Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Meditation in Schools

Jan 30, 2015 08:55AM
Local practitioner, Shira Oz-Sinai is supporting students in their academic path and educators in the delivery of high-quality and efficient education by sharing techniques for relaxing the nervous system, decreasing overall stress, and increasing attention and focus at E. L. Haynes Public Charter High School in Washington, DC.

Breathing techniques, simple hand gestures, attention exercises and awareness practices are used to provide students and staff with an array of tools for managing stress and sharpening mental acuity. The main source of these mindful exercises is a meditation technique called Integrative Restoration or iRest. iRest is an effortless, secular and effective practice of self-inquiry.

Though it is based on ancient yogic techniques (Yoga Nidra), iRest requires no physical exercise. It's simply a process of asking questions within yourself, like what sensations are present or what sounds are you noticing, in order to get to know who you are inside and out. It is fitting for every body type, personality and background. Currently, iRest is used across the country at military bases, hospitals, homeless shelters and community programs as a tool not only for releasing tension but also for decreasing chemical dependency, insomnia, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Shira's work centers mostly on youth from poverty backgrounds and the schools they attend. These teens confront social and behavioral barriers to learning on a daily basis, including chronic stress, depression and anxiety that result from continuous exposure to high-risk, low-resource home lives and neighborhoods. How young people learn to manage stress can greatly affect their well-being, their relationships with others and their success in school and in life.

 To learn more about Shira’s work, visit



Global Brief
Health Brief