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Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement - Book Cover

Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement

A Guide for Educators
By: Christine Mason, Jeffrey Donald, Krishna Kaur Khalsa, Michele M. Rivers Murphy, Valerie Brown

Foreword by Ruschelle S. Reuben
A Joint Publication With Kundalini Research Institute

To make your classroom a place that supports mental health and wellness, incorporate meditation, breathing, mindfulness, and secular yoga activities into your teaching with this practical, research-based guide.

Full description

Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071852811
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2021
  • Page Count: 320
  • Publication date: December 07, 2021

Price: $43.95

Price: $43.95
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For Instructors

Request Review Copy

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In chaotic times, a deep breath can bring calm to your classroom.

As the pandemic recedes and the world gradually returns to “normal,” it’s more important than ever to make your classroom a place that supports mental health and improves overall wellness. In this book, you’ll discover the why and the how of using techniques to reduce stress, improve executive function, and set the stage for increased memory and attention, better self-regulation, and improved cognition and academic learning.

With this practical, research-based guide, you’ll incorporate age- and grade-appropriate meditation, breathing, mindfulness, and secular yoga activities into your teaching, in ways that work for in-person as well as virtual and hybrid settings. Features include

  • Adaptations for special populations, including those who have experienced trauma
  • Recommendations for family involvement in social emotional learning
  • Guidance on self-care for teachers and school staff
  • Data from successfully implemented programs
  • Dozens of illustrations, QR codes, and reflective questions

Mindfulness isn’t just a buzzword-it’s a time-tested, teacher-tested technique for reducing anxiety and improving you students’ outcomes. Incorporate it into your classroom and see for yourself how much good a deep breath can do.



Christine Mason photo

Christine Mason

Christine Mason, PhD, an educational psychologist, is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of educational reform, visioning, trauma and mindfulness, teacher and principal mentoring, and special education. She is also a yoga, mindfulness, meditation instructor who was trained in New Mexico and certified in 2001, with a Level II yoga certification in Conscious Communication in 2005. From 2005-2009, she was chair of the Education Committee for Miri Piri Academy, an international yoga boarding school in Amritsar, India. In 2009, she served for 5 months as the interim principal at Miri Piri. Since being certified to teach yoga, Christine has taught 2-5 yoga and meditation classes weekly in local community centers and for the Fairfax County Parks and Recreation program. She is a member of the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association and is also certified in Radiant Child Yoga.

Christine is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Educational Improvement, an intentional collaborative of educators and researchers actively engaging to create a transformational system of education focused on collective healing and holistic learning. We identify, curate, develop, and scale-up sustainable practices, such as Heart Centered Learning and Leadership and student-led reform, that nurture family and community connectedness, well-being, equity, and justice.

Christine is also the Chief Advisor to the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative, with Yale University’s New England Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. Her time as chair of Miri Piri’s education committee and her multiple visits to India, as well as her experiences networking for transformative educational change and researching exemplary educational programs, serve as the foundation for her beliefs and efforts to bring compassionate practices to all aspects of education.

Early in her career, Christine also was a classroom teacher and a professor, teaching courses in curriculum, inclusion, social emotional learning, educational assessment, and educational research. She has also served as Associate Executive Director of Research and Professional Development at the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP); Director of Professional Development for the Student Support Center in Washington, D.C.; and the Senior Director for Research and Development with the Council for Exceptional Children. Christine is lead author of several books and articles, including Mindfulness Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered Communities Where Children Focus and Flourish, Mindful School Communities: The 5 Cs of Nurturing Heart Centered Learning, Visioning Onward: A Guide for ALL Schools, and Compassionate School Practices: Fostering Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being. She is also the primary author and developer of an innovative process for developing compassionate school cultures: The School Compassionate Culture Analytical Tool for Educators (S-CCATE).

Jeffrey Donald photo

Jeffrey Donald

Jeffrey Donald, MS, has served as an educator and instructional leader for the past sixteen years. He is currently the Mindfulness Coordinator for Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland. Jeffrey holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Hood College as well as being a certified 500-hour Master Yoga and Meditation teacher & Reiki Master. Mr. Donald has held international wellness retreats in Mexico and Costa Rica, has been featured on national news such as PBS Newshour, and has co-authored two school-based mindfulness books.

As an advocate for social justice and systemic change, Mr. Donald believes that the fundamental application of yogic practices and philosophy is essential to life-long success and satisfaction, therefore everyone is deserving of free access and opportunity to these practices and lifestyle. To this end, Jeff serves on several yogic-based Board of Directors, serves regularly in Restorative Truth and Reconciliation commissions, and most importantly, consistently teaches the science of Kundalini yoga, Vipassana Meditation, and mindfulness to populations who historically have not had free access or opportunity

Krishna Kaur Khalsa photo

Krishna Kaur Khalsa

Krishna Kaur. When California and several other states passed the Three Strikes Law in 1994, being a Black woman in the US, I knew that it meant that many men and women of color, especially Black men and women, would be corralled in prisons even for something as simple as stealing a candy bar if it was their 3rd strike. I also knew that our prisons were up for sale around the same time and that lots of money could be made from owning a prison. The two situations, the 3 strikes law, and the privatization of many of our maximum prisons, were a match made in heaven. These two possibilities sparked in me the determination to do everything possible to help prevent our youngsters from getting that 3rd strike. It was then that Y.O.G.A. for Youth was born.

I was initially called to teach high school youth in a program called, “Upward Bound.” These low-income youth had strong desires to go to college but were not being exposed to the kind of education from their low income schools that could support that vision to become a reality. I taught Kundalini Yoga to a group of inner-city youth in collaboration with Upward Bound for four summers. These youngsters, boys and girls, black and white, were being housed on a beautiful university campus learning higher math, college level sciences, and other college prep courses. That hope filled program ended unceremoniously when our government passed what was called the “No Child Left Behind” law that in reality, left millions of young Black and Brown boys and girls behind. They were devastated. We were frustrated. I then received a call from the director of a Juvenile Detention Center for incarcerated boys. That is when it became obvious that I needed to create a YFY Teacher Training program. What was easy for me was not easy for many who wanted to help make a difference in the lives of our youth.

Training yoga teachers in the most effective ways to engage teens and pre-teens in the art and science of yoga and meditation was critical to the success of our organization. The trainings grew from 9-hour trainings to 40 hours, where it has been for over 20 years. The increase in hours for the training was imperative as the need for our teachers to understand more deeply the issues surrounding trauma, anxiety, and fear grew in intensity. These triggers to youth’s behaviors are chronic in our inner-city schools and homes today. Our teachers have to be able to identify and respond effectively to the questions we are given on the spot by these youngsters. At the same time, it is precisely the yoga and mindful self-help techniques that empower them and give them hope and a belief in themselves that changes their lives going forward. It wasn’t long before I began receiving calls from places I never expected. It was eye opening to realize that young Black and Latino kids were not the only ones who needed what we were teaching. The Y.O.G.A. for Youth training has been taught around the world, throughout Europe, Brazil, Chile, Germany, the UK, Mexico, China and extensively throughout the United States and North America. Our children are everywhere and need these teachings to help them navigate through a very complicated world. Right now, there is very little else that makes sense to them.

During the past year, under COVID, Y.O.G.A. for YOUTH has served elementary and middle schools via Zoom in Los Angeles, North Carolina, and Montgomery County Schools in Maryland. These conditions are far from the best environments for youngsters at home trying to focus while siblings, pets, and other distractions prevail. Yet, in our experience they enthusiastically engage for short periods of time as the memory of how they felt after the yoga classes at school is something they want to experience again and again. They say it helps them sleep a night. That might sound like a small thing, but when you haven’t slept for 3 days, it can totally distort the way even the simplest of challenges can trigger irrational thinking and undesirable behavior. There is a learning curve for sure, yet, when it comes to our children, Y.O.G.A. for YOUTH wants each child to affirm their own greatness. That is more important than anything to us.

Michele M. Rivers Murphy photo

Michele M. Rivers Murphy

Michele Rivers Murphy, EdD, CEI’s Associate Director of Heart Centered Learning, is a seasoned consultant, presenter, and educational leader. A change agent for over two decades, she has helped transform some of the highest-needs neighborhoods and districts by improving student engagement, school culture, and academic success.

Michele’s organizational research specifically addresses the challenges associated with childhood trauma and stress that compromise learning and teaching. Through building compassionate, supportive school environments, educators learn to find balance between social-emotional health and well-being and academic achievement.

Michele has served as an educational leader at all grade levels. As an administrator, she created an innovative disciplinary approach as an alternative to in-school and out-of-school suspension, completely eliminating in-school suspension and decreasing out-of-school suspension by 75 percent. In addition, she expanded high-needs programming to a mainstream setting, with a focus on real-life practice, service, and connection to community. She also created a 21st century school community model, which she presented to the Massachusetts Secretary of Education.

Michele is co-author (with Christine Mason) of Mindful School Communities and Mindfulness Practices, and co-developer and co-author of The School Compassionate Culture Analytical Tool for Educators (S-CCATE). Michele obtained a doctoral degree in educational leadership (K–12) from Northeastern University. She also holds multiple certifications in both regular and special education.

Valerie Brown photo

Valerie Brown

Valerie Brown, JD, MA, PCC, transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy, compassionate, and authentic connections. She is an accredited leadership coach, international retreat leader, writer, and Chief Mindfulness Officer of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC (www.leadsmartcoaching.com), specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership, and is a Co-Director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership.

She holds the following degrees: Juris Doctorate, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts.

Her books include The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel (QuakerBridge Media, 2012) and the highly acclaimed, The Mindful School Leader: Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014).

Valerie’s received extensive training from the Center for Courage & Renewal and Parker J. Palmer; the Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University; the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, & Society; the Center for Compassion Focused Therapy; the Ojai Foundation; the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology (NYC); Chestnut Hill College (PA) Certificate in Holistic Spirituality; The Leadership Circle Profile™; and Transformational Educational Leadership. Valerie is an ordained Dharma Teacher in the Plum Village tradition founded by Thich Nhat Hanh and a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). As a certified kundalini yoga teacher, she helps leaders discover the wisdom of the body. She leads an annual transformational pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain, to celebrate the power of sacred places.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ruschelle Reuben


Resiliency and Healing in the Moment: Mindfulness

How to Use Cultivating Happiness, Resiliency, and Well-Being


Cultivating Happiness, Resiliency, and Well-Being – The Book

Key principles


About the Authors

List of Online Resources

Part I: Introduction

Chapter 1: Research Support for Mindful Breath Work, Meditation, and Yoga Movements

Reaching for Stars

Research Base Supporting Mindfulness, Yoga, and Meditation with Children

Alleviating Stress

Anatomy and Body Alignment

Start with Breath

Impact of Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation on the Endocrine System

Yoga Postures and Alignment

Heart Centered Meditation

Principles for Success

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 2: A Few Basics

Strengthening Our Own Metacognition Through Mindfulness Practice

Heart Centered Connections

Mindfulness Games

Restorative Practices – Building Resiliency, Building Community

Who Can Teach Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation in Schools?

Teaching Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 3: Teacher Stress and Teacher Practice

Teacher Stress and Burnout Were Alarmingly High Before COVID

Your Own Daily Practice

Where Are You?

Observing Your Progress

Creating a Yoga-Meditation-Mindfulness Practice

Using Your Practice to Plan for Teaching Students

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 4: Organizing Space, Materials, and Instruction

I. Preparing to Teach: Yoga Space and Materials

Places to Access Yoga Supplies and Materials for Schools

Resources to Guide Yoga Instruction

II. Components of Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation Instruction

Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation Instruction

Your Presence and Your Voice

When You Teach

Teaching Meditation

Students as Co-Leaders

III. Integrating Yoga, Meditation, and Mindfulness with Academic Instruction

A Mindfulness Intervention Room

Developmental Stages and Appropriateness

Adaptations for Younger Students

Yoga Before or After School

Progress and Impact

Mindful Reflection

Part II: Heart Centered Learning – the Five Cs

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 5: Overview of the 5 Cs

Practices for Life

The 5 Cs Chapters

Curricular Context

Student Motivation and Accommodations

A Few More Yoga-Mindfulness-Meditation Basics

As You Teach - Timing and Pacing

Infusing Practices throughout Classrooms and Schools

Are You Ready?

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 6: Consciousness

Teacher Notes

Consciousness and Self-Awareness

Curricular Context

Consciousness Warm-Up

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Consciousness Curriculum Integration Planner

Consciousness Opens Us to Compassion

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 7: Compassion

Teacher Notes

Curricular Context

Compassion Warm-Ups

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Compassion Curriculum Integration Planner

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 8: Confidence

Teacher Notes

Confidence Fosters Mental Health, Well-Being, and Happiness

Curricular Context

Confidence Warm-Ups

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Confidence Curriculum Integration Planner

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 9: Courage

Teacher Notes

Finding Our Voice, Living in the Present, and Co-Creating

Curricular Context

Confidence Warm-Ups

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Courage Curriculum Integration Planner

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 10: Community

Teacher Notes

Warm, Supportive Environments for Learning

Expanding our Community Consciousness, Creating Transformative Change

Curricular Context

Community Includes Families

Community Warm-Ups

Breath Work

Yoga Set: Posture and Movement


Community Curriculum Integration Planner

Mindful Reflection

Part III: Leadership

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 11: Mindful Educational Leadership: Practices to Transform You and Your Leadership

The Inner Life of Leaders Linked to Outer Life of Leadership

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Mindfulness Practices for Educational Leaders

Mindful Reflection

Chapter 12: Being a Mindfulness Coordinator

Mindful Leadership

Montgomery County Public Schools Mindfulness Program


The Coalition for the Future of Education

Mindful Reflection

Sources for Yoga Breathe Work, Kriyas and Meditations




Price: $43.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

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