Finding one’s zen is all the rage nowadays. Unfortunately, many of us only truly find, or understand ourselves later on in life. People use yoga, meditation and other methods of spirituality to become in tune with their soul. Yoga is a form of moving meditation with so many health benefits. It is proven to increase one’s flexibility, improve muscle strength, give you more energy, help with weight loss and maintain a balanced metabolism. The practice is ancient and although it sounds mainly physical, research shows that the body has a huge effect on the mind and emotions which is why movement is so important for one’s emotional well being.
The question is why wait until we hit our thirties or forties to truly soul search? Why not use tools and techniques that are so openly accessible to us to introduce gradual physical, spiritual and emotional therapy – starting even when we’re just young children?
Room for Reflection have a specific book called ‘The Children’s Meditations In My Heart,’ which includes methods of meditation for children. The idea behind it comes from Denmark which focuses on turning up the love that we show our children, in order to help them to sleep. Books of this style are gaining popularity, much like the Danish concept of hygge. Who doesn’t want their children to sleep better?!
I have been reading this book lately and have been really impressed by it. My daughter, aged three, doesn’t pay particular attention to it. but I’m hoping that she will take it all on board when she’s a little older, as she is definitely more of my hyper child. So having her relax more before bed would be amazing. My son, aged 5, has taken this all on board much better and he looks forward to doing it. I read through a meditation and it gives him some things to focus on, like listening to his breathing and thinking about things that have happened in his day that made him happy.
The stories are a way of teaching little ones to understand all of the beauty and immense strength they have inside. When they find their inner resources and get to know the power of their hearts, the stories teach them how to find the important balance in life, the aim being that they’ll grow up to make a difference.
It takes time and patience to teach a child to fully focus and engage on mindfulness and meditation, that’s why the bedtime stories work so well. Not only is it the ultimate wind down after a child’s day, but these books can help children with autism, anxiety or ADHD. These stories will benefit all children, not just with their sleeping (which all parents know is huge in itself) but providing them with hope and great confidence.
Perhaps you’re wondering how the books work; the meditation techniques transfer the children’s focus from their racing thoughts that often keep them wide awake, down into their bodies. When you help your child focus on the tired body instead of racing thoughts, you can assist your child in snoozing away peacefully. Children are full of energy and often we wonder where it comes from, but they do get extremely tired, and often over tired. They need sleep to grow, develop, and to be happy. As parents, we are giving our children a gift by making sure they get enough sleep to be healthy and rejuvenated. Not only will a good sleeping pattern benefit them, but also their friends, teachers, oh – and us!
Teaching kids mindfulness can be a challenge when we have this idea that they must sit still with their legs crossed for prolonged periods of time. Their brain development and ability to focus is not fully formed yet, and it takes time for them to be able to sit and engage. And, let’s face it, some kids will find meditation and yoga boring! This is why the books are an ideal alternative – all kids love a story before going off to the land of nod.
Do you think you’d give anything like this a try with your little ones? I would recommend it! The book is available from Amazon for £14.95.