Framing the “problem” that yoga and mindfulness can solve

This great video about the Holistic Life Foundation’s work is circulating – about a school that has replaced detention with meditation.  The results are positive – no more suspensions!

I am all about bringing yoga and mindfulness to new or underserved areas, including kids in schools. The focus of this video – definitely on just one part of the Holistic Life Foundation’s larger, years-long work – makes me wonder: is there a need to focus on yoga or mindfulness as a solution to a current “problem” (suspensions), and how do we as a society frame problems?

All kids (and adults!) deserve access to yoga and mindfulness, and with the goal of improving quality of life, increasing our ability to deal with stress and so on. And I do believe Holistic Life Foundation offers this, not limiting meditation to kids who get detention. Reducing suspensions probably comes across as a bigger achievement than … raising quality of life.  But if we as a society put focus on that, on quality of life, rather than waiting till kids act out … we might be able to create conditions where fewer kids act out to begin with.

Sure, sometimes things need to be framed not just in a quantitative way – but there are ways to quantify quality of life and ability to deal with stress! The video isn’t a bad thing, but the focus of it, I think, tells us something about how our society views social issues. A different focus might offer much more potential for change.

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