OST Symposium - Mindful Leadership

Posted by HCDE Staff on 11/13/2020

CASE for Kids hosted an Out-of-School-Time (OST) Symposium on Nov. 8. A variety of workshops were offered for OST professionals such as afterschool providers, teachers and managers of nonprofit organizations. Many workshops were offered in a variety of topics related to leadership development. The mindful leadership session was presented by Mitzi Henderson. She owns the only African American owned registered yoga school in Houston and is the owner of Namitzi Yoga; The Namitzi Yoga Institute of Health and Spirituality; and the Mindful Lotus.

Mitzi opened Namitzi Yoga in 2009 as one of the first visual and mobile yoga studios in Houston, yet that was only the beginning. Later, she integrated yoga as a daily practice at Hilliard Elementary School, emphasizing the calming benefits of yoga in the classroom environment. She noted how a peaceful, focused mind helps a teacher work more effectively with their students. To connect with the community around Hilliard, she taught free weekly public yoga classes. She is an example of how leaders such as teachers and managers must remain calm during conflict; the way they handle the situation can greatly affect its outcome.

Leaders that practice mindfulness are more in-tune with their emotions and can recognize if someone is reacting based on an immediate emotional response. Mindful leaders understand that to make the best decision, they need to analyze the problem from the point of view of those involved. This strategy applies to the classroom since “mindfulness promotes positive social connections in the workplace through… empathy and response flexibility” (Glomb et. al, 2012). By fostering a mindful environment, youth become more aware of how their emotions affect decision-making. They realize that empathizing with another person can change their beliefs and will understand the value of active listening to others and their experiences.

Glomb, T. M., Duffy, M. K., Bono, J. E., & Yang, T. (2012). Mindfulness at work. Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management