Meditation for Kids Updated
I have always thought that there is a natural struggle between children learning to “obey” their elders as they learn about life and finding their unique place in the world.
Yoga means “Union” of our mind, body and spirit. Through the practice of Yoga or mindfulness, we come to better know ourselves. We realize that we have unlimited potential. Don't we want our children to realize this also?
Giving children the tools to help them get in touch with their bodies helps them to better control their behavior. They can then become more empathetic and understand that they are an important part of our collective universe. Their actions make a difference to all of us. Like a pebble tossed into a pool, our actions ripple out affecting many others.
The practice of mediation helps us to calm our minds and rest. It is not what you think you achieve during the practice that matters as much as the lasting affect on the rest of your day.
When children misbehave they are often sent to a corner to contemplate their behavior. But they do not know why they did what they did or why they felt the way they did. We tell them their behavior was wrong but we do not give them the tools to correct it.
US Rep. Tim Ryan instituted “The Skills for Life” program in Ohio schools. It teaches deep breathing, meditation and other problem solving skills to elementary-aged kids. This program helped kids balance their emotions, cut down on bullying, and increased awareness.
When starting a meditation practice, the most important things to remember are:
1. Consistency- even if only for a few minutes.
2. Relax and breathe.
3. Be comfortable.
Animal meditation by Toni. Teach children that your mind is connected to your body. Your thoughts go all the way to every cell.
1. Start with a (Lion), take one step to the right and squat down in a wide stance , take a deep breath in and roar as you let out your breath. Stretch out your arms.
2. (Giraffe) Stand straight with feet together and reach up as tall as you can with palms together, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly.
3. (elephant) Bend at the waist as you exhale into an elephant by hanging your arms in front of you, palms together. Sway side to side as if your arms are the elephant's trunk. Take deep breaths in and exhale with an elephant sound.
4. (starfish) Last lie down on your back, stretching out your arms and legs. Close your eyes. Try to be as still and quiet as a starfish. Take 2 deep breathes in and out. Now just silently listen to your breathe for a few minutes.
These two meditation ideas are from Melissa Eisler on Chopra.com
Ballon meditation for children.
Guided relaxation meditation for children.
1. Lie down in a comfortable place and close your eyes.
2. Take a few deep cleansing breaths to relax.
3. Tense your right foot and hold this for two deep breathes and relax.
4. Take a deep breath.
5. Repeat this for every part of your body.
Set aside a time each day to practice a guided meditation. Find a quiet place free of distractions where you can all be comfortable.
For more ideas for children’s meditations visit: www.chopra.com
Toni Faile Lyerly