Imagine a time when children could be comfortable with themselves–lost in daydreaming, watching the clouds float by, and playing in a world of make-believe?
I’ve been having dreams of this happening, hopefully this summer. It’s been an incredibly busy, frenetic three months, and I’m hoping for some more space and downtime soon.
This reminds me of yoga sutra 1.2, “Yoga Citta Vrtti Nirodhahah,” which translates as:
“Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence.”
One of the ways for us to find this silence is through meditation. Some of the benefits of meditation for children are:
- Increasing memory, focus, and attention
- Encouraging mindfulness and the ability to find the present moment
- Inviting long, deep breaths that calm the nervous system
- Providing time and space to calm the mind and body
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Increasing emotional intelligence
And lastly… developing creativity and imagination so that, hopefully, children are inspired to daydream, watch the clouds drift by, and play make-believe.
The other day, I was listening to an interview with Dr. William Stixrud, who is a clinical neuropsychological and the author of The Self-Driven Child, about the benefits of meditation on treating the unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, and depression as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Dr. Stixrud talks about how meditation helps children because their minds become more settled and they can think more clearly. He goes on to talk about how a grownup’s meditation practice has an incredible influence on our children as we become more self-regulated and calm ourselves. Calm is contagious, and creating a calm home or classroom fosters a calm child.
Whether you’ve been practicing meditation for years or whether it’s your first time, I thought it might be helpful to share three meditation recordings to add to your summer toolkit.
GET 3 YOGA POSTERS HERE
3 Meditations to Settle the Mind and Find Calm
1. Calming Meditation
This calm meditation is a kid-friendly body scan that is similar to a traditional yoga nidra. We start at the toes and work our way up the body, relaxing each part of the body.
2. Loving-Kindness Meditation
This loving-kindness meditation is a kid-friendly version of a “metta” meditation, a common practice for adults. We send loving-kindness to ourselves, someone we are having a difficult time with, to the community around us, and to the whole world.
3. Gratitude Meditation
This is simple gratitude meditation sending gratitude to ourselves, our family and friends, the environment and community around us, and out to the whole world. May we all be happy and free.
It’s hard to believe, but someday soon, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be behind us, and I truly hope that we can each say that we were able to enjoy the benefits of slowing down and finding some joy in the silence. Hopefully, a meditation practice can offer a way to tap into our inner calm.