program philosophy




STORY

The ancient art of storytelling is a powerful tool used in every culture, since the beginning of time. Storytelling organically stimulates creativity, wisdom, and compassion, activates the seeds of imagination and mindfulness, and improves literacy, as well as written, oral, and listening skills.

The folktales, folklores, fables, myths, and legends, in the Mindful Octopus Curriculum, are researched and sourced, from all over the world, from every culture and religion. The stories are carefully curated for their powerful symbols and messages. The stories provide students with important messages for development of self and connection to each other; for they introduce the yoga ideals of kindness, compassion, contentment, courage, health, happiness, awareness, unity, sacrifice, stillness, gratitude, connection, peace, and love.

Students are encouraged to discover the characteristics of the characters, within themselves, through the re-telling of the story using yoga poses, thus providing the foundation for their personal yoga journey.

MINDFULNESS

"Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to life experience, with an attitude of kindness and compassion, to one's self and to others." (Susan Kaiser Greenland)

The Mindful Octopus program teaches awareness, as a way of being, in the present moment, aware of your actions, thoughts, and feelings. Creative exercises and games, designed specifically for children, are included in every lesson plan.

Mindfulness is an essential life skill, which studies have proven has a profound and positive effect on one's physical and mental health. Children develop compassionate listening, focus, and concentration skills, that particularly benefit them academically and socially. Teaching mindfulness to children is teaching them to choose the behaviors of kindness, peace, happiness, and love. 

 

YOGA

Founder, Samantha Breit, created the inspired name, "Mindful Octopus," after reading and learning about "The Eight Limbs of Yoga" in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - a philosophical and spiritual pathway to lead us to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life, simply by being mindful to yourself and others. The sacred document quickly became Sam's #1 "Parenting Book" and Mindful Octopus became her children's version.  
 
Inherently, yoga is an ancient science and a mindful process that enables us all to be in the present with a presence of heart. The physicality of yoga is taught, emphasized, and celebrated, throughout the practice, with a focus on traditional yoga poses. The adventure of creating the poses to re-tell the story allows for a greater understanding of the message of the lesson. 

Physically, yoga opens and strengthens the mind and body. Yoga increases flexibility, develops strength inside and out, improves balance, reduces stress, and improves concentration, focus, and breathing. Practicing yoga also raises body awareness and self image.

Yoga is a non-competitive, practical, physical fitness that you can do anywhere, anytime. 

BREATH

Mindful breathing is a fundamental exercise in every Mindful Octopus Lesson Plan. Breathing techniques are important in the teaching of meditation and mindfulness to children because it allows the child to get his/her mind in harmony with his/her body, which ultimately allows the child to be in harmony with his/her environment.

The main focus in teaching mindfulness to children is to nurture the development of a natural awareness of breathing. Children learn to observe their thoughts and feelings, as well as develop the amazing ability to choose their behaviors.  

Teaching mindful breathing techniques provides children with a valuable tool for life. Children learn to become less emotionally reactive and more able to handle daily challenges. Mindful breathing has profound effects on calming the mind and managing emotions and stress. 

MEDITATION

"Your mind is a garden and you plant the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds."

Meditation is the ability to watch the mind and its' thinking, catching the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts, and/or simply letting go and just be! Teaching children the art of meditation is primarily a focus to the outside. Allowing children the time and space to explore their senses, through nurturing their natural ability to notice and appreciate the World around them.

Mindful Octopus has created special exercises and games for introducing and teaching meditation to kids, using visualization, relaxation, and imagination. Meditation provides kids the opportunity for much needed downtime in our fast paced world.

SELF-REALIZATION

Mindful Octopus believes that children are pure joy and love. 

The Mindful Octopus program is dedicated to encourage learning by providing children, teachers, and communities with necessary tools to nurture and develop self-confidence and self awareness in one's self and others.  Self confidence and self-realization are keys to happiness.

KARMA

We believe that the degree of happiness you will enjoy in your life is the result of how much you have contributed to the happiness of other beings. Caring for others, giving thanks, celebrating another's good deeds and accomplishments, being kind and connected to the whole world, are all examples of activities that generate good karma.

Mindful Octopus provides resources and opportunities for participation in social activism projects.  We encourage, promote, and teach the importance of giving and gratitude, towards ourselves, each other, and the Earth.

ART

All Mindful Octopus lesson plans are complimented by art. Students create art, using different mediums and materials, that represents and expresses what the story means to them personally. The theme and elements of the story are creatively incorporated into the art project. The art provides them with tools for creativity, meditation, and further self-realization.