Relaxed kidsWe often have French students staying with us during the holidays to learn English, this time two sisters from Paris who are here for their third visit. The girls work very hard at school and their parents are happy to know “they’ve changed the pace and content of their Parisian routine”.

You don’t have to live in Paris to have a busy life, and this can make life stressful for children as well as adults. The girls always enjoy coming to yoga with me so I planned morning and evening meditation sessions, in the hope of giving them some techniques they could take back home.

What exactly is meditation? For me, it’s a way of finding space in my head, with no need to do anything, just be. This can be very helpful for children who feel weighed down by expectations and overstimulated by life.

How do you do meditation with kids? It can sound a bit daunting, especially when it is not something you are used to doing yourself. Here are a few super-simple techniques that I use:

Seated meditation (you can do this anywhere, even if you only manage a couple of minutes):
1. Sit comfortably, with your back straight, if in a chair feet flat on the floor, eyes closed
2. Just be aware of your breath – observe how it lifts and lowers your chest
3. As you breathe out, relax your eyes. Relax your mouth. Relax your shoulders. Relax your hands
4. Stay here for as long as you want, coming out slowly with some deeper breaths, eyes to the floor

Other things to try (just use one technique, always starting with good posture and breath awareness):
– Put one hand on your belly and let your belly fill with your in-breath, just letting go with your out-breath
– Count how many seconds it takes you to breathe in and out. Try to slow your out-breath by 1-2 seconds
– Be aware of the little pauses at the top and bottom of the breath – maybe hang out there for a moment

Lying meditation (anywhere – in bed, outside):
1. Lie on your back, arms by your sides, palms up, relax your legs, shoulders and arms
2. You can do all of the above. Also, after getting comfy and focusing on your breath for a few minutes:
– If outside, become aware of any sounds. Start with those close by then let your awareness ripple out, taking in those far away before slowly bringing your awareness back. Take your time.
– Imagine yourself in a really peaceful place – lying in a meadow, on the beach, on a mountain, even on a cloud. Describe how it feels. Take your child on a journey, encouraging them to find their own place.

Give it a try. It’s worth it. And let me know how it goes.

Filed under: Happy Coulson

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!