The Lotus School of Liberal Arts Open House

Can a Jar Full of Glitter Help with Mindfulness?

In this recent article from The New York Times there’s a discussion on how the use of a snow globe or “mindfulness jar,” constructed from a household jar and glitter, can help teens weather emotional storms. A glitter jar provides a reminder to anyone who is feeling stressed to be patient with themselves and be confident that emotions often rise, swirl and settle all by themselves.  Watching glitter settle isn’t the only solution to teenage meltdowns, but it’s a good first response. At The Lotus School’s upcoming Open House on…

1 Minute Mindfulness Exercises

Interested in doing mindfulness meditation but don’t think you have the time? Below are some mindfulness exercises you can do in a minute or under. Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds every hour. Do a fake yawn if you have to. That will trigger real ones. Say “ahh” as you exhale. Notice how a yawn interrupts your thoughts and feelings. This brings you into the present.  Then stretch really, really slowly for at least 10 seconds. Notice any tightness and say “ease” or just say hello to that place (being mindful — noticing…

Hawk Mountain Field Trip

    On a still cold day in late November, the staff and students traveled out west to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, PA for a day of hiking. Our learning and mindfulness objectives that day were to choose an appropriate trail related to the weather and be aware of our surroundings. We decided to take the Lookout Trail to the Escarpment Trail to reach the North Lookout. The Escarpment Trail is a moderately technical, small rock and boulder climb…

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 …