About Beginner's Mind
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with young children in grades pre-K through five for over 20 years. I started my career in education working with preschool children; both as a teacher and program coordinator. I then transitioned to the public school system and taught grades one to three, both in a multi-age and straight grade capacity. After obtaining a master’s degree in education, I turned my focus toward instilling the love of reading and math in young children, and became a math and reading resource specialist and learning strategist.
Several years ago, I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program and became a yoga instructor (RYT 200). I wanted to delve deeper into my personal yoga practice, and to explore the reason behind why I felt so alive, yet so at peace after spending time on my mat. My yoga practice and training took me on the path of living a more mindful life. I soon realized that the more I practiced mindfulness, the more at peace I became with myself and the world around me.
I found that I was less anxious and less judgmental, and began to see life through a much clearer lens. I wanted others to experience what I had found, and was eager to bring yoga and mindfulness practice into the schools. I began to teach yoga to other educators, and mindfulness lessons to students in school and community settings. In teaching mindfulness to children, I knew that I had found my passion.
It was clear that students made the best connections with mindfulness when my lessons were interactive and had hands-on components that were kid-friendly and easy to use. However, in order to teach, I found myself spending hours looking for activities, and shopping for and preparing materials. How could other educators who want to bring the practice of mindfulness into the lives of their students possibly find the time to teach quality lessons if they had to do all of this themselves? They couldn’t and they weren’t. This toolkit is my personal response to that problem.
Beginner’s Mind brings together the instructions and all materials needed for the activities I have compiled, taught, and refined over the years. It contains everything beginning or experienced educators need to lead students in over 70 simple but deep, mindful awareness activities — games and exercises that will guide students toward connecting with their innate peaceful, wonderful selves. The activities in this kit can be taught in isolation or combined to accommodate all types of educators and learners. I thank you for purchasing the Beginner’s Mind toolkit and wish you the best on your journey of bringing the practice of mindfulness into the lives of the children around you.
Laura Zimmer, MA, RYT 200