OCDE program combines mindfulness and yoga to improve students’ physical and mental health

According to the most recent Orange County Conditions of Children report, 1 in 4 students feels chronically sad or hopeless, and many say they’re stressed and anxious while at school.

To build resilience among youth, and to help students understand the sources and physiology of stress, OCDE has introduced a new program that combines mindfulness, yoga movement and specific social-emotional learning skills focused on self-awareness and self-management.

 Woman doing yoga
OCDE Program Specialist Christy Curtis leads students through Mindful Moving practices in a series of videos.

It’s called Mindful Moving, and the goal is to simultaneously improve students’ physical and mental health, both of which have a direct bearing on academic performance, says OCDE Health and Wellness Coordinator Chris Corliss.

“When implemented with fidelity, patience and compassion, Mindful Moving’s three-step process of ‘Breathe. Move. Be.’ uses yoga movement to improve physical fitness and literacy, mindful breathing to calm thinking and emotions, and self-guided meditations to encourage social-emotional growth,” he says.

There are three versions of Mindful Moving — K-6 Classroom, K-8 Playground and Secondary Physical Education. Each is based on a standards-aligned curriculum of 10 to 12 lessons, utilizing the Universal Design for Learning framework along with streaming audio and videos that are designed to be fun and kid-friendly, featuring OCDE Program Specialist Christy Curtis.

“Incorporating all three Mindful Moving tools into your school program can improve student physical, mental and emotional health and transform school culture and climate,” Corliss says.

To learn more, check out the video feature above. To find out how to bring Mindful Moving to your school, contact Chris Corliss at ccorliss@ocde.us or 714-966-4355.