As mentioned in a previous post, I am receiving training on Conscious Discipline, a social/emotional and classroom management curriculum implemented by my school. The recent training was about encouragement and the “power of unity” (Chapter 2, Conscious Discipline) creating a sense of belonging for the children in their school community. Secure relationships help us grow and motivate us to learn and help each other. Neuroscience is showing us that our brain operates better when we feel safe and encouraged.
Yoga teaches us that we are all connected. We live to help and care for each other. When practicing yoga, whether in a yoga class or solo, more space is created in the body through asanas and breathing. The body is restored to balance, and one cannot help by feel a little better than he/she felt before practicing. When people feel better, we are better able to care for ourselves and nurture our relationships.
There is scientific evidence to support the “power of unity” (Chapter 2, Conscious Discipline). My knowledge of science is based on The Big Bang Theory, the CBS sitcom, not the actual theory. Einstein explained unity “not as something that must be contrived, but as our basic nature that needs to be supported (Chapter 2, Conscious Discipline). Chapter 2 also cites experiments done by Faraday and Maxwell involving “involving billiard balls colliding”, thereby proving that “one packet of energy (quantum) creates a ‘condition’ in the space around it so that other quantum, when present feels a force” (Chapter 2, Conscious Discipline). Our energy affects others.
With this understanding that we affect each other, Conscious Discipline asks for a change in classroom management, specifically cooperation among the school community (teachers, students, administrators, parents, etc.) I think cooperation among the school community creates a positive environment, helping each person discover and enhance their self-worth and importance. Children are encouraged to help each other. Yoga encourages us to get on the mat every day; it becomes more about nailing the pose, and more about the need to feel better in the body and mind.
Encouraging children play an important role in creating such an environment, ranging from praising children in a way that is non-judging and redirecting them to make better choices, noticing the positive behavior and not the negative. We all want to be noticed; from my experience as a special education teacher, children will get your attention anyway they can, negatively or positively, it doesn’t matter, the attention matters to them. I think this approach helps teachers accept the child for who he/she is and what he/she needs.
“Acceptance is the cornerstone of unconditional love” (Chapter 2, Conscious Discipline). Yoga teaches us to accept ourselves and accept each other.
Oh, Dr. Becky A. Bailey, creator of Conscious Discipline, I am looking forward to learning more about your program.
For more detailed information about this chapter and better explanations of the science information, please see Conscious Discipline, 7 Basic Skills, Brain Smart Classroom Management.