We started practicing mindfulness with our kids last year when we moved into a 1200sqft condo and no longer had the outdoor space to let them run off steam. We realized after a couple mornings of deep breathing, slow movement and encouraging focus. How much calmer the mornings were. Now we are by no means crushing the mindfulness game as parents! Some weeks we forget, some days we spend calm time doing anything but being calm and other on other days I’m amazed by their connection to their bodies and what they need.
Although we have now moved again and have a larger yard to encourage outdoor play, take breaks from each other and calm down when emotions are running high. Mindfulness-calm- and encouragement to re-focus to s has become something that their little bodies crave and their minds need. With the temperatures dropping, rain & snow making it’s way onto the ground, this is a great time of year to start a mindfulness practice and teach kids how to have fun with this slower activity.
One of the most helpful things I learned when starting this out was the use of my words.
Try to use targeting language to specially call attention to whats happening in their bodies.
McCarthy, I see you’re sitting very still and tall. Now I want you to see if you can close your eyes and imagine your head reaching up towards the ceiling.
Bennett, You’re doing such a good job slowing your breathing down. Lets try together. Nice deep inhale through your nose and as you exhale through your mouth try to fill your belly up like a balloon. (Aids in digestion and calms nerves in kids)
Adelaide, You’re crisscross apple sauce looks so great today! Can you try to extend your legs straight like two pencils and reach towards your toes with Mommy?
Introduce breathing, movement and attention to their bodies with the use of positive words and gentle actions. This helps them to stay engaged and gives them the confidence and security of controlling whats happening with their bodies.
Talk about your feelings and role play.
“Sometimes Mommy can feel nervous, frustrated or so angry I want to cry.”
“When I feel this way what are some ways you think I could help to calm my body down?”
“Bennett could you show me with breathing?”
“Adelaide could you show me some movements that help you calm down?”
“McCarthy what are some positive thoughts I could repeat to myself out loud in my head?”
“Sometimes when Mommy is feeling anxious she just needs to talk about it with someone she can trust. Who are some people we can talk with about our feelings ?”
Once they have had sometime to sit calmy and breath, start to add some slow movements.
There are some amazing resources online for kids yoga movements and options that will work for your childs body.
Adelaide and I have put together a few of our favourite movements to get you started.
Press down through all four corners of the foot then slowly raise your opposite leg to the calf.
Then slowly like two tree branches raise your arms towards the ceiling.
Front knee is stacked over ankle, back legs is straight and toes are turned to a 70-80 degree angle. Imagine you are drawing wings down your back and allow the shoulders to come down away from the ears. Nice deep inhale raise your arms in line with your shoulders.
Lie on your belly, hands under shoulders and slowly press into your mat. As you press into the mat slowly draw your shoulders down the back and feel like you’re opening your heart to allow the chest to open up.
These 3 basic movements are a great place to start !
Would love to connect with! Find me on Instagram @Dailyroutinefitnss , tag me in you mindfulness practice, share your ideas, thoughts and your own experience.
Here’s to calm bodies and clear minds,