I had told you I would post some information about Brain Gym. Here it is in a nutshell.
Brain Gym is a program based somewhat on the yoga philosophy. It uses physical movements to enhance learning and performance. (much like some of the ones we do in class) It is said to develop the brains neural pathways the way nature does through movement. It is my understanding that some students may not have developed all of their primary reflexive patterns as a baby. Maybe they weren’t given a chance to crawl, spin, roll, reach for things because they were kept in swings, playpens, walkers, etc. Maybe they experienced trauma in utero, due to stress of the mom or something traumatic happening to mom. If these primary reflexes didn’t develop, that stage of development is not complete and can cause problems later on in life.
In the classroom, I do these activities to calm the students and help them focus. I have seen amazing results for me as well as for the students!!! Usually it is the students saying, “we didn’t do Brain Gym today”, especially if the class seems loud and off task. They notice the difference too.
There are various exercises to do, we usually pick about 5 and it is well worth the 10 minutes it takes. By mid way through the year the students take turn leading the exercises and picking what they want to do. Double doodles ( like the circle/triangle one we did, except we only do 1 shape) and the owl are favorite exercises. Different exercises focus on certain learning skills. You might do one exercise to help in listening and another one to help in writing or one to help calm you. I worked last year with a Brain Gym instructor to incorporate reflexive pattern movements into stories. We had great success and it is what I plan to do my paper on.
Some good sites to give you more information is:
Some words to google for more information:
Dr. Paul Dennison
The instructor I work with is from Oregon ( originally from ND) His e-mail is
firstname.lastname@example.org He has 2 books Brain/Heart Games for Families and Empowering Children Through Stories and Movement. I know he would answer any questions you had. Just tell him you met me at ETSU. He knows I am here working on this Masters degree.
There are many classes available around the country. Asheville, NC has 4 Brain gym instructors. TN has 2 and ND has 2 trained instructors also.
Like everything in life there are people who do not believe in the program. I have seen the difference it can make. I will admit sometimes, I do the Brain Gym activities because it will calm me and help me focus after a crazy morning full of unpredictable issues. You know, just a typical day at school!
If you have any more specific questions, ask me and I will see if I can answer them.