Here's how Chris Hopes All Teachers Feel: Teacher Appreciation Week


This Teacher Appreciation Day, Yoga Foster is giving teachers free tools to practice self-care, including yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, reflection prompts and more. Each day this week we've featured a teacher from our community with their approach to staying well. Today, Chris from Florida talks about the value of the Yoga Foster practice, the power of inspiring other educators to be well, and the many ways he replenishes. 

1. What does self-care/wellness mean to you/look like for you?

Self-care and wellness to me is the moment you share the goodness in giving within and surrounding yourself. A moment to unwind and discover, further appreciating, valuing, affirming and rejuvenating yourself in the quiet and confidence of being free. Letting go of the struggles, challenges, and pitfalls of daily life are key to self-care.

2. What is your favorite way to replenish yourself?

I replenish by sinking my feet in the sands of the beach, absorbing the vast genres of music, reading, and mindfulness practice. My replenishment is not set or definitive, but vast and varying. Whether it’s forming in Yoga poses or forming white earthenware clay between my fingertips, whether it's the stroke of a paintbrush, or merely breathing in and out, I replenish by always being mindful that humankind can be kind, and that I can always start with that kindness.

3. Are there any helpful tools Yoga Foster offers to support your wellness?

The monthly Yoga Bursts has been a great resource to introduce and collaborate with peers. We all need a moment, why not burst out in a practice of wellness.

Yoga Foster is bringing incredible good to the world that stretches beyond a classroom, but into the daily lives of children, bringing them in as leaders in wellness, sharing their practices in home and their communities. With a plethora of resource offerings, the only thing I would like to see that will further enhance what you are already doing is to integrate social + emotional learning competencies into your programming. With the Every Student Succeeds Act advancing SEL, integrating those competencies will help further strengthen the interconnectedness of yoga/mindfulness practice for well-rounded kids.

4. Do you have any tips for teachers for their wellness journey?

I have so much confidence in our Yoga Foster community of teachers whose shared vision of wellbeing, includes exuding their personal practice in their classroom practice. The most meaningful tip I can offer is to speak over yourself, using affirmations–speaking words over your day and throughout it. May your words be as strong as your practice, and as rich and freeing as your movement. Every day, dare to speak a promise of your future, before the future gets here! Your words will shift the atmosphere, and those around you will feel the residual.

Furthermore and to that end, in all you do in sharing your wellness journey with others, give a nudge to the hopeful, support the optimistic, embrace the naysayer, encourage the doubters (through example), and inspire generosity.

Be Mindful. Be intentional. Be Good to You.

5. What is your favorite thing about teaching yoga/mindfulness to your students?

The exuberance of it all is the oneness and freeing opportunities it brings. Whether it’s the struggles of insecurity, self-esteem, or circumstances around them, teaching yoga/mindfulness to students introduces new insights and opportunities for lifelong learning and practice. Too often we tell students to be mindful, without teaching them how to. Teaching breaks the mishaps and cycles of telling one to do, and helps them learn how to do. Beyond that introduction, their pursuit of wellness is offered in that moment, becoming the springboard, that captivates and transitions them discovering that they have more power than they think–uncovering hidden potential and talents while unmasking barriers and hindrances to healthy developmental outcomes. Teaching yoga/mindfulness makes them over from the inside out, further strengthening their emotional intelligence and overall well-being.

Interested in receiving our free week of resources to practice self-appreciation from May 7 – May 11, 2018? Sign up here!

Nicole CardozaTAW