Mindful breathing, which is being introduced to schools, is relaxing, healthful helps concentration. We know stress the scourge of all our lives. Not only is uncomfortable, it affects the hormones too much stress has health consequences, so learning any relaxation technique is a helpful skill for all ages. It also the mind by teaching us how to it of “noise” and distractions, allowing for better concentration and thus better thinking, learning, and retention. It helps people mellow out, and when we feel peaceful, our interactions are more peaceful, something everyone
Meditation, breathing exercises, poses are non-denominational. They work whether one delves into Eastern philosophy or not, and thus does not create conflict with being taught in our public schools. (We chose a Beatles-related by John Lennon, because they, and
George Harrison, were among first to introduce and popularize Eastern philosophy in this country.)
A program like this is a great example one of the many ways we are enriched our immigrant populations sharing traditions and wisdom. When discussing the benefits of diversity, first in mind are usually cuisine, hard workers, the arts, and small businesses, but there are infinite dimensions to human endeavors and creativity. One never knows what they will gain from openness to new people( s), anything from scientific and medical breakthroughs, to friendship and brotherhood, so it doesn’t hurt to be open and welcoming.
According to the announcement by Mayor Adams’ administration (you can read the July 5 Gazette’s coverage in the I on Politics column at qgazette.com): “[A] ll New York City public schools — from pre- kindergarten through grade 12 — will soon be required to facilitate two-to-five minutes of mindful breathing practices in schools every day. The announcement aims to increase physical and mental health, enhance social-emotional learning, and improve New York City public schools’ culture… Studies show that mindful breathing practices support students’ ability to feel secure and receptive while learning — leaving positive impacts from the integration of these practices into the school experience….”
The story also included the following quote from NYS Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar: “Mayor Adams, Chancellor Banks, and Commissioner Vasan understand that education requires a whole child approach: students’ mental wellbeing is as important to the learning process as the lesson plan or textbook. Mindful breathing practices can reduce depression, stress, and physical pain, while improving the immune system and cognitive ability. Teaching these practices to our children will lay the foundation for them to excel in school and in life. The DOE’s Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Preparation Program is a powerful tool in Mayor Adams’ arsenal to fulfill his plan for our students to experience better health, emotional maturity, and supportive school cultures.”
Calmness and control of our emotions are in very short supply, especially for city dwellers. Being routinely stressed out releases the hormone cortisol which shuts down less urgent functions, which is useful in an emergency. But if it happens too often, and usually when there’s no emergency, it is not conducive to the ability to think clearly, to making good decisions, to calm reactions, to reasonableness, to avoiding regrettable actions, and to a host of health issues. This early training in mindfulness can help our entire society, encouraging peaceful solutions to issues great and small.
So give peaceful breathing a chance, and relax a bit by taking a deep breath.