Meditation can teach children self-awareness, encourage them to be themselves, and help them face life with greater belief in their potential.
During the younger years it is more important to provide a foundation for meditation than teaching them to practice. These foundations are created by watching the adults take time to practice meditation and other yogic pronciples in their daily lives. Parents who practice create children who practice. Being aware, available and nurturing is important as well as allowing and fostering each child’s uniqueness, talents and gifts.
One meditation activity to try: Lie down in Savanna (Corpse Pose) and bring awareness to parts of the body. “For example, we may playfully instruct the child in body awareness by saying, “Feel that you are a statute until I count to 10. Now bend your elbows and now straighten your arms.” We give similar instructions with the legs and may ask them to wiggle their toes, and so on. This takes their awareness through the body.” Dr. Swami Shankardev
Here is a great video by Gabrielle Bernsteinsome with handles for meditating with kids:
Here is another great video by Sarah Wood Vallely. And below this are 2 of her books that you will love! She is an absolute expert and I just love her sincere way of explaining things.More of Sarah Woods videos on meditation with kids-love her!
Higher self esteem, improved focus, better reading skills, closer family relationships and better health – these are just a few of the outcomes parents, therapists and teachers who’ve used Sensational Meditation for Children are raving about. Read More
Considered the bible for teaching meditation to children, this book provides a step-by-step roadmap for introducing, inspiring, and supporting children to meditate. Rich with philosophy, supporting science and practical examples, this book clearly explains the benefits of meditation for today’s young generation. Included are 14 meditations and a variety of fun-filled exercises to help you get started right away.
A meditation movement for children is quietly emerging across the United States and throughout the world. Children are learning meditation techniques at home, in school, in after-school clubs, and in churches, yoga studios, YMCAs, and other community centers. Parents, teachers, and therapists are finding that meditation helps children in as many ways as there are children learning its techniques.
Teachers who incorporate meditation techniques into their lesson plans report that their classroom environments are more peaceful. They attribute this to their students’ ability to express care and compassion for one another. Teachers also say their students’ academic skills and confidence have risen.
Therapists who work with children say meditation reduces test anxiety, builds positive peer relationships, and enhances anger management skills. Scientists find meditation decreases blood pressure and helps other physical functions, which may be adding to these positive shifts in children.
Parents are also beginning to grasp moments of serenity and bliss after teaching meditation techniques to their children. Parents say meditation helps their family members be more respectful of one another; thus relationships grow closer and more fulfilling. Some parents say meditation helps raise their children’s self-esteem. Additionally, children now can relax in doctors’ offices and wind down at bedtime. Their health has improved, too. Parents report that their children truly like to meditate, are curious about its processes, and ask lots of questions.
Many children say that meditation helps them prepare for tests and sports events; and report it improves their relationships with their friends, parents, brothers, and sisters. Other children tell me that they like to meditate because it helps them feel happier when they are sad, and sometimes simply because it’s fun. One child shares, “It just feels cool!”
The Magic Gum Tree introduces meditation concepts in a way that appeals to children and telling an engaging story. It pays a loving homage to various spiritual wisdom traditions. Parents may use the story as a springboard to discuss concepts like mindfulness and to practice meditation techniques like breath awareness. Read More
Honey, Felix and Timber, three possums from Australia, accidentally gain the power to travel through time. The curious possums quickly realize they are on a journey to become wizards. The characters travel to ancient India, explore mythical kingdoms, and earn their first wands. Young readers are swooped up in a thrilling adventure. At the same time, they learn ageless wisdom and valuable meditation practices. Techniques include breathing, mindfulness, and chakra balancing.