Mindfulness Through Movement is based on the belief in order to learn in the school setting, children need to be able clear their minds of all those things out of their control. In the Mindfulness through Movement program, students will learn simple breath and movement practices, an important set of self-empowerment tools, to help them manage the stress of living in an urban setting so that they can relax more and open their minds to learn. Mindfulness through Movement, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation established to offer mindfulness and yoga programs to youth in urban Philadelphia.
Mindfulness Through Movement Vision and Mission Statements:
Vision: Cultivating steady minds and bodies to improve lives and communities.
Mission: To offer kids tools to help them face life.
- Our work involves helping kids learn simple breath movement practices, an important set of self-empowerment tools, to help them manage the stress of living in an urban setting so that they can relax more and open their minds to learn.
- Our work is based on the belief that in order to learn in the school setting, children need to be able clear their minds of all those things out of their control.
- Our organization is driven by dedicated, certified teachers, each committed to their personal mindfulness through movement practice, and specially trained to work with youth.
Mindfulness Through Movement welcomes all certified yoga instructors to participate in our MTM teacher trainings and MTM programs. We will be scheduling a new MTM teacher training in early 2016 and if you want to be on our mailing list, please let us know. Verge Yoga has been a wonderful partner in its initial stages of development, the success of Mindfulness Through Movement will require that wholehearted participation of the many yoga and mediation communities throughout the Philadelphia region.
Why Mindfulness Through Movement?
Cheryl Nichols, co-founder of MTM, was born and raised in Kansas City, part of a large, loving family, which instilled in her a strong faith and a strong sense of service to others. In 1994, Cheryl’s life was turned upside down by the traumatic sudden death of her six year-old son and devastating injuries to her family due to a car crash caused by one young man’s poor choices.
At this "fork in the road", Cheryl made the decision to live her life in a way to give meaning to not only her life but to the life of the son. For the past twenty years, Cheryl has spoken with ten of thousands of teenagers about how each of us face choices throughout our lives and the lives we live directly reflect the consequences of our choices. Five years ago, Cheryl turned her focus to finding ways to work directly with underserved young people in urban Philadelphia schools; young people who often live with a great deal of uncertainty, chaos and stress in their lives. Her guiding question was “How can we best help these children make better choices in their lives?”
Mindfulness Practices to Enhance the Learning Environment
Most people agree that education is best way to build the capacity in young people to make better choices in their lives. A significant challenge for educators and schools in underserved neighborhoods is how to create the conditions necessary for learning when many children live lives of high stress and chaos outside of the classroom. After experiencing these challenges first hand, Cheryl began searching for a solution – What could she offer these children that would settle their minds consistently enough to enhance their learning while at school and perhaps begin break the cycle of poor choices?
In early 2011, Cheryl completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training at Verge Yoga in Wayne PA and began teaching simple yoga and mindfulness in urban schools. What Cheryl has witnessed first hand in the last three years is a transformation not only in the individual children but also in entire school communities. This profound transformative experience both humbled Cheryl and spurred her to want to reach more children.
Mindfulness Through Movement, Inc. was created through with the support, encouragement and collaboration of Verge founder, Cara Bradley. Cara knew there are many qualified yoga instructors in the Philadelphia area that would love to opportunity to work with young people. She also knew a simple program could be developed and a teacher training program established. The primary challenge would be to develop a structure that would match yoga teachers with schools, provide a scheduling process to keep the program consistent through out the school year and provide adequate funding for yoga teachers. Although some teachers might choose to volunteer their time, the only viable way to ensure a sustainable, consistent program would be provide reasonable teacher fees and require a commitment of a full school year from yoga teachers.