#mindfulAISD (5/29)

Mindfulness in the Austin Independent School District

Week of May 29th, 2017--Last Week of School!

It's the last week of school, so this newsletter includes suggestions for how teachers, staff and kids can learn/deepen their mindfulness practice over the summer. Email me with any questions.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each one of you for helping make this a great year for mindfulness in AISD. Mindfulness being implemented in every AISD campus in one way or another is thanks to you all. On a personal note, y'all have helped me immensely with my transition from the classroom. I am a teacher at heart so it was not easy. Many thanks, y'all.

Have a great summer!!

James Butler

SEL Mindfulness Specialist

Summer Reading Suggestions


Summer SELf Toolkit from the SEL Team

List of Opportunities for Adults & Youth

Summer Yoga & Mindfulness Training for Educators

From July 16 to August 1, 2017, Breathe For Change is hosting a mindfulness and yoga teacher training in Austin designed specifically for educators. Graduates of their program are certified as Yoga Instructors through the Yoga Alliance and are also certified to bring Breathe For Change's wellness programs to their students and school communities. Click here to watch a short video on their trainings. To learn more, you can also visit their website and fill out a quick application.


Gift from Meditation Bar

Congratulations teachers on completing another year of service and leadership for our youth!

As our gift to recognize you, please enjoy 20% off class packages and monthly memberships by entering "teachers2017" when you sign up online. Offer good until the end of June.


Mindful Kids Camp

Are you looking for activities for your child this summer? There is so many great opportunities here in Austin to provide rich educational experiences for our children, while taking some time for yourself, too! We'd like to offer a new educational opportunity to the mix this summer with our first Mindful Kids Camp! Kids ages 7-11 will learn an array of mindfulness practices and activities to equip them for the regular ups and downs of kid life and prepare them emotionally for the upcoming school year.

July 17-21 from 9am-12pm

Taught by AISD's own Kristina Yoder



Mindfulness and Stress Resilience: Retraining the Mind and Heart
with Geeta Cowlagi
Saturday, June 17 from 2-4 pm
at the Meditation Bar, 8108 Mesa Drive, Suite B103, Austin, Texas, 78759

$ 49. This event is hosted by the Meditation Bar. Click here to register through the Meditation Bar website (please scroll down on their webpage to get to this workshop).

In this workshop we will explore mindfulness and stress through practices of retraining the mind- body-heart. We will also explore stress reactivity and resilience through the lens of neuroscience. The MBSR program in rooted in practices for harnessing neuroplasticity of our brains to develop stress hardiness through training in mindfulness, kindness and self-compassion.


Mindfulness Skills Group for Teens
with Michelle Edwards, PhD and Sarah Bentley, MPH
Tuesdays, July 18th to August 8th from 4-5:30pm

$100.00 for 4 week group
Limited to 10 participants. Register now to hold your spot. https://www.crossingpointcenter.com/groups

Teens often have difficulty with social skills, emotions, attention, focus, confidence, procrastination, and impulsivity. Our thought patterns and emotional states are associated with many mental and physical health problems. Mindfulness involves paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment. This 4-week class will teach teens basic mindfulness skills (based on Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction) and provide them with tools to be resilient to stress through their adolescence. Participants will become more aware of self-judgement, judgement of others, worry, stress and anxiety, and feeling out of control. Open to 13-17 year olds.


Mindfulness-Based Self Care for Parents
with Michelle Edwards, PhD and Sarah Bentley, MPH
Tuesdays, July 18th to August 8th from 6-7:30pm

$100 for 4 week group
Limited to 10 participants. Register now to hold your spot. https://www.crossingpointcenter.com/groups

As parents, we can often find ourselves running on automatic pilot having trouble balancing our different roles, and in a perpetual state of stress. Mindfulness-Based Self Care is a powerful approach to working with our daily physical, emotional and psychological stress. MBSC cultivates a nonjudgmental awareness of our moment-to-moment experience. This group will help parents focus on bringing attention to the breath, physical sensations, thoughts, and feelings through a variety of techniques including mindful movement, sitting meditation, walking mediation, and mindful eating. Research has shown that mindfulness practices can improve sleep and self-compassion, as well as reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, anger, negative mood states, and chronic pain.


Free Introduction to Mindfulness with Mamata Misra
Sunday July 30 and Sunday August 27, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:30 PM

at Jewish Community Center of Austin, 7300 Hart Lane, Austin 78731
Please click here to register through Mamata's website.
This class is a prerequisite for the 8-week MBSR class taught by Mamata.


Free 2-hour Introduction to Mindfulness with Geeta Cowlagi
Sundays, September 10 and September 17, 2017 from 10 am to noon
at the LiveStrong Foundation, 2201 E 6th St, Austin, Texas, 78702

Please click here to register.
This Intro class is a prerequisite for the 8-week MBSR class starting Sunday, September 24 and Tuesday, September 26, 2017 listed below.


Fall 2017 8-week MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Class) classes with Geeta Cowlagi
Please choose either a Sunday or Tuesday class cycle.
  • Sundays starting September 24, 2017 from 10 am to 12:30 pm at the LiveStrong Foundation, 2201 E 6th St, Austin, Texas, 78702
  • Tuesdays starting September 26, from 10 am to 12:30 pm at a location in SW Austin near MoPac and Davis Lane.
Registration for the Fall 8-week MBSR classes is now open for anyone who has already taken a basic or introduction to mindfulness class with Geeta. Please email geeta@joyfulliving.us for more information about registration.


Previous Newsletters

Links to all the previous newsletters with a highlight or two from each edition.

Week of May 22 (Mindfulness Survey & How Mindfulness Can Help Us Be Less Biased)

Week of May 15 (Donors Choose Project for Mindfulness Trail & 3rd Graders Share About Mindfulness)

Week of May 8 (Calm Before Testing Resources & Just Breathe teacher painting)

Week of May 1 (Teacher Appreciation Deals & Self-Compassion exercises from Dr. Neff)

Week of April 24 (Teacher Self-Care Stations & Rewiring the Brain TED Talk)

Week of April 17 (MindYeti Update & Mindfulness in Middle School PE)

Week of April 10 (8 Principles of Teaching Mindfulness to Teens & Rainbow Walk)

Week of April 3 (Teachers Getting Mindfulness Training & One Minute Practice CE Video)

Week of March 27 (Calm Before Testing Resources)

Week of March 20 (April Mindfulness Challenge & Mindfulness Online Course)

Week of March 6 (Free Mindfulness Program--Smiling Mind & Multilingual Mindfulness)

Week of February 27 (Teacher Testimonial & 7 Tips for those who say they can't meditate)

Week of February 20 (Multilingual Mindfulness & Zen Den YouTube Videos)

Week of February 13 (Mindful Brain Poster & CE credit video w/ Jon Kabat-Zinn)

Week of February 6 (GoNoodle Mindfulness Document & Mindfulness Research Newsletter)

Week of January 30 (Rodriguez ES Mindfulness Studio & Mindful Coloring pages)

Week of January 23 (3 Simple Remedies for Stressed-Out Mind & Kindfulness article)

Week of January 17 (Science of mindfulness & Breathing Sticks activity)

Week of January 9 (SEL in Austin Family Magazine & Link to De-Escalation Strategies Poster)

Week of January 3 (List of mindfulness sites & mindfulness is good for teachers article)

Week of December 12 (List of mindfulness apps & Mindfulness Challenge recap)

Week of December 5 (Scientifically proven song for relaxation & Mindfulness Tour recap)

Week of November 28 (#mindfulAISD YouTube Playlist link)

Week of November 14 (GIFs for deep breathing & Breathing script for HS--Palm the Present Moment by Donald Altman from "The Mindfulness Toolbox")

Week of November 7 (AISD e-Wellness spotlight)

Week of October 31 (Mindfulness Challenge update)

Week of October 24 (Progressive Muscle Relaxation script)

Week of October 17 ("Just Breathe" mindfulness video)

Week of October 10 (Stop Breathe Think App/Site & Curious Not Furious article)

Week of October 3 (Pokemon poses & Mindfulness and the Brain article)

Week of September 26 (Replacing Detention w/ Meditation article & Guided Breathing tracks in Spanish & English)

Week of September 19 (Teacher Self-Care & Connecting Mindfulness w/ SEL: Mind Yeti)

Week of September 12 (KEYE News feature & Helping Teens Destress)

Sign Up for Mindfulness Support

If you haven't filled out the #mindfulAISD Google Form (below) and want to highlight your work and/or receive mindfulness support, please check it out. It only takes about 1 minute to complete. Know someone in AISD interested in mindfulness? Send them this newsletter for them to fill out the Google Form.


James Butler

SEL Mindfulness Specialist