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Students practicing mindfulness at Union Gap School

Students practicing mindfulness at Union Gap School

UNION GAP, Wash. --Union Gap School is being proactive. They're experimenting with new ways to help with children's behavior.

“With our experience with children, we just notice that life is hard for everybody. Students included. And sometimes teaching students how to get some strategies, and how to develop some strategies - just to get their mind and their body in a position where they can then move on with learning,” said Union Gap School Assistant Principal Patrick Vincent.

This week during P.E., kids are being taught mindfulness, meditation, and breathing techniques so that they can better focus and stay calm during the school day.

“I ask these children what their bodies feel like when they have these strong emotions. They say they shake and they don't feel good inside, and then when you give them a tool, and then describe how to use the tool, mindfulness is the tool,” said mindfulness coach Michael Moritz.

Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. And it's creeping into our culture. Moritz is showing kids how to use slow body techniques and breathing methods so they can feel in control of their bodies and emotions.

“These are tools, generally, to help us feel better about ourselves, first. And then, see that when I experience anger, I notice that somebody else experiences anger, and I don't have to react to it. I don't have to stuff it. I don't have to express it. I can let it go,” said Moritz.

Aside from being a special guest instructor at Union Gap School the remainder of the week, Moritz also teaches yoga, tai chi, and exercise therapy at Stillpoint Studio in Yakima.

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