Meditation for Kids
Have you ever sat down outside on a pretty day, closed your eyes, taken in a deep breath, and basked in the sunshine?
Perhaps, you’ve sat there for a moment, eyes closed, just thinking about the incredible feeling of relaxation, the calm atmosphere all around you, and the warm sunshine lightly heating your body to an almost sleepy state.
For just a brief moment, stress from your every day life has faded away, gratitude for your blessings have come so easily, and acceptance of who you are right now in that moment is so clear.
Essentially, that incredible calming feeling is meditation.
Meditation doesn’t have to be well thought out or only practiced for religious reasons. It’s so much more than that!
It’s the one thing out of your day that can keep you from going, well, crazy! Overall, it can just keep you mentally healthy.
Relaxation, happiness, and acceptance are a few of the things that seem so hard to come by sometimes as adults and even as kids as well.
So these brief but frequent moments of meditation can be a great way to get the absolute most out of this life.
We sometimes forget that kids deal with stress too. Sometimes as much as adults do. I remember back to a time in my childhood when I used to take Tae Kwon Do classes.
My karate instructor taught strictly self defense. He made known that violence was not the answer to our problems. However, he wanted us to be able to defend ourselves if needed.
The strenuous activity of upper-cut punches and round house kicks can get anyone’s adrenaline pumping especially a child’s. Though I didn’t really understand it back then, my instructor would sit us down and have us cross our legs, close our eyes, and breathe deeply after every class.
He told us to imagine our stomachs as a balloon, and when we slowly breathe in, it fills the balloon with air.
“See how big you can get that balloon,” he whispered not wanting to interrupt the silence in the room.
“Hold it in as long as you can, and when you can’t hold it in any longer, slowly breathe out.”
I can still remember all the kids around me becoming so silent. All I could hear was the slow and steady breaths of each individual.
We would do this breathing exercise a couple of times then he would end for the evening so we would go find our parents to go home.
Looking back now, I see why this exercise – this meditation – was so important.
We left that karate class each night with the knowledge and understanding of what the class was teaching us, but we also left with a clear mind and a calming feeling that this class was not for violent reasons.
We didn’t leave with the stress that can build when doing such a strenuous activity. We left in a peaceful and calming atmosphere.
And even now, I look back to that moment especially when things in life get so crazy and when I feel like I am going to totally lose my wits!
I am able to calm myself, because of this meditation I was taught so long ago.
So do you need a step in the right direction to meditating by yourself and even with your kids?
The next time your kids have been doing a strenuous exercise such as playing sports or running around in the yard, take them aside and do a breathing exercise with them.
Make it fun by telling them to close their eyes and imagine their stomachs as a balloon, and when they are breathing in slowly, that balloon is filling up with air.
Have them hold it for just a couple of seconds then release. Have them imagine that balloon slowly losing air as they breathe out slowly.
If you do this a couple of times, you will be sure to see a calming reaction take over your children. You will see their adorable little faces relax and release all that high active energy from the activities they have been doing.
You will feel an over-all sense of peace. Not just in your children, but in yourself as well!
And even though they might not know it or understand the effects of this simple exercise right now, you will be helping your children to be as mentally healthy as they can be.