Mindfulness and the Brain – how does Mindfulness affect the brain?

Continuously in our day to day lives as humans, we experience sensory input, ie. a stimulus occurs, and then we react. We may consider our ‘reaction’ non-problematic, or potentially we may regret our particular reaction in any given moment.
We experience a STIMULUS-and then a-REACTION
When ‘Mindfulness’ is present, a stimulus occurs, then Mindfulness, and then a response.
A response is ‘reflective’ rather than reactive, meaning that we have considered how we may respond.
Mindfulness gives us the ‘space’ between a stimulus and a response, so that we have the time to choose how we would like to respond (without the emotion in the ‘heat of the moment’).

Mindfulness and the Brain – how does Mindfulness affect the brain? – What is the role of the amygdala and hippocampus – our reactive, instinctual parts of the brain; compared to the pre-frontal cortex – the rational, ‘higher order thinking’ part of our brain? How does Mindfulness affect this process?

‘An impulsive reaction, triggered by emotions like fear or anger, rises up from the amygdala and hippocampus—the most ancient parts of our brain. These parts evolved to respond with defensive action to threatening situations.

If we can delay this reactivity, the newer pre-frontal cortex of the brain can respond from a place of reflection and thoughtfulness. The pre-frontal cortex is associated with maturity, including regulating emotions and behaviors and making wise decisions.

Mindfulness practice… diminishes the reactivity from the amygdala and strengthens the pre-frontal cortex.’ http://blissfulkids.com/mindfulness-and-the-brain-how-to-explain-it-to-children/

For further explanation click on the video link by Dan Siegel (approx 5 mins viewing).

Video by Dan Siegel explaining Mindfulness and how it affects the brain, using a brain hand model.


Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness Classes

Light Being Yoga’s Yoga and Mindfulness Classes for Children aged 5-10 years incorporate yoga through play, breathing, relaxation and mindfulness practices. Children build strength, flexibility, body awareness, focus, emotional regulation and self-esteem whilst having lots of fun!

Classes are held on Wednesday’s from 4-5pm at the Moore Street Yoga Room, Austinmer.

Book your child’s half price trial class within this school term (Term 3 2016), and receive 30% off your subsequent pass or term payment.

Click on ‘Yoga and Mindfulness for Children’ tab or scroll post below for pricing details.

Please contact me for more information, or to book your child’s place. Erika Steller erika.steller@gmail.com or 0427 131 701.

These Yoga classes for children are long running and are well-loved by children as well as parents, who see the benefits in their children. I first began teaching these classes at the same time and location 4 years ago. A number of my students have stayed for 3 and 4 years.

I recently took a break and lived with my family for 8 months in Bali. I was lucky enough to spend 7 of those months teaching yoga and mindfulness voluntarily to over 90 students at the Green School, Bali. It was such an inspiration.

However, it is here in Austinmer, after school on Wednesdays that the seeds of my passion for teaching yoga to children were planted. I learned so much from the children I was teaching, and I still do, every class I teach. How to help children to utilise the wisdom of yoga in their lives was a challenge that became a deep interest and desire for me. How to get them to listen? How to get them to join in? How to get them to ‘want’ to learn yoga, breathing practices and relaxation? Whilst keeping it all fun? These are all things I have considered, experimented with, worked on and learned from. I have loved (and love) the process of finding ways that work, and seeing responses in learning and engagement from the children.

I am now super keen and excited and trained to teach a Children’s Mindfulness program within the yoga classes as well. It is especially designed for teaching children specifically to assist with attention and emotional regulation. It is another level of asking children to be still and quiet and to reflect, and to attend to the present moment. It is not easy! Not easy for us adults to do this (be in stillness and be ‘present’)!! But the response I have been having from children who have been attending classes since last term and learning the Mindfulness practices, has been so positive. It has shown me that the children feel and appreciate the benefits themselves. This is so motivating for me. I look forward to working with your children, and thank you to all the children I have had the privilege of teaching so far. I am truly grateful.



Yoga Classes – Winter

Dru Yoga & Mindfulness Classes (adults)– Coledale and Wollongong

Yoga & Mindfulness for Children Classes– Austinmer


Dru Yoga & Mindfulness Classes (adults)

Gentle and flowing yoga for your whole being. Mindfulness practices offering
a practical and easily applied approach.

1) Tuesday mornings 10-11:30am Coledale Surf Club
– 8 Week Terms, but you are welcome to start anytime during term. Contact me
for term dates.
– Pricing $125/8 week term, $62/4 week pass ($18/casual class provided
there is space).
– Enquire for concession price.

Please contact me for any questions or enquiries or to book your
place  – erika.steller@gmail.com
0427 131 701

2) Tuesday evenings 5:30-7pm WEA Wollongong
– 8 Week Terms
– Book (whole term only) through WEA 4226 1622

Dru Yoga – a gentle yet potent  flowing style.

  • Inclusive of all levels and abilities.
  • Release tension, stress, anxiety.
  • Increase peace of mind, positivity, core stability,
    strength & flexibility.
  • Unique Energy Block Release Sequences, breathing,
    meditation and relaxation.

Yoga & Mindfulness for Children – ages 5-10 years

Wednesdays 4-5pm, Moore Street Yoga Room, Austinmer.

Yoga through play, creativity and togetherness. Mindfulness practices
for increasing focus and emotional regulation.

Classes are inclusive of all children to:

Find strength, flexibility and body awareness.
– Explore breathing and increase concentration and relaxation skills.
– Build self-esteem whilst having lots of fun!
– Mindfulness practices included as a program specifically designed
for children.

Term dates for Term 3 – Wednesday 3rd August – 21st September.
Children may start anytime throughout the term.

$100/8 weeks (or $60 for siblings). 4 week pass $55/4 weeks. Casual
classes $15/class.
Please contact me for any questions or enquiries or to book your
child’s place.

Contact Erika Steller erika.steller@robter.com 0427 131 701

NEW Pre schooler’s Kids Yoga Class

NEW Pre schooler’s Kids Yoga class in Helensburgh starts this Friday the 13th Feb. I look forward to meeting and sharing lots of yoga fun with lil ones aged 2-5 and their grown ups, this Friday, 10:30-11:15am at Amber’s Yoga Studio. This will be the first class of an 8 week term, and is $10/class. My Yoga for Kids classes use story, song, props and colour for yoga play, togetherness, body awareness, breathing and relaxation, movement, and lots of fun! Grown ups please join in – the fun is for all of us 🙂 If you would like any more info on me and my teaching/yoga classes click on ‘About’ and ‘Kids Yoga’ above. Book your child’s place, or contact Amber for more info through her website http://www.yogawithamber.com.au/contact-us/ or leave a message on her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/yogawithamber Very best wishes, I look forward to meeting you! 🙂 Erika


Learn tools for ‘being in the moment’ with yoga

Continuing to explore ‘Mindfulness’. In the words of Eckhart Tolle, ‘On the surface it seems that the present moment is only one of many, many moments. Each day of your life appears to consist of thousands of moments where different things happen. Yet if you look more deeply, is there not only one moment, ever? Is life ever not “this moment”? This one moment – Now – is the only thing you can never escape from, the one constant factor in your life. No matter what happens, no matter how much your life changes, one thing is for certain: it’s always Now.’ Learn tools for ‘being in the moment’ with yoga. Om shanti (peace), Erika

Integrating ‘Mindfulness’, being ‘Present’

Has anyone heard/seen this word lately?…
‘Mindfulness’ – ‘being’ in the present moment, in the here and now – so we can enjoy each moment as we experience it.
We will be exploring this concept as our theme at my Dru Yoga open evening classes this term, focusing on a different aspect of ‘mindfulness’/being present each week, and learning simple and practical tools and yoga practices to help you to stay present in each moment.
Contact Erika for enquiries and bookings on 0427 131 701 or erika.steller@robter.com

Yoga Classes Term 1 2015!

Classes start this coming Wed 28th Jan Yoga for Kids, and Thurs 29th Jan Pre Natal, and Dru Yoga open evening classes.

Click on ‘Integrating ‘Mindfulness’, being ‘Present’, under Recent Posts, for info on the theme for Dru Yoga open evening class for Term 1.

Kids Yoga Flyer Dru Evening Class Dru Yoga Classes - Pre-natal

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