How Your Breath Controls Your Mood and Attention

At the Lotus School we have long known that a period of paced breathing within a meditation practice helps students cope with transition from home to the school day, from lunch to the afternoon studies, and before leaving for the day (school to home.) This article from Mindful.org focuses on how paced breathing can control both mood and attention. New research explores the relationship between the pace and intentionality of your breathing, and the brain networks involved in mood, attention, and body awareness. Slow down, and pay attention to…

Mindfulness and Exercise

The Benefits of Applying Mindfulness to Exercise Occasionally we all simply need to zone-out and let our bodies do what they want to do. But, if you are becoming easily distracted during your workouts, it may be time to add some mindfulness into your workout routine. In a recent scientific study, published by Scientific American, on the associations of what is known as Dispositional Mindfulness with cardiovascular health, it was concluded that “dispositional mindfulness is positively associated with cardiovascular health and physical activity.” Another scientific trial examined the relationship between exercise consistency and mindfulness….

Earth Art

How can we view everything as temporary? This question is essential to living a mindful life, and it guided the group conversation on our latest field trip to Grounds for Sculpture. While at the sculpture garden, the students and teachers discussed the temporal quality of the materials that composed two of the special exhibitions on view. As a follow-up activity to continue the discussion of seeing everything as temporary, the students watched the documentary, “Rivers and Tides” that highlights the work of earth artist Andy Goldsworthy. The film…

Grounds For Sculpture

The Lotus School took a field trip to Grounds For Sculpture in October. Our essential question for the day: “How can we see all things as temporary.” We began answering this question by viewing two special indoor gallery exhibits: Synthetic Cells by Michael Rees and Oof, Woof by James Carl. The group practiced identifying art-making materials, defining environmental art, and distinguished between being aware and unaware; we then had a hearty group discussion about materials and the environment related to how long it would take for particular materials to break down. The second part of the day consisted of…

Won Institute Workshop

Education researchers from the Won Institute of Graduate Studies, located in Glenside, PA, are conducting semester long workshops here at The Lotus School. During one workshop exercise, students built a paper boat from a template and decorated it to represent their personality. The activity is meant to be about keeping perspective about emotions. According to educator Grace Song, “We may not be able to control everything outside of the boat. BUT! if you realize that you can navigate your own boat by grabbing on to the steering wheel then you become the navigator or your life boat. It is…

Slow Down!

When you feel stressed out, overworked, and frazzled, it’s often a case of taking on too much, too fast. Here’s an article from mindful.org which show you how to slow down and simplify. We know what to do when young children break down in a fit of tears and are quick to recognize that this is a case of being overstimulated. We put them down for a nap, and know things will be more calm in an hour. Yet we often fail to recognize the same signs of stress…

Yoga at the Lotus School

The Benefits of Yoga

The Lotus School this year added yoga to our regular schedule.  As well as daily meditation, yoga has many benefits for our students’ physical and mental well-being.  The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Here are a few additional benefits: increased flexibility increased muscle strength and tone improved respiration, energy and vitality maintaining a balanced metabolism weight reduction cardio and circulatory health …

Service Learning

Students and staff returned to volunteer at the non profit Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue in Quakertown, PA in September. We helped the organization set up for their upcoming 20th annual Open House event, where the community can come to the ranch and learn about how they can help support the mission or consider more about adoption. We essentially assisted with unpacking and setting up the many outdoor tents needed for people and animals. Brad Wuerstle, our science teacher, has an affiliation with LCR since he adopted the…

Fall Is Here!

It might be 80 degrees outside, but the Fall weather is upon us and the colors are starting to change.  The time for crisp walks and warm drinks is approaching and that change is a natural part of our lives. Here are three ways to slow down and savor the season: 1. Focus on one thing at a time. Most of us are guilty of multitasking, but when our thoughts are focused on the ten other things we have to do, we lose the present moment—and miss out on small details that can improve…

Climate Awareness March

Sometimes service to the community takes the form of activism. On the 20th of September, we traveled to the river town of Lambertville NJ, where a climate strike was taking place. We marched through town and heard several very motivational speeches from local young people concerned with climate change and hoping to work together toward sustainability and political action. We marched with students from many different schools and walked out to the bridge over the Delaware River where a big banner was unfurled bearing the message that renewable energy can’t wait, that…