In the Lower School, many classrooms are practicing an ancient Chinese healing art called Qigong as part of their mindfulness class. "Qi," which translates to “subtle breath” or “vital energy,” and "gong," which means “skill cultivated through steady practice,” uses movement, the breath, postures and meditation to benefit a balanced mind and body. The movements are slow and steady warming up the body, while the steady, deep breathing calms the sympathetic (“fight or flight”) nervous system and activates the parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) part of the nervous system.
Chris Bouguyon, the president of the National Qigong Association (NQA), and a certified medical qigong therapist who specializes in trauma, said “One of the earliest forms of qigong that we have knowledge of is the Five Animal Frolics…after a day of labor, field workers would perform gentle movements to help ease tension in their bodies. They settled on the movements by observing the nearby animals and imitating their motions.” Maybe you would like to try the SLOTH breath and movement with some of our Brookwood 3rd graders!