February 23, 2016

Awards and New Developments

Collaborating with Exam Performance Program

dreamstime_m_503281CEI’s Executive Director Dr. Christine Mason and Robert Cohen, former administrator with the New York City Department of Education, will be leading a collaboration with Exam Performance, serving as the company’s educational team. 

Here is the Press Release! â„¢

CEI Receives Pioneer Awardimage002

This year, CEI entered into the Children’s Wellbeing Initiative, an action calling to promote children’s wellbeing in the United States. CEI submitted our “Heart-Centered 21st Century Learning” project as a solution to transforming and protecting children’s wellbeing. Our submission led us to be named a Pioneer in the initiative! We are honored and inspired by this award. We give our best wishes for the Children’s Wellbeing Initiative. For more details about the initiative, you can read the CEI Blog Posts by clicking the website’s “Blog” tab.


Heart Beamingâ„¢ Certification


Starting in February 2016, CEI will offer Heart Beamingâ„¢ Certification to train teachers to help students relieve stress, improve performance, and enhance classroom interactions through song, dance, movement, fun, laughter, and positive thinking. Why Heart Beaming?

  • Heart Beaming is a positive activity for youth and adults. It is not expensive. It does not take hours of in-service and preparation to learn to teach. The only equipment required is one’s heart, body, and mind. It can be done anywhere, anytime.
  • It is more than reading about change, and it really connects with individuals at a level that is beyond words’”it is one thing to protest, another to role play, and something else to simply sit and project out love.
  • From what we know about neuroscience, by heart beaming, and focusing our energies on projecting out love, we are wiring our thoughts for a positive connection with others. By adding the heart-hand component, hands over heart, we have added a kinesthetic experience to the mental projection. By engaging in Heart Beaming, especially with repetition over time, there is a high likelihood that other, less positive thoughts will be replaced with thoughts of love and kindness.
  • Schools can implement Heart Beaming as a neutral activity. While it builds on yogic and meditative practices, it also builds on principles of neuroscience and includes activities that are similar to brain gym and other movement activities. Schools that might have difficulties implementing yoga and meditation, may find this practice, which is specifically designed for schools, to be more acceptable for their communities.

Level I Heart Beamingâ„¢ Certification is available after a three-hour session and six week practicum for individuals who:

  • Have had at least one yoga class
  • Can demonstrate five basic yoga postures
  • Possess the ability to teach yogic breathing

Training includes special instruction in teaching heart beaming to Prek-12 students. If you have no prior yoga experience, we can arrange prerequisite training. Dr. Christine Mason, CEI Executive Director, is a certified yoga teacher and certified Radiant Child yoga teacher. She has taught yoga and meditation to adults for 15 years (teaching from two-five classes per week on a weekly basis) and is certified not only in Yoga Basics, but also as a Level I yoga teacher with additional coursework in conscious communication. Dr. Mason has an extensive background in using breathwork, calming music, and gentle movements with students. She was on the Board of Directors (Education Director) of an international boarding school where children from the around the world came to study yoga. This included serving four-months as the interim principal at that school.

At CEI, we believe that yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and our Heart Beaming exercises (which are based on yogic principles and practices) are some of the most powerful strategies to help students overcome a variety of circumstances to improve their self-esteem, their consciousness, their caring for others, and their ability to learn.  These beliefs are supported by an ever-growing research base. However, these strategies are not meant only for students who struggle, but really offer possibilities for all learners.

Dr. Mason is currently teaching yoga and meditation weekly in Oakton and Vienna, VA. She is teaching both private sessions and at the local Fairfax County Parks and Recreation Department. Dr. Mason was trained in Kundalini Yoga by Yogi Bhajan who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West from India. She follows the Kundalini Yoga approach to yoga and incorporates other yogic practices such as Hatha, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa into her warm-ups that precede each Kundalini Yoga set.  Heart beaming, meditation, and yoga can be a life-transforming practice. Dr. Mason’s yoga students, some of whom have been with her for over a decade, are enthusiastic about her teaching and the approach she uses. Click here to view their recommendations.

Please contact cmason@edimprovement.org to arrange sessions and for further information about Heart Beaming Certification.

Background Research: Increasing Readiness and Well-Being

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-yoga-woman-meditating-sunset-grand-canyon-female-model-serene-harmony-warrior-pose-healthy-wellness-image34800371Yoga and Meditation are an integral part of the most advanced scientific approach to increasing readiness to learn and well-being.  More and more research is showing that the ancient practice of yoga is in truth also one of the most powerful approaches to improving so many aspects of learning.  As  Laura Schmalzl, Chivon Powers, and Eva Henje Blom indicated in their comprehensive review in 2015 (published by the National Institutes of Health), the power of yoga is multidimensional. Part of its strength comes from its efficiency in increasing body awareness. Yoga practitioners who are taught to hold uncomfortable positions and to challenge their own ability for endurance have a high pain tolerance. One strategy used to increase this tolerance is to  focus on their breath. This may contribute to ability to “transcend” everyday circumstances and adapt to changing circumstances more readily. As Scmalzl and colleagues have reported, Numerous studies have documented that yoga practitioners have lower levels of perceived stress, reduced levels of depression, better memories, increased alertness, more frontal lobe activity, more resilient brain networks, and better focus.