A meditation practice would benefit every child. Endless studies have shown the benefits of being able to relax and there is no need to wait until your child is a teenager to give them this skill. Offering this life skill to children is imperative for their brain function, resilience, physical health and spiritual fitness.
Start small, then build. The thing is to actually START. When in doubt, I have found that the following length of times for meditation work for children. After experimentation, you will be able to adjust accordingly to your child, group or class needs as this will vary from child to child and with each group of children.
For 3 years of age, 1 to 3 mins
For 3 - 5 years of age, 3 to 5 mins
For 5 - 8 years of age, one minute per year e.g. 8 years old could do 8 mins.
9 - 10 years of age can start to do 15mins or upwards, depending on the individual child and the practice.
Meditation isn’t about perfection, it’s about the process, the rhythm and learning a skill to relax.
A great way to get started is by doing a simple breath meditation in 5 easy steps.
Ask your child to sit or lie comfortably, close their eyes and be as still as can be and as quiet as a mouse.
Ask your child to take a deep breath in and see their thoughts fly away like butterflies.
Ask your child to bring their focus or awareness to where the breath enters at the nostrils/nose and how the breath feels when it fills their lungs/chest up. Take 2 deep, slow breaths in and out. Do this with your child.
Ask your child to imagine breathing in gold or silver light, then as they breathe out, they breath out lots of bubbles like a bubble bath OR breathe in and imagine they are filling up like a balloon and when they breath out they deflate again. Pick a colour for the balloon.
Do this focused breathing for1-3 mins (depending on age) then guide them to bring their awareness back to the room and open their eyes.
The pauses are just as important as the words, so take your time and go slowly.
Slow everything right down. Slow your own breath down and slow the meditation down. This will automatically trigger the children to do the same.
Hold the space. If you’re not calm and relaxed the kids won’t be calm and relaxed.
They are big souls in little bodies and self-discipline is required to be able to meditate but they are little so stay calm.
I like to finish with Namaste to one another which means “I salute the divinity with in you”.
If you can schedule meditation in regularly, you will be helping your children develop a life long love of meditation and spiritual fitness. Meditation is such that, once done regularly, you notice when it’s missing. Remember, simply to make a start. A powerful and short practice done regularly, is better than none at all. Meditation is a wonderful way to help your child settle for the evening and have a restful night sleep. If you are having difficulty getting your children to settle because there are a few of them, it can help to read or meditate with them one on one for a few minutes each. Children can be quite wriggly when they’re young. Remind the kids to relax their bodies, especially to relax their face and close their eyes. A few long deep breaths to slow everything down and you are on your way to calm and peace.
Love Sada. x