Be mindful: learning to relax!
Going beyond academics helps Grade 5 increase awareness of body, mind and spirit
It was an insightful question posed by a student of Grade 5 – “What is the mind?” – that took the class into a session on self-discovery and beyond the predetermined academic path outlined by the teacher.
Beginning with an explanation of the scientific aspects of the brain and its sensory system, the discussion that followed led to explorations beyond ‘science as an area of knowledge,’ and ideas that flowed into the academic realms of philosophy and psychology before the young students reached a consensus — it is our mind that makes us human.
As a follow up, Jehangir Palkhivala, a BIS alumni and a parent of one of our ex-students, was invited to speak to the children and soon enough, Grade 5 was introduced to the concept of mindfulness.
Renowned in his field, Mr Palkhivala began studying yoga under Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar as a child and has been teaching yoga for decades. He believes in yoga as a way of boosting immunity and easing anxiety – a holistic approach.
Mr. Palkhivala readily accepted our invitation to speak to the children and soon enough, Grade 5 was introduced to the concept of mindfulness. His calm and composed demeanour helped to relax the otherwise energetic class allowing them to engage in the talk from the first few introductory words.
Touching upon a range of themes from the five bodies present within us (physical, mental, emotional, knowledgeable and blissful) to the idea of a physical body as merely a space being held together by the mind, Mr Palkhivala organised a few simple, but persuasive activities to explain elaborate concepts. Although science helps us understand the biological, chemical and physical aspects of the human brain, it was far from understanding the human mind, he said, emphasising that it was essential for one to identify anxieties, fears and learn how to release them by identifying with ‘Aakash.’
It was truly amazing to see how quickly a rapport formed between the children and the guest speaker. They asked him questions out of bewilderment (“Is there something such as a quantum realm?”) and he answered with just as much enthusiasm and awe that further fascinated the students – putting forward ideas such as the whole world being on a big mind.
The talk was enriching and enlightening for everyone, increasing awareness of the need to raise our consciousness and become mindful of our body, mind and spirit. It also confirmed our experience as PYP Homeroom teachers, that a student’s class contribution can add a lot to learning.
– Ms. Radha and Ms. Ketaki
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