Healthy Kids Series: Invite calm by creating a morning ritual of morning meditation | Kids Yoga Stories

Invite Calm by Creating a Morning Ritual

This popular morning ritual post was also published on Elephant Journal. See the link below.

Since my daughter’s birth, I have been shamelessly focused on creating a bedtime ritual that helps my daughter maximize her sleep.

I do this not only so I can have some time with my hubby in the evenings, but also because brain research tells us that sleep is good for our bodies and brain. For this reason, I’m dedicated to teaching my daughter positive sleep habits that will benefit her for life. This passion led me to write a bedtime yoga book to help her release her extra energy at nighttime. Thanks to a combination of my focus, her temperament, and probably a dose of good luck, she is generally a great sleeper.

Shop Yoga Books for Kids | Kids Yoga StoriesHowever, mornings were not always as blissful as bedtime. It’s no secret that I have struggled as a new mom to our spirited little one. We have very different temperaments, and I have not coped well with her daily screaming tantrums for the past two and a half years. My years of education and child development training seemed to have slipped out of my mind. At times, the tantrums started at 6:30 a.m. and sent us both into a negatively-charged start to the day—not healthy for either of us.

Last September, I went away with some girlfriends for two nights. It was my first social weekend away from my family since giving birth. I woke up in the mornings before the others and lay in bed reading a book. It was such a treat. After that weekend, I knew I had to create a morning ritual at home to help both my daughter and I start the day with calm and peace. My mental health depended on it, and I’m sure hers did, too.

Morning Meditation to Calm my Mind

On the first morning back, I created a little meditation area with a mat, bolster, yoga blocks, Buddha statue, and mala beads. I have wanted to include meditation as a daily habit for years, but I just never got around to it. Here’s what I did to create a morning ritual:

  • No iPhone: I now leave my iPhone downstairs and no longer have it charging next to my bed, thus eliminating the temptation to check email first thing in the morning.
  • 15 minutes of meditation: I sit silently for 15 minutes, using my mala beads to count my breath. Twice around the beads is 15 minutes, so I don’t need a timer in my bedroom.
  • Morning cuddles: When my daughter wakes up, we enjoy a few minutes of morning cuddles and chatter.
  • Play calming music: When we come down together for breakfast, I put on a Pandora station (like Kira Willey, Sarah McLachlan, Enya, Wah, or Vivialdi) to create a gentle mood for the day.

During my 15 minutes of morning meditation, my daughter is still sleeping, comes in to sit on my lap, or plays quietly in her room, which she never did before this. Regardless of whether she is actually meditating herself, the effects of my meditation practice seem to be radiating throughout the whole house. It’s hard to believe, but our mornings have shifted dramatically. I feel more emotionally-balanced and can once again enjoy a peaceful start to the day.

Have the tantrums stopped? Well, no. But they start later in the morning, when I am better able to provide her love and support. Creating this morning ritual has been one positive and proactive way that I can make a difference to my daughter’s health.

Start your own 40-day Meditation Challenge (read how and why people meditate) | Kids Yoga Stories

Create a Morning Ritual to Start your Day Calmly

How about you? What difference could starting a morning ritual in your household make to your family? What activities could you implement right away that would bring a sense of calm to the busyness of getting up, ready for school, and out the door? What can you do in the morning to set the tone for the day?

Ideas for 15-minute morning rituals:

  • Practice yoga
  • Do vigorous exercise
  • Go for a short walk
  • Write in your journal
  • Have a cup of tea while reading a book
  • Read your book in bed
  • Listen to uplifting or soothing music
  • Make a green smoothie
  • Create art
  • Sit looking out the window at nature
  • Drink water with lemon
  • Eat a healthy breakfast together
  • Eat breakfast slowly and mindfully
  • Take turns making your family breakfast in bed
  • Talk about your intention for the day
  • Discuss what you are grateful for
  • Commit to doing three items on your to-do list that day

Whether you do this morning ritual alone or with your family, the point is to start your day slowly and with intention. Choose one to three things you are committed to doing every single day. Try doing your morning ritual for 40 consecutive days to establish it as a daily habit, so it becomes second nature to you just like brushing your teeth.

Hopefully, this morning ritual will help you and your family to reduce stress and make you all feel happier and healthier.

Click here to see the full article
of “Invite Calm with a Morning Ritual” on Elephant Journal.
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Meditation for Kids Giveaway

To inspire mindfulness and meditation practices within your family, I’ve teamed up with several producers of meditation and mindfulness resources to offer you this awesome Meditation for Kids giveaway. Hopefully, these wonderful resources will bring more calm and peace into your home. My reviews of these products can be found on our Meditation for Kids Gift Guide.  Amazon affiliate links are below for your convenience.


#1 Winner: Teach Children Meditation Online Course:

Connected Kids Online course + Calm Kids book (valued at $240), created by Lorraine Murray

#2 Winner: Yoga 4 Classrooms Online Course:

Yoga 4 Classrooms Professional Development Workshop for Educators Online Course (valued at $180), created by Lisa Flynn
(Lisa Flynn is the author of Yoga 4 Classrooms Card Deck and Yoga for Children)

#3 Winner: Book Prizes:

Imaginations 2, by Carolyn Clarke

Sitting Still Like a Frog, by Eline Snel

Peaceful Piggy Meditation, by Kerry Lee MacLean

#4 Winner: CD Prizes:

Rainbow Walk, by Shakta Khalsa & Checka Antifonario

How to be a Cloud, by Kira Willey


Meditation for Kids Giveaway | Kids Yoga Stories

Some of the resources above were given to me free for review, but all opinions are my own.  Please read the full Contest Rules below for details.

We look forward to your entries. Thank you for taking the time to participate. Please let me know if you have any questions or problems with the Rafflecopter tool below by sending me an e-mail at giselle at kidsyogastories dot com.


Meditation for Kids Giveaway

To enter the contest, sign in using your Facebook or e-mail account and click on the different ways to enter. You can enter every day using this Rafflecopter online giveaway tool.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest Rules:
1. Entries are open worldwide.
2. You can be any age to enter.
3. Participation in the contest constitutes that you agree to the Contest Rules.
4. Please enter using the Rafflecopter tool above, obtaining points as follow the different options.
5. You can enter every day.
6. No purchase is necessary.
7. Kids Yoga Stories and the other publishers accept no responsibility or liability for any injuries or losses that may result from practicing the suggested meditation and yoga practices. Please ensure your own safety and the safety of the children.
8. You must enter the contest giveaway with a valid e-mail address. The winner will be notified by e-mail, and at that time, we will request a mailing address. The shipping of the book and video can take some time, depending on the winner’s location. Each publisher will ship the books separately and will cover the shipping costs.
9. If you have any questions, e-mail Giselle directly at giselle at kidsyogastories dot com.
10. Your email address will be automatically subscribed to our weekly Kids Yoga Stories newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.
11. The contest closes on Monday, January 27th, 2015, midnight EST.


Happy New Year, Healthy Kids Series

This post is part of the Happy New Year, Healthy Kids series, with 20 expert bloggers weighing in about their best tips for raising happy, healthy kids in 2015.  For the month of January, this series of posts will cover everything from creativity and sleep to social development and nutrition:

Free Play Every Day!  The Free Play Toolkit || The Inspired Treehouse
How to Be a Tour Guide for Language Development || The Inspired Treehouse guest contributor: Becky Bowen
The Best Ways to Support Kids in Social Situations  ||  Encourage Play
7 Ways To Encourage Gross Motor Development  ||  Pink Oatmeal
EXPLORE MORE – WORRY LESS: Children depend on it  ||  Timbernook
How to Rotate Toys in 5 Simple Steps  ||  OT Cafe
Weekly Creativity Prompts  ||  Tiny Rotten Peanuts
Everyday Learning in Everyday Life  ||  Your Kids OT
Mindfulness and a Morning Ritual  ||  Kids Yoga Stories
Building Up Your Kids Immune System Through Nutrition  ||  Your Kids Table
Why is Sensory Play so Important for Development?  ||  Golden Reflections Blog
A Moving School Experience: Classroom Ideas for Kids With Sensory Needs  ||
The Inspired Treehouse guest contributors: Dr. Jane Humphries and Kari Rains
The Power of Food and How to Expand Your Kids’ Palate  ||  Prescribe Nutrition
Using Sensory Play to Connect With Your Child  ||  Mama OT
Executive Functioning and Cognitive Skills  ||  Tools to Grow
Tips for Maximizing Your Next Visit to the Pediatrician  ||  Seattle Mama Doc
Visual Motor Integration  ||  Sugar Aunts
Calming Strategies for Kids  ||  Yogapeutics
Inspiration for Following Your Child’s Lead  ||  Meri Cherry

Healthy Kids series




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42 Responses to Invite Calm by Creating a Morning Ritual

  1. Kristen January 20, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    I am a certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher and when I was pregnant I became a certified Khalsa Way Prenatal Yoga Teacher. Now now my baby has become a toddler I want to continue to share my love of yoga with him and I am taking a Radiant Child course this coming March so I can bring young childrens yoga to my area. All children can benefit from yoga and meditation. I like to envision a world where every child is equipped with healthy tools to manage their big feelings. Imagine how that would affect the world as they grow into adults! I would LOVE any of these prizes 🙂

  2. Twila January 20, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

    These resources will help children learn to solve their own problems (meditation course)

  3. Evelyn January 20, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

    It’ll help me teach the kids these skills

  4. Carolyn January 21, 2015 at 12:58 am #

    I believe these resources would help my young daughter because she finds yoga interesting and she suffers from anxiety. I believe learning to meditate could help her learn to calm some of her fears and I have been looking for resources to help her start. She is very active and has a hard time staying in one place so adult resources are of little help.

  5. Maureen January 21, 2015 at 1:21 am #

    I have three children ages 7, 8 and 9. We use yoga as part of our weekly centering during fitness class in our homeschool. This would be a wonderful addition.

  6. Hilary January 21, 2015 at 3:22 am #

    I think a morning practice will launch them into a more graceful, productive, aware day.

  7. Lani January 21, 2015 at 4:00 am #

    I love this! I’ve been using mindfulness in my teaching of yoga to the kiddos already and I’m always looking for new tools.

  8. genna st Michael January 21, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    Hopefully it will bring an extra calmness to our bedtime routine!

  9. Shelly January 21, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    I have been looking for a way to add meditation into my daily routine. And, I think adding my daughter into the practice could actually be the way to make it stick!

  10. Lisa January 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    Love the easy to implement suggestions – thanks so much!

  11. Emily January 21, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    I’m a full time working mom of 3 kids who all go to different schools/places every morning. My commute to work usually takes an hour and I’m always panicked about leaving the house on time. Our mornings are crazy! Even when I try to be mindful it never seems to work out and the kids and I all end up feel stressed, sad and guilty.

    I really need a better mommy morning routine and I’d never thought to bring the kids in on this too. What a great idea!

  12. Teresa Trout January 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    This is awesome ~ thank you for sharing and for all that you do! <3

  13. Varya CWOV January 21, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    What a wonderful opportunity! We love kids yoga, we practice it, and I implement some elements in my baby development classes!

  14. Carrie January 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    My daughter needs down time and I think teaching her some meditation will help all of her anxiety and lifestyle.

  15. Amanda @ Happy Sensitive Kids January 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    My children are highly sensitive so I am trying more and more to use tools that encourage them to calm their mind. They need quiet, time to recharge – and I would like meditation to be a standard part of how we deal with day to day life in our home. I’m sharing this great post in the HSK group too 🙂

  16. Jennifer Tammy January 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    This is awesome! I just review Kira’s new CD yesterday, we found her music through your blog and I’ve been eternally grateful. Those CDs change the entire mood in our household.
    I struggle with making a calming morning routine for my little one because we have daycare kids show up at 7am and if left to herself, she’d sleep in until 8:30 or so. If I wake her up early, the whole day is off, if I wait for her to wake up, it’s a dice throw if she’s upset or excited to find friends in her house, and again hit or miss if I can stop what I’m doing to have a couple of minutes for cuddling.
    I’ll have to ponder this 🙂

  17. jennifer January 21, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    My daughter has so much anxiety and I would love to find simple solutions to help!

  18. Megan Powell January 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to incorporate meditation into my life for a while now. This gives me the extra push. I’m going to work on a quiet corner area this weekend:) My son loves to do yoga with me though!

  19. Leanna @ Alldonemonkey January 22, 2015 at 12:20 am #

    These will be a great way to help my kids learn to center themselves and calm down when upset or before bedtime.

  20. Kristin Gideon January 22, 2015 at 3:15 am #

    My oldest son and I have been trying to work on our self-regulation skills together. These resources would greatly benefit BOTH of us!! I’m really looking forward to implementing a peaceful morning routine, we have similar struggles around here, so it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile now, thanks for the encouragement!

  21. Jenny January 22, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    My younger daughter has been having trouble with anxiety and I have been meditating with her and picking a word of the day in the morning before school. I would love to try some new techniques. I also teach yoga to toddlers and preschoolers and I am always looking for new things to share with them and their parents/caregivers. Thank you!

  22. Marlene January 22, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

    I use yoga to prepare Occupational Therapy students for their session as well as working on OT and other goals. I have several of the above books or make my own or use cards. They love it and need it!! Iwould like to expand the use of yoga in schools.

  23. Mandee @ Mom of Awesome January 22, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate meditation into my children’s lives. Great post, and thanks for the giveaway!

  24. Eva Biggs January 23, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    I think this would help my son a lot. He’s been having trouble at school with his behavior, talking too much… i think if he learned to meditate and stay calm it would really help with during school.

  25. Jennifer crowe January 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    I think this will help my daughter control her adhd.

  26. Julianne H January 23, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    I am a foster/adoptive mom of six. My children have mild to moderate special needs and I cannot even begin to tell you what a difference yoga and meditation have made in our lives to help calm the chaos!

  27. Jennifer Fischer January 23, 2015 at 11:24 pm #

    I love this and am sharing it on various social media sites as I know so many other moms who would benefit from this and/or appreciate the reminder. In the New Year, I’ve been focusing on getting up before my boys, but mainly so that I could get some work done before they wake instead of juggling email check-ins with their morning routine. Your post reminds me that the morning will go so much more smoothly if, before diving into work, I center myself and prepare myself for a positive day. Thank you.

  28. Caroline K January 24, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    I am an elementary teacher and Ashtanga Yoga teacher. To ensure my students acquire 1 additional hour of daily physical activity a day, I have incorporated meditation and yoga into our curriculum. For example., for poetry we do a lot if meditation, visualization and write poetry. Students celebrate and demonstrate their knowledge with a morning of Mother’s Day yoga tea and poetry. I have an extensive collection of yoga stories but anm ALWAYS on the search for new resources. To inspire and educate my awesome first graders!

  29. Judith Martinez January 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

    My son is very high strung and is probably on the autistic spectrum. He has a very difficult time with transitions and change so these tools will help him to self soothe when he is feeling stressed.

  30. Danielle January 25, 2015 at 1:44 am #

    I am a “young” grandma to a 2 year old grand daughter.
    This would be a wonderful addition to our everyday patient practice and our quiet times. We have already started yoga with easier movements and poses. We have a great time together, what an awesome way to entertain a 2 year old! She also likes to practice Tia Chi, all of these are an incredible benefit to her motor coordination and direction skills. I enjoy your blog immensely. This is a fantastic giveaway. Thank you so much for this opportunity.
    Sincerely, Danielle

  31. Jenny January 26, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    What an amazing group of resources for helping kids find their calm in a crazy and busy world. We love the books that we have already from Kids Yoga Stories and are always looking for new resources.

  32. Dianne January 27, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    I would love to help expand my daughter’s yoga practice. This would make an awesome birthday present for her 5th birthday!

  33. liz l January 27, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    May make them calmer before bed

  34. Melody January 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

    I think that it would bring a little more calm into our day.

  35. Letty January 28, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    Thank you for doing this contest. My two year old has grown up with mommy and daddy working out. Yoga is one of his favorite activities. It is so good for him. I want to learn more so I can teach him more. Winning this contest would help tremendously!

  36. Suzanne January 28, 2015 at 2:56 am #

    I teach kids yoga and we are working to introduce meditation to them. The books will be a great help!

  37. Keri March 3, 2015 at 2:07 am #

    Love yoga- I need to start doing it more regularly. I have moment quiet time where I pray and focus for the day. So encouraging- thanks for sharing this with the link party!

  38. Erin D January 27, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    What you’re describing is very similar to the morning rhythm we follow as part of Waldorf education. It has made a tremendous difference to how my hot-tempered youngest child and I spend our entire day. Thanks so much for sharing at the Natural Living Link-Up – hope to see you again next week!

    • Kids Yoga Stories LLC January 27, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

      Lovely – thanks for stopping by, Erin. It’s always good to know that we aren’t alone as moms. 🙂

  39. Mella November 7, 2016 at 3:49 am #

    I’m raising a toddler from , well not such a great start. I’ve had him since he was 10 months old. He’ll be three in two months. His parents are sporadic in his life and between that and all the violence he witnessed he has a lot of anger issues as well as a plethora of anxieties. Do you have any suggestions on which books or techniques we might start with? I think he would truly benefit from yoga, as well as have a ball. He can’t seem to get enough attention. Thank you for any suggestions


  1. Finding Balance as a Mom | All Done Monkey - August 1, 2015

    […] 2. Kids Yoga Stories: Create a Morning Ritual […]

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