the ultimate participants in our health and wellness. In order to create health and wellness in ourselves, we have to develop healthy habits and routines. Regular exercise is of tremendous importance in developing a high-functioning body, a healthy brain, and an adaptable nervous system. Exercise helps release excess stress hormones from the blood stream, and also encourages blood circulation through every organ and muscle in the body. Exercise (along with breathing) increases heart rate variability, which is an indicator of biological health and balance.

The poses that are taught throughout the year are practice routines made up of short sequences. Sequences are important because they illustrate the steps that we follow in order to obtain an objective (similar to an algorithm, which is a process or set of rules that is established for the purpose of problem-solving). The idea of sequences can be translated into organizing our daily life beyond the practice sessions: how we carry out our morning 
(brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, getting ready for school) can bring a sense of order and calm to the day.

Students spend most of their busy days trying to learn, and we learn best when we feel healthy, happy, and awake. Yet by the time young people enter middle school, they are sitting in uncomfortable chairs for up to seven hours a day, which can have significant, negative physical, emotional, and intellectual effects. Feeling sluggish, tired, sleepy, depressed, and unable to focus is not a recipe for effective education.
The good news? Movement and exercise have been shown to improve learning capacity, thanks to an increase in blood flow and oxygen absorption.

Movement helps us develop energetic bodies and bright minds; being sedentary leads to lethargy and less than optimal brain and cardiovascular function. A culture of intelligent movement must become a regular part of the school day in order for students to feel steady and confident in both body and mind.

Videos

Takeaways

Life is movement: our organs, blood, muscles, bones, and breath all move, change and grow. 
We are not static organisms.

When we use our bodies in a purposeful way, they become stronger and more efficient. Our bodies are like rivers, full of active, flowing life. However, when we do not move, we become like stagnant puddles of water. Our bodies naturally store matter, information, worries, and experiences. If we do not give our bodies and our minds a chance to shake out, wring out, and work out everything that’s accumulated, we feel tired, weighed down, and disorganized.
When you’re sitting in a chair all day, you might start to feel sluggish and heavy in both body and mind. Breathing and moving is like wiping a blackboard clean—you give yourself a fresh start.

Wellness exercises are positive habits that we form to keep our bodies, breath, and blood moving. Like brushing our teeth every day, it is a necessary part of maintaining our own health. Healthy bodies and healthy minds lay the groundwork for happier kids (and teachers).

Quiz

In our first week, we will provide an overview of the pre-training course. We will also describe how why movement is a crucial component to overall health and wellness.

Resources


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