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Who We Are

Project Peaceful Warriors is a non-profit organization located in New Orleans, LA. Our mission is to provide trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness programming to schools —

empowering students and educators with tools they can use to reduce stress and anxiety, combat burnout, and lead happier and healthier lives. To accomplish this goal, we partner with schools, community centers, local yoga studios, and other organizations.

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Since launching in February of 2016, we have served 9 schools and 5 community-based organizations, reaching over 700 students, and 250 educators.

In addition to helping heal youth trauma through small group classes, we provide educators and schools with tangible yoga and mindfulness tools that decrease classroom distractions and bullying and increase focus, engagement, peer relationships, and academic performance.

What we believe
Our work is guided by five core principles:

  1. Yoga is for everybody.
  2. Connection with yourself and others cultivates a community where everyone has a sense of belonging.
  3. We build resilience through our mind, body, and breath.
  4. Rooting learning experiences in play fosters social and emotional skills and personal growth.
  5. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to serve others.

        

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Why Work Together

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Research suggests that providing yoga within the school curriculum may be an effective way to help students develop self-regulation, mind-body awareness, and physical fitness, which may in turn foster additional social emotional learning (SEL) competencies and positive student outcomes such as improved behaviors, mental state, health, and performance.[1] 

In our recent pilot study in collaboration with Tulane's Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking as well as the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, we found that third grade students who participated in Project Peaceful Warriors yoga and mindfulness interventions had statistically significant increases on the the Pediatric Quality of Life Index. Emotional, social, and psychosocial scales were used, and improvements were seen in all categories. Additionally teachers that participated in staff yoga reported a significant decrease in stress levels, were more likely to implement yoga into the classroom, and indicated that yoga and mindfulness techniques help students and themselves be calm and also improve classroom climate.

We will provide educators with tangible tools that increase focus, engagement, peer relationships, and academic performance. Our programming:

  1. Provides students with tools to develop self-awareness and enhance social, physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being;
  2. Supports students in developing focus and concentration in order to enhance learning and achievement;
  3. Emphasizes enjoyment and success in physical activities;
  4. Facilitates the application of yoga and mindfulness skills to other academic and social environments;
  5. Empowers teachers to bring yoga, mindfulness, and self-care into their classrooms in order to decrease behavior problems in the classroom, and reduce student stress and anxiety;
  6. Reduces teacher stress and burnout, and equips educators with tools and practices to support healthy and sustainable work-life balance;
  7. Cultivates a campus culture that promotes health and wellness in students, educators, staff, parents, and the greater community.

What We Offer

Project Peaceful Warriors’ school programming utilizes a collaborative curriculum to integrate trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness education into academic environments. Our program is distinguished by the simultaneous implementation of student yoga classes, staff yoga classes, and professional development workshops. These core components work together to sustainably improve overall school climate, with a focus on the mind-body wellness of students and educators.

While we do provide programming à la carte, for maximum impact, we recommend that schools participate in the student and staff yoga classes and professional development workshops. We believe that you will see the best results when you implement our more inclusive and comprehensive programming, taking a whole-school approach that incorporates yoga, mindfulness, and self-care for students and educators. If your school is interested, we will work with you to design and implement measures of a variety of positive programming outcomes such as: improvements in school climate (for example, less suspensions, discipline referrals, and behavioral incidents), reduced levels of stress and anxiety in educators and students, and improved social emotional learning skills.

Student Yoga Classes

1-2 days per week for one hour (one semester to one academic year)*

Rate: $50/hour + 20% admin fee + $350 supply fee

*These classes can be before school, after-school, during school, or even as a camp over holiday breaks, or on professional development days.

These small group classes are designed to empower students’ strength, coordination, focus, balance, awareness, and ability to take responsible and thoughtful action. Each yoga class consists of breathing exercises, yoga poses, and mindfulness-based relaxation. Breathing exercises teach students how to focus, calm, energize, or center themselves in any situation. Yoga poses give the students multiple sensory inputs: understanding body awareness and motor planning with moving their bodies in and out of poses, auditory processing by following multistep directions, and tactile processing through partner work. Mindfulness-based relaxation teaches students to listen to and respect their bodies’ needs, as well as how to consciously relax and recharge themselves.

In the past year, Project Peaceful Warriors has led roughly 63,900 minutes of yoga for students. That is 1,065 Hours, or 44.375 DAYS.

Staff Yoga Classes

1 hour sessions as requested

Rate: $100/hour + admin fee waived

These classes are tailored to meet the needs of the staff in attendance. They are designed to introduce basic yoga tools so that educators may become more familiar with them and begin to embody them when integrating yoga into their classrooms. Staff members also receive the benefits of yoga for themselves. For many staff members, this class is a time for them to take care of their own needs by centering themselves, releasing stress, and improving their overall health.

In the past year, Project Peaceful Warriors has led over 250 educators in staff yoga.

Professional Development Workshops

As requested with 1 hour minimum
Rate: Dependant on #of participants / # of hours (typically around $450)

The professional development we provide is aimed to equip educators with the basic principles and tools to implement yoga and mindfulness in the classroom from a trauma- informed and culturally competent lens. Each session will give educators an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how to identify the needs of students who have experienced trauma and how to successfully utilize yoga and mindfulness tools to help students shift, cope, and flourish. Each session includes learning about and working with tangible tools that can be taken back and implemented into the classroom.

To facilitate the optimal learning experience for each school, we offer many options for workshop length and pricing. Each workshop is customized to meet the unique school culture and specific goals of participants. All yoga tool activities require no previous yoga experience, extra equipment, or space. Below are a few examples of the professional development modules we offer:        

Tools for teachers: A collaboration with Yoga Ed., this PD focuses on learning specific, standards-aligned, classroom accessible yoga poses and breathing exercises that can be used to build SEL skills and support brain-based learning. We will also dive into how to identify challenging times during your student’s day and how to implement various tools to shift  apple.jpeg

                        students into a more positive state of mind.

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Trauma in the classroom: Learn about what trauma is, how it affects our students, what it looks like, and how to adapt lessons and incorporate yoga and mindfulness to be more sensitive to students’ needs.

Self-care: When you take care of yourself, you are better able to serve others. These trainings will focus on giving educators simple, effective tools to integrate self-care into their daily schedules. Specific topics include keeping a gratitude journal, developing a morning routine, and what to do to recharge in five minutes or less.heart.jpeg

Other topics for professional development sessions: chair yoga, mindful meetings, and

brain breaks.

Program Options Recap
                

Program

Duration

Frequency

Cost

Other fees

Small-Group Student Classes

45 min-1 hr

1-2 x per week

$50/hour

20% admin

$350 supply fee

Staff Yoga Classes

1 hr

As requested

$100/hour

-

Professional Development

1 hr (minimum)

As requested

Dependant on #of participants / # of hours

-

        

In the News

Yoga Ed. x Manduka: Chelsea Hylton :: Yoga Ed. (Mar 2017)

School of Thought—NOLA’s Youth Benefit from Yoga & Mindfulness :: NALA MAG (Jan 2017)

How Yoga Is Helping NOLA’s Students Cope With Trauma :: Startup Southerner (July 2016)

New Orleans startup finds 'peaceful warriors' in struggling students :: NOLA.com (Mar 2016)

Project Peaceful Warriors impacts students in NOLA area :: WWL TV (June 2016)

Meditation and Mindfulness Empower Students :: Nola family (Spring 2016)
Interview with Yoga Ed. :: Yoga Ed. (September 2016)  

—Current School Partners and Community Collaborations—
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[1] Khalsa, S. B. S., & Butzer, B. (2016). Yoga in school settings: a research review. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.