Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on New Trends in Teaching and Education
The CRAFT Program: Yoga and Mindfulness for Enhancing the Mental and Emotional Health and Well-being of Student Musicians during Pandemic Times
L. Javier Bartos, M. Pilar Posadas, María J. Funes-Molina, Marc Ouellet, Wendy Wrapson, Chris Krägeloh
The CRAFT program, based on mindfulness, yoga, positive psychology, and emotional intelligence, is a neuroeducational program for enhancing the well-being and academic experience of higher education students. The acronym CRAFT stands for the following terms representing its five elements: Consciousness, Relaxation, Attention, Fulfilment, and Transcendence. The objective of the present communication is to explain the theoretical framework of the CRAFT program and discuss preliminary findings retrieved amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Student musicians enrolled in CRAFT-based (CRAFT participants; n=40) and non-CRAFT-based (controls; n=53) subjects completed a questionnaire specifically developed to explore the degree to which they implemented coping strategies during the lockdown to improve their health and well-being as well as the different perceived benefits they may have derived from it. One-way ANOVAs, Chi-Square tests, and a deductive content analysis were conducted. Significantly more CRAFT participants, 92%, than controls, 58%, implemented techniques for enhancing their health and well-being during the lockdown, (1) = 13.41, p .001. Similarly, a higher proportion of CRAFT participants, 78%, than controls, 52%, reported benefits from their practice implementation experience, (1) = 5.399, p .020. Perceived benefits voiced by CRAFT participants included enhanced conscious awareness, emotional self-regulation, psychological distress, mental clarity, relaxation, concentration, transformative attitudes, resilience, and wellness. These results appear to show that CRAFT program exposure may promote a sense of agency and inner responsibility amongst its practitioners for independently using CRAFT strategies in stressful real-life contexts. Further mixed-method research of phenomenological inquiry within longitudinal and experimental controlled design studies with various arms is encouraged.
keywords: emotional intelligence, higher education, lockdown, perceived benefits, positive psychology