April 19, 2022

Zen and the Art of Suncoast Remake Learning Days!

Laurie Miller, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Editor’s Note: Click this link to explore all the events in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties by theme.

 

Friends,

When I was a kid, we traveled to San Francisco to see one of my favorite aunts, who would delight me with travel stories, vegetarian meals, and yoga and meditation classes. All of those things felt extremely exotic back then, and that’s likely why I always looked forward to our visits. (Plus, they had a Trader Joe’s nearby – way before most East Coast locations…and you could actually find parking easily in the lot!). It was inspiring to see how my aunt (who seemed 100 years old to me as a kid but was probably 45) could balance on her head and sit calmly for what felt like hours (but was probably 10 minutes). Over the years, I developed my own yoga and meditation practice which was very much influenced by our time together.

This is why it is my absolute pleasure to highlight some of the SRLD events featuring yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. Seriously, learning these skills as a child has made huge impacts on my life (I even once wrote a whole Off-Broadway musical that leads children through the yoga poses, which was later turned into a TV series! I also named my daughter Shanti. As in, Om Shanti. I think that says it all). Yes, I’m really into this (for kids especially), and I am certain that memories and more will be made for all families who wisely choose to attend one of the following experiences:

WholeheARTed Sunset Family Celebration
When: Friday, April 29th from 5:30p–8:30p
Where: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park
What: Please join WholeheARTed Education in partnership with Newtown Nation for an outdoor arts education event for the whole family. This event will showcase interactive art experiences such as creative movement, mural making, music, mindfulness, and more!

Mr. Stevey and Friends
When: Saturday, April 30th from 12:00p–3:00p
Where: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park
What: Van Wezel Foundation in partnership with the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall – Families will learn and create together while experiencing creative mindfulness activities. Join teaching artists Mr. Stvey (from Mr. Stevey Meditates) and his artistic friends to explore the arts.

All the Colors of Me
When: Tuesday, May 3rd from 1:00p–2:00p
Where: First Presbyterian Preschool
What: Glow Kids Yoga – PreK children and their families will participate in yoga and mindfulness activities. They will make and take helpful tools for self-and co-regulation. Participants will use colors and artful expressions to represent emotions.

Discovering Stillness and Kindness
When: Saturday, May 7th from 10a–11:30a
Where: Kadampa Meditation Center
What: Kadampa Meditation Center Florida invites children and their families to explore the possibilities of maintaining an inner stillness through learning about and engaging in meditation. This will enable them to act mindfully in ways that are kind and helpful. This workshop will include a guided meditation appropriate for the age level of the children attending and activities such as storytelling and experiential group interactions focused on developing kindness towards others through one’s thoughts and actions.

Friends, I hope you (and your friends and family) will come out and stretch, center, and get mindful at one of these events. Who couldn’t use a little extra stillness and kindness? Count me in! Plus, full disclosure, my yoga practice is a little rusty, and I could really use some encouragement to stretch! Thank you to the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and The Patterson Foundation for generously supporting events like these that help people of all ages stretch their minds and bodies. I hope that the skills you learn at these workshops stay with you for a lifetime (and offer you good luck with Trader Joe’s parking).

Namaste,

Laurie

 


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