In Ayurveda, an illness can be treated by creating awareness among yourself, maintaining a balance and controlling your mind. Through Meditation, the mind can be freed from all kinds of ill thoughts, and be refreshed. Meditation can look very different depending on the style and individual practicing. But generally, it is a way to train or calm the mind. By letting go, we create space for new attention, patterns of thought and energy.
While Meditation has plethora of benefits including lowering the blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, relieves tension and pain and increases the energy levels; the ones I find most valuable for child is the its ability to boost concentration, developing creativity and ability to manage varying stress levels. In today’s world, kids are often prone to higher stress level than adults; and it is important that they develop a mechanism to manage it at an early stage. Here are some techniques that can be great to begin meditative practices even in the tiniest of humans:
1. The Bell Listening Exercise – Ring a bell and ask the kids to listen closely to the vibration of the ringing sound. Tell them to remain silent and raise their hands when they no longer hear the sound of the bell. Then tell them to remain silent for one minute and pay close attention to the other sounds they hear once the ringing has stopped.
2. Breathing Buddies – Hand out a stuffed animal to your child (or another small object). Have the children lie down on the floor and place the stuffed animals on their bellies. Tell them to breathe in silence for one minute and notice how their Breathing Buddy moves up and down, and any other sensations that they notice.
3. Smell and Tell – Pass something fragrant out to each child, such as a piece of fresh orange peel, a sprig of lavender or a jasmine flower. Ask them to close their eyes and breathe in the scent, focusing all of their attention only on the smell of that object. Scent can really be a powerful tool for anxiety-relief (among other things!).
4. The Heartbeat Exercise – Have the kids jump up and down in place for one minute. Then have them sit back down and place their hands on their hearts. Tell them to close their eyes and feel their heartbeats, their breath, and see what else they notice about their bodies.