Written by Mrs. I.P. Bhatia
Meditation is a practice that anyone can do and find positive results from it. One of its purposes is to develop a meditative state of mind that is usually hard to find in most of the children, as they are naturally proactive to play to learn what they will need for life, but at the same time the actual education system blocks this natural impulse of movement and that spreads stress and anxiety in children. To face this big problem we can teach our children to reduce stress and develop emotional intelligence.There are many ways to teach meditation to kids in a successful and funny way. Here we share the best 10.
No matter the personality of the children you’re working with, no one (or just a really few) of them will stand exercises instructed for more than 2-3 minutes. It’s not funny! The younger they are, the shorter the exercises should be. For kids up to 6 years the maximum time per asana should be 30 seconds and if you use silent meditations, no more than one minute. Once those children have a long time practice and understanding of the importance and patience, you may extend durations, but it’s all up to the children in class and their personalities.
Every asana or sequence has to be meaningful and funny for them. If there’s no game there’s no way to connect with the most of the kids. Meditations and postures associated with animals or sequences which could be adaptable to tell an interesting story as you teach them are wonderful resources that your kids are going to love, but always focus these games with a lesson or learning objective.
Arts and Stimulation of Creativity
Kids love art as it’s a perfect way to express themselves with colours, fun and imagination. Something so simple as painting mandalas or also drawing them (depending on the child or group) can be a really therapeutic option that could calm their minds and be fun at the same time. Use painting or playing some music at the end of a class to test the efficiency or healing effect of the practice they just did and to leave in them a last good memory about the meditation class.
Easy and Spontaneous Music
This music you play with them will be better as closer you can play it from spontaneity, because kids are spontaneous. Tracks and recorded sounds are also effective if you prepare your class, and if that song is related to a game they can play while singing it and also to a specific learning topic.
Tibetan Bowls and Instruments used for Meditation
Bringing musical instruments they can play without studying, like bowls, drums and even a gong will help to a better integration of the kids and some of them will find easier a peace of mind while playing these meditative tools. They will be an attractive way to call their attention if they’re distracted or noisy, making the class pretty much easier for you.
There’s no way to forget this tool for your practice with children. Even some meditations (sitted of feet-standed) can be fun and effective if we add dancing to the set. But do not lose control of the class : these dancings have to be strongly associated with a learning object and preceded by a deeper meditation or exercise that calm their minds.
Mantras they Understand
The technology of Mantras is a very important and healing tool that children should also learn. But chanting Mantras for a long time or without an easy understanding of its meaning can be as boring as hell for them. There are a lot of tracks mixing Mantras with music and with their meanings in English or another languages to reach those objectives: fun, understanding and sacred effect of resonance. Most of them also incorporate movements of the hands (with mudras) and arms related with the meaning of the Mantra. If you have the ability of playing music and improvisation take this advice and your Healing music will also be really fun.
Tales and Visualizations
As we said, imagination is an imprescindible resource with children and with anyone, because this way you take advantage of the power of the mind to promote healing and to create a new reality. Visualizations with natural landscapes, relaxing sounds of animals which are associated with spiritual lessons and archetypes or just imaginations with colours related to the Chakras and emotions are excellent ideas to use with them, but for all these exercises the consciousness must be on breathing.
Control Food and Beverages
As teachers or parents we also need to ease focus and concentration of the children as far as possible and one thing that has a big influence on this is what our kids usually eat and drink and even more important is what they consumed during the day before the class. It doesn’t matter if you or the children are vegetarian or not, but what causes more problems are meals with flour and high content of sugar. For this purpose, it doesn’t make a big difference if this sugar or flour is organic, natural or processed. They have to be reduced as far as possible before the class and promote a balanced nourishment habit with lower levels of carbohydrates.
Join Parents to the Class
Kids’ behaviour problems are a reflection of what they learn at home and the emotional situations of the relatives living with them. Sometimes we need to work on parents to achieve a deeper effect on children with those problems that seem very hard or impossible to solve. Sharing a yoga or meditation class with their parents and relatives could also mean a wonderful experience for them they will never forget.