Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation”? He replied “Nothing. However let me tell you what I lost: Anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.
In today’s fast-paced, technological world where disconnection is a rising problem, meditation and mindfulness practices are vital tools in raising self-awareness. Kids have the ability to be present in the moment. Teaching them meditation and mindfulness early on can help them remain healthy and happy well into adulthood, while developing their minds. Regular meditation can help improve attentiveness, self-control, and even pain while lessening the effects of day-to-day stress, hyperactive behaviour, and sadness. Studies show those that meditate are more aware, respectful, and empathetic. These are among the many reasons why we choose to practice meditation techniques.
The first technique we use is “the balloon”, which is a breathing exercise and a great way to start off the day. The kids sit quietly and relax their bodies as they take deep inhales and slow exhales through the nose. The goal is to fill the belly up with as much air as possible, like blowing up a big balloon. This is continued for about 5 minutes. I encourage the kids to sit quietly and focus their minds only on their breaths as they breathe in and out, to keep their minds from wandering.
The second technique we use is a muscle relaxation technique. When the kids are stressed, overwhelmed, angry, or act out I ask them to go sit in their room for 5 minutes; not as punishment but to practice this technique and calm down. Sometimes I join them so I can walk them through it. We start off by taking a few deep breaths, then focusing on the right foot, squeezing it for few seconds, releasing it, and then taking a deep breath. Then we move on to the left foot, right leg, left leg, right knee, left knee, belly, bum, chest, right arm, left arm, right hand, left hand, neck/jaw, and lastly the whole body. The idea is by squeezing and releasing, we rid our body of the tensions that harm the body – A great activity to do before bed!
Questions? Ask away below!