Inspiring Positive Brain Changes through Kid’s Mindfulness and Yoga Practices

Class Descriptions + Schedule

Click on class title to learn more.
Self-compassion helps reduce self-criticism, lowers stress hormones, increases self-soothing and resilience and has been linked with improvements in heart rate variability (aka vagal tone). Through mindfulness, guided meditation, and yoga-based activities, this 6 week class introduces several self-compassion practices designed to increase self-kindness, connect with our common humanity and develop mindfulness skills.

Registration:
Eventbrite - buddha heart: self-compassion for kids (ages 7-11)

Dates:
Saturdays July 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20

Time:
10:00 -10:50 AM (ages 7-9)
11:00-11:50 AM (ages 10-11)

Tuition for 6 week course:
$180 (Scholarship available)

Location:
Sol Healing and Wellness Center
13805 Ann Pl.
Austin, TX 78728

Mindfulness is the moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment. This 8 week class introduces age-appropriate mindfulness practices to give kids skills to develop awareness of their inner and outer experiences, to recognize their thoughts as “just thoughts,” to ease stress and big emotions, and to recognize when their attention has wandered.

Dates: TBD

Tuition for 8 week course: $240

Scholarship available

Harnessing the wisdom of contemplative practices, yoga-based activities and the practical knowledge of neuroscience and polyvagal theory, this 6 week course introduces invaluable skills for calming the nervous system and brain. Designed to be practiced daily, these skills can transform habitual responses to stress and anxiety and empower kids with the understanding of how breath, movement, mindfulness and safe relationships can calm the brain and body.

Dates: TBD

Tuition for 6 week course: $180

Scholarship available

In this 8 week long course, yoga-based activities and mindfulness practices are targeted specifically for developing emotional awareness, understanding the power and purpose of emotions, cultivating a deep inner steadiness in the face of emotional ups and downs, and learning how to respond rather than react to big feelings.

Dates: TBD

Tuition for 8 week course: $280

Scholarship available

Scientists believe the brain has a built-in negativity bias and reacts more to negative stimulus than positive experiences. Painful experiences are usually more memorable than pleasurable ones. This 6 week course incorporates yoga-based activities, guided meditation and mindfulness practices to help kids develop a practice of storing positive experiences in their memories which can help them put challenges into perspective and become more resilient, confident and happy.

Dates: TBD

Tuition for 6 week course: $210

Scholarship available

These classes are more effective for children when the whole family is involved. When the family culture supports these skills, greater changes are possible. Any of the 6-8 week courses above are available for individual family sessions and will be customized to meet your family’s developmental and specific needs.

Tuition: $100/session

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Therapy Groups

A safe place for introverts ages 10 to 11 to explore hidden strengths, understand how their nervous systems work, learn strategies to manage energy, and thrive in school, friendship, family life and extracurriculars. (Limited to 4 kids)

Take the Quiet Power Quiz to see if this group is a good fit for your child.

When: Saturdays, 9/24-11/19 from 11 AM to 12:30 PM (9 weeks)

Where: 1705 W. Koenig Ln, Austin, TX 78756

Fee: $40/session ($360 for 9 week group). Payable weekly, monthly or in full. (7 week commitment required)

To register, contact: ElishaBidwell@gmail.com

Using the book for kids and teens, Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts as a guide, we will explore the challenges and often under-appreciated strengths of introverts. The group will integrate tips and strategies for navigating school, social, family and extracurricular environments, while uncovering blossoming passions and innate gifts. Relying on kid-friendly neurobiology, we’ll gain additional understanding and awareness of the introvert’s tightly tuned, sensitive nervous system–we’ll learn how it works and how to support it in this sensory-stimulating, extroverted world. Group activities will include guided meditation, journaling, art/creative expression, discussion, action planning and practicing skills to calm the nervous system and manage energy! The group will meet for 90 minutes with a 10 min snack break, and structure will be adapted based on the group’s needs.

Description coming soon.
Description coming soon.

Interested in a group?

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Why Mindfulness for Kids?

Prolonged anxiety, stress and exposure to traumatic experiences can impair a child's attention, emotion regulation, sleep, and ability to learn. Some particularly stressful circumstances have even been linked to negative impacts on lifelong physical and mental wellness. Research shows that mindfulness practice can help children improve their abilities to pay attention, calm down when they feel upset and make better decisions by accessing a deep inner steadiness in the face of life's ups and downs. Because the effects of anxiety, stress and trauma impact the developing nervous system and brain, it is important to practice skills (in a safe, connected and loving environment) that target the health and resiliency of those growing systems.


What’s a buddha brain?

The root meaning of the word 'buddha' is 'to know, to awake.' The term "buddha brain" was coined by neuropsychologist and bestselling author, Rick Hanson, PhD to describe the neurological attributes of contemplative leaders like the Buddha, Jesus, Ghandi and others. A 'buddha brain' is one that has been transformed in the direction of greater inner strength, peace, love, and wisdom. Neuroscience tells us that the brain structures itself around what we focus on, and research shows that we can actually use our minds to rewire our brains over time. With awareness and practice within a safe relational space, we can transform our brains from the inside out and reach deeper well-being. Kids, too! Kids, especially!

These child-friendly classes are inspired by the down-to-earth, neuroscience-based practices Dr. Hanson shares in his books. I have creatively adapted these simple practices, incorporating some things I know about calming the nervous system, sensory system, and other brain science-y things I've learned along the way and incorporated them with fun, playful yoga-based movement and activities with safety, connection and community-building in mind. The brain-changing practices and skills used in these classes are secular (do not adhere to a set of religious beliefs) and are appropriate for children and families who want to strengthen and develop their brains in ways that will help them feel more calm, connected and emotionally-balanced.
Under duress, we do not rise to our expectations – we fall to the level of our training.Bruce Lee

Benefits of Mindfulness

  • Connector.

    Attention

    Mindfulness strengthens our ability to notice when attention has wandered and bring our focus back where we want it.

  • Connector.

    Self-Compassion

    Self-compassion, treating ourselves the way we would treat a good friend, increases self-soothing, resilience and lowers stress hormones.

  • Connector.

    Calming

    Breathing, body awareness and other mindfulness practices helps us to access a deep inner steadiness in the face of life’s ups and downs.

  • Connector.

    Emotion Regulation

    Observing our emotions helps us to understand that they are transient and to experience them with more ease.

  • Connector.

    Resilience

    When the mind is still, we have greater capacity to put challenges into perspective and recover from stress more easily.

  • Connector.

    Positive Brain Changes

    Your brain shapes itself around what you focus on. Mindfulness research shows many positive changes in brain structure.

Testimonials

This class has been such a blessing…It has taught me so much about meditating. I have used it so much in my daily life. When I am sad, I can sit down and close my eyes and just be. I now can also eat, put on my shoes, listen and feel mindfully (and more). This class has helped me so much! Thank you so much Elisha! You have made my life 100% better. Everyday, as I meditate, I learn more and more! Thank you!11 year old student
I learned about the numerous benefits of mindfulness for both adults and children and immediately started “googling!” I feel so blessed to have come across Elisha’s website and doubly blessed that she was able to fit our family into her schedule to train our family of four. She had her hands full with two adolescent boys and two parents – all of whom struggle with slowing down. Elisha’s approach and authenticity captured my boys and they never, once, complained about going to mindfulness training. I’m so grateful that our family has this tool to rely on and grow in.Joy D., parent
Elisha’s mindfulness and yoga classes are a wonderful adjunct to my individual and family therapy sessions. I value Elisha’s work and have seen how her classes can offer children more tools to calm their own nervous systems. They gain more awareness into their internal experiences in a fun and playful way. These children are often excited to share with me what they’ve learned with Elisha, and we can expand on it even more in their therapy sessions. These classes are a great foundation for children to experience the benefits of mindfulness.Katie Spillar, therapist
I am so grateful for what my client gained through Elisha’s mindfulness group! I watched this highly anxious and fearful tween blossom, finding empowerment and confidence through the group meetings and developing her own at-home mindfulness practice. She LOVED going to group and was so proud to tell me about what she was learning and how it was helping her brain feel more calm. Robyn Gobbel, therapist
Being in this class helped me to notice how to calm myself down. It helped me be more careful. I got to learn all about the tresher [treasure] of the still quiet place.10 year old student
My family and I recently completed eight weeks of Mindfulness training with Elisha Bidwell. I didn’t really know what to expect from the experience, and had never done anything similar, so I was very pleasantly surprised at the dramatic impact the training had. From the first session I noticed a definite improvement in both my interactions with my wife and two sons (aged 12 and 14) but also in the way I approached my own inner thoughts and feelings.

Elisha patiently and thoughtfully guided us through the process, insuring ample time for questions and feedback from all of us. Her grasp of the subject matter was superb, and she skillfully tailored the training to meet the specific needs of our family. The end result has been a noticeable improvement in our family communication, as well as a renewed and greatly more empathetic outlook on the personal relationships that we all experience in our day to day lives.

I would enthusiastically recommend Elisha’s approach to Mindfulness for anyone seeking to improve his relationship with himself, his family and the world at large.
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