Meditation is a great tool for adults and children in finding a sense of calm and relaxing the mind and body. Meditation can often be very helpful for children that are feeling stress that they do not yet know how to process. Meditation can also be helpful when your little ones are having trouble falling asleep or sitting still. The best way to practice meditation with your children is through guided exercises. This means you will walk them through each step verbally. The Chopra Center compiled a short list of guided exercises for child-friendly meditation. We’ve listed two of them below but you can click the link to view the full article. Both of the guided practices below can be practiced with children of any age!
1. Focus on relaxing your body and begin taking deep inhales followed by slow exhales through the nose.
2. Take a slow, deep breath in to fill your stomach up with air. Imagine that you’re trying to fill up your belly with air like a big balloon.
3. Release the air out of the balloon slowly through the nose as you let the breath go out of the belly.
4. Emphasize the importance of having your children feel their bodies relax as they exhale. As they are releasing air out of the balloon you can make a hissing sound, like the sound of air being let out of a balloon, to help them slow down their breathing if they are rushing through the exercise.
5. Continue for several minutes
If you want to try this exercise with a younger child but fear that they won’t have the patience for it, there are a few ways to make it more interesting!
1. Have your little one say their favorite color and tell them to picture the balloon as that color.
2. Have your little ones use their full body during the meditation. While they are blowing up the balloon have them raise their arms as they imagine the balloon getting bigger.
3. Once the balloon is full, you can “pop” the balloon. Pretend to poke the balloon and make a popping sound, then have your child release the air and fall to the floor as they imitate the balloon pop.
This is a great exercise for children and adults that are having trouble sleeping or need to relax their bodies in order to relax their minds.
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable place and close your eyes. Use pillows and blankets to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.
2. Take a few deep breaths to regulate your breathing.
3. Begin by focusing all of your attention on your right foot. Pay attention to how it feels. Squeeze your foot and then flex it. Wiggle all of your toes and squeeze them back in. Squeeze your foot into a fist; hold your foot in this tensed position for two breaths.
4. Suddenly release all of the tension in your foot. Completely relax your foot and notice the feeling in your foot that follows.
5. Take a deep breath and move on to the next body part.
6. Move to your left foot. Repeat the same process as you did for your right foot on your left.
7. Taking a deep breath between each body part, slowly move up the body. Remember to squeeze and hold the tension in the body part then suddenly release the tension and note the feeling that follows. You can choose the order and which body parts to include but here is an example to follow:
• Right foot – Left foot
• Right ankle and calf – left ankle and calf
• Right knee – left knee
• Right thigh – left thigh
• All feet and legs
• Entire lower body (from your stomach down)
• Chest and heart
• Right arm – left arm
• Right hand –left hand
• Whole body at once (repeat this one twice)
We hope you are excited to try practicing meditation with your little ones at home after looking at these exercises. If you have any exercises that you and your little ones practice to help decompress throughout the day please let us know in the comments! And as always click share on the side of the blog to share these techniques with your friends and family! Happy meditating!