top of page

What is "Brain Gym"?

The phrase BRAIN GYM usually modifies a noun. Whether used by itself or as a modifying phrase, it describes a specific set of movements, processes, programs, materials, and educational philosophy. It is a registered trademark of the Educational Kinesiology Foundation (Brain Gym® International) in Ventura, California, USA. Below is a list of its most common usages:

Brain Gym® International is committed to the principle that moving with intention leads to optimal learning. Through our outstanding instructors and movement-based programs, we empower all ages to reclaim the joy of living. The organization was founded in 1987 under the name of the Educational Kinesiology Foundation and in 2000 began doing business as Brain Gym® International. The Brain Gym® work is being used in over 87 countries and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Brain Gym® movements, exercises, or activities refer to the original 26 Brain Gym movements, sometimes abbreviated as the 26. These activities recall the movements naturally done during the first years of life when learning to coordinate the eyes, ears, hands, and whole body. The twenty-six activities, along with a program for “learning through movement” were developed by educator and reading specialist Paul E. Dennison and his wife and colleague, Gail E. Dennison who say that the interdependence of movement, cognition, and applied learning is the basis of their work. Clients, teachers, and students have been reporting for over 20 years on the effectiveness of these simple activities. Even though it is not clear yet "why" these movements work so well, they often bring about dramatic improvements in areas such as:

  • Concentration and Focus

  • Memory

  • Academics: reading, writing, math, test taking

  • Physical coordination

  • Relationships

  • Self-responsibility

  • Organization skills

  • Attitude


The Brain Gym® 101 course refers to our basic introductory course that teaches the 26 movements and how to apply them using specific Brain Gym processes and techniques. This course introduces the concepts and supporting language for the entire Brain Gym® program. Brain Gym® 101 is a prerequisite to any 200 level course or higher.

Brain Gym® techniques, processes, or strategies are more general terms that may encompass the 26 movements as well as other components from our larger curriculum.

Brain Gym® courses or curriculum include all of our approved classes. The curriculum is wide and varied due to the expertise brought by our course authors as well as our International Faculty. While each course does build upon the Brain Gym® principles, each may or may not use the Brain Gym movements. There are five levels in the Brain Gym® curriculum, each deepening a different aspect of the Brain Gym® work. Visit our Getting Started page for more information.

Brain Gym® program or work encompasses the 26 movements, the processes/techniques, and the educational theory behind the work. The Brain Gym program, as an entity, references the:

  • Educational model of drawing out and honoring the individual

  • Value of goal setting and noticing

  • Importance of movement as it relates to optimal living and learning

bottom of page