It is a known fact that meditation calms a person down, reduces stress and anxiety levels, promotes concentration and leads to an improved health. It is due to this fact that many people are now including meditation in their daily lives and practicing the same with fervor. What is heartening to know is that many kids have now started practicing meditation in their daily lives as well. Are you of the opinion that meditation is an adult's game and that kids can't handle it? That is where you would be wrong. In fact, given the stress, increased competition and pressure that the kids of today face, meditation should not merely be an add-on but a part of their daily routine. Other than reducing stress and anxiety or dealing with any other negative emotion effectively, meditation also helps in building the image of self, dealing with suicidal thoughts and help in dealing with lowered confidence and self-esteem. It has been observed that children who practice meditation regularly are focused, confident and happy.
We know that children might not understand the importance of meditation and how it improves their lives. This they will infer on their own once they have become slightly more mature. So then, it is quite ridiculous to ask a child to meditate by himself and expect that he will be successful at it in the first go. The correct thing to do here is to sit down with them and meditate along with them. Help them understand how it is done. Again, choosing the right kind of meditation techniques for kids is also very important. One needs to find such meditation techniques and poses that will not seem like a task for the kids, but something that they can easily carry forth. Simple techniques which do not seem like tasks is the key to getting the kids to meditate. This is especially true of kids who are very young. In the following section, we will give you a list of certain techniques that you can teach your kid.
Meditation for Kids - The Different Techniques
Here are some techniques that you can easily get your child to do. Remember, the child is not going to become an expert the minute he/she starts out on these. You have to find interesting ways to motivate him and keep him at it.
This is the simplest technique that you can start out with. Take the child on a walk in nature. Choose something that has a trail and is interesting. Being out in nature amidst the natural surroundings is in itself a very relaxing feeling, but to heighten and enhance that feeling, ask the child to concentrate on his breathing. Ask him to breathe evenly and concentrate on his breathing style. It should go with breathing in and breathing out either 1 or 2 breaths. To channelize the breathing, ask them to swing their arms with an alternate arm and leg movement (right arm-left leg and vice versa). This is a simple exercise which will not only help them relax, but also allow them to enjoy the calming effects of nature.
Sit with your child on the floor and maintain an erect position. Instruct the child to breathe in and out using very deep breaths. Tell him to inhale all the way from the stomach and not just the chest region, such that when he takes a breath in, the stomach should expand. Once he inhales, ask him to hold the breath for 2-3 seconds and release. Exhale very slowly and feel the air leave the stomach, then the chest and finally through the nostrils. When the child concentrates on his breathing, it will automatically prevent him from thinking of any other thing and improve concentration as well. Start out with 5 minutes, then slowly increase the time.
Focusing on Objects
This technique can be used on slightly older kids. This is a great method to calm the mind and improve focus. Place an object in front of the child at a distance of 2 feet. Then ask him to sit in front of it and simply observe the object. Let's say that you've kept a toy car for the child to observe. Ask him to make a mental note of the physical attributes of the car - what it looks like, the shape and color etc. This seemingly simple exercise improves concentration and helps one meditate deeply.
Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
This is one of the most popular meditation poses. Ask the kid to lie down and simply 'shut off' each body part starting from the toes and moving up to the head. They have to make do as though each body part is slowly sleeping off and the waves of relaxation are sweeping through the entire body. The breathing has to be kept at an even pace during this time. Get them to do this pose for at least 5-8 minutes.
Guided meditation is one of the most popular techniques because of the high level of interaction between the guide and child. Ask the child to lie down and try to relax by taking in some deep breaths. Then give the child mental images to think of. Feed the child with sentences like 'Imagine that you're at the beach...you're wading through the water. The waves are splashing against your leg...You can hear the chirping of the seagulls...You can smell the salt in the air.' It has been found that this technique helps the child relax much better because he does not have to draw inward to concentrate but has to listen and follow. Another variation to this technique is that of using visualization in which a person draws a mental image of his happy place, much like guided meditation and helps himself relax. This technique can be best used by slightly older children.
It is only just a matter of time before you start out on these effective meditation techniques for children for the results to follow. You'll see a marked improvement in everything that the child undertakes. A very satisfied day that will be for you. Won't it?