Kids and Meditation: A Valuable Practice
Meditation may seem a complex topic for those who try it for the first time, but it’s simpler than it seems and can grant numerous benefits.
Sometimes you just need a pause on your daily routine., it can be due to stress or because you’re so busy that you just need a break or something completely different. This is a reality for kids too, sometimes just a little pause can make a huge difference at the end of the day. These days not only adults but most kids have to divide attention between an enormous quantity of information coming from everywhere: media, studies, home activities, and so on. That’s where the meditation come in, to help reserve a moment of pause and relaxation. But what are the benefits of introducing such a practice to your kids?
When done under a precise routine, meditation can bring a lot of benefits in general to your child, among them are: relief for problems with anxiety and stress, a healthy night of sleep, a decrease in aggressiveness, improved concentration, and not to mention the physical and mental relaxation.
Other benefits include the stimulation of self-knowledge, helping the child to understand more about feelings, and making contact with themselves.
But how to approach your kids?
While the practice itself may be simple enough for both parents and children, the introduction to meditation can be a challenge for some. Since meditation can be introduced at a very early age (2-3 years old), some parents may find it difficult to make their kids stay still during the process. The tip is to take it easy with the youngest ages, try not to force the practice, and remember that it is a relaxing experience for both you and your kid. Before trying you can try to verify if your kid can concentrate for a short period of time on other activities, like listening to a short story for example.
Also, you can try to adapt the ambience to something that gathers the interest of your kid, at first the breathing and eyes closed may not sound so attractive to them, so introducing it in a ludic way may be a good option in these cases. Introducing it through some activities the child already sees as common in their everyday life can be viable too: a walk in the park, coloring, listening to stories and simulating situations where they need to use their imagination.
Simple exercises as a starting point
Start with the simplest exercises, they will always be your best shot when it comes to simplifying your approach and practice. The yoga specialist João Soares recommends a starting meditation that at first only need requires you to make the child sit still and listen to your voice. While you narrate calmly and slowly:
“Join me on this journey! Feel your body comfortably, your back fully stretched out and your face fully relaxed. Breathe very slowly like your body was a big balloon getting full of air. Now breath out very lowly like you were a big balloon getting empty. Inflate the balloon, deflate the balloon. Inflate the balloon, deflate the balloon. Now your mind is quiet and ready to walk through the world of imagination. I would like to introduce a very special friend to you. An ancient mage, that traveled through all of India and learned a lot of interesting things. With his long beard and pinky cheeks, he was always respected all over the world because his magic powers, wisdom, and kindness helped a lot of people.
He brings a stone with him, he put it in your hands and asks you to hold it. Feel the stone on your hands. Touch it, explore it. Feel its shape. Feel its texture. Feel its temperature. See if it’s smooth if it’s cold or hot, big or small. The mage tells you to hold it with both hands and feel it with all you can have. This stone was created by Mother Earth long ago and brings within the force of all this time: big and powerful energy!
Note that by the touch of your hands, by your personal power, all this force is activated, becoming alive again. Feel like the stone shines intensely. Note how it transforms itself into a beautiful crystal. This crystal has the power to send energy through all of your body! Feel your body strong and alive! Feel your thoughts getting quiet and intelligent. Feel the living force within you. Note that the energy of all living things is present inside you. And feeling all this magic inside you, stay silent [hold the pause for some minutes].
Now, feel your breathing once again, your body, and return slowly. Namaste, it’s all good to you, it’s all good to all of us.”
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