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Maple Minds

Maple Minds is a mindfulness, yoga and relaxation program. It provides toddlers, kids, teens and their parents with coping strategies to help manage stress, tension, nervousness, anxiety, “challenging” or “difficult” emotions, and pain. Graphic image of 3 culturally diverse children sitting on blocks

Growing up with a chronic condition — and/or caring for a family member with challenging medical needs — can be stressful, painful, frightening and even lonely. Frequent medical appointments and procedures, uncertainty about the future, and feeling different from others, can all be stressors.

Maple Minds was created to provide age appropriate, easy-to-use and accessible hands-on coping techniques that can be used in everyday life, and easily applied even during the most challenging moments. The goal of the MAPLE MINDS program is to offer a safe, calm and open space, where patients and families can find support by exploring unique coping techniques and connecting with their peers.

We enjoy practicing with you very much and are truly grateful for your support over the years. 


Maple Minds was created in 2013 by Inga Bohnekamp (Dipl.-Psych., yoga teacher, author, program director), in cooperation with the Arthritis Society and CHEO’s Division of Pediatric Rheumatology (Dr. Johannes Roth). This program has since grown into a well-loved and regularly used resource for patients of all ages and their families. The program was designed using the principles of pyschology, pyschotherapy, mindfulness, yoga, and breathing and relaxation techniques. The program blends these approaches into a holistic resource designed to support patients of all age groups (babies to teenagers) and their families in their coping efforts by helping them go through life and face challenges with more joy, confidence and ease.

Our sessions

Each year we offer different Maple Minds programs for all age groups and different patient populations. Currently, Maple Minds offers a core four week program, as well as an extended six week program.

Most sessions are sponsored and offered through CHEO’s Divisions of Pediatric Rheumatology, Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Rheumatology patients

Rheumatology patients are given priority. Other patients are welcome if there are spaces left. Please put your name on the waiting list. We look forward to practicing with you!

To register, please email or call Laura Rivest at 613-737-7600 ext. 1015

Cardiology and cardiovascular surgery patients

  • Refresher workshops
    • We are currently planning one-day refresher workshops for our cardiology and cardiovascular surgery patients/families, to be held this winter. Stay tuned for updates.
  • Spring 2018 schedule

To register, please email or call Karen Degagne at 613-737-7600 ext. 3641

Resource materials

Audio tracks

  • As the result of many patients’ requests, we have produced Maple Minds audio resources – short, downloadable tracks, with age appropriate breathing exercises, meditations and visualizations (dream journeys) to support your practice at home, in the hospital, at school, and anywhere else you may need it.

Children’s book


In 2017, we published the official Maple Minds Manual (handbook) which now allows us to train Maple Minds instructors and make the program available to even more families.

This handbook guides health care professionals in learning more about MAPLE MINDS mindfulness, yoga, and relaxation program, which has helped our patients and families navigate life’s challenges while living and coping with a chronic illness. As a result of this core program (which, for the Pediatric Rheumatology patients, is held twice a year), patients have more confidence, joy (yes!), and experience less stress and anxiety. Patients also have a decreased sense of fear and pain related to medical procedures and illness.

The handbook, in combination with an official MAPLE MINDS training facilitated by us will provide you with the skills for implementing this program in any workplace setting with diverse patient population groups or even colleagues. If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness and about this program, please contact Dr. Johannes Roth or Inga Bohnekamp.

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