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Teaching meditation to children
Here is a list of all the different styles and types of meditation.
Meditation aims to help us brings peace into our lives and gives us tools to manage stress and anxiety.
The aim of meditation is to concentrate and focus on one thought or object. If the mind wanders, we aim to bring it back to the object of focus and try to ignore any distractions around us.
There are many meditation techniques, but here are some of the most popular ones.
Which one would you like to try with your children at home or in school?
1. Mindfulness meditation
This is a Buddhist form of meditation where you become aware of your thoughts and feelings in the silence. You allow the thoughts to come and go and watch them flow. Start by watching the breath and then becoming aware of your surroundings without judging or analysing but just being acutely aware.
In this meditation, you simply watch the breath as it comes in and flows out. The aim is to breath slowly through the nose and breathe deeply into the diaphragm. If the mind wanders, you bring it back to the flow of air coming in and out and become very aware of the present moment.
3. Empty mind meditation
This type of meditation requires you to “empty” all your thoughts from your mind and allow it to rest, so allowing you to feel completely at peace. Sit quitely in a room that is clear of distractions and just focus on peace and quiet.
4. Walking meditation
Walking meditation is about walking slowly and becoming aware of every moment and muscle in the body. Spend time focusing on your breathing as you walk slowly and notice how your feet touch the ground.
5. Mantra meditation( A derivative of TM)
Mantra meditation involves the continuous inner chanting of a mantra or affirmation until you get to a state of inner peace. Concentrate on the words and the vibrations of the sounds in the body and this will help your mind from wandering. Choose a word to repeat. It could be 'peace' or 'shanti' or 'love.' The Benson Technique has a proven reasearch and evidence base and with that the child just uses 'one' and the mantra and repeats it rythmically returning to it when thoughts drift onto other topics.
6.Body scan meditation
Body scan meditation is very useful for people if you find it hard to focus or do not have much time. Lie or sit down and focus on different parts of your body noticing if they are tense or relaxed, soft or hard.
7.Journey meditation (visualisation)
Visualisation meditation requires you to imagine you are in a different setting - it could be by a lake or river or floating on a cloud or air bed on a calm sea. You use the power of your creative mind to take you into a relaxing state.
This meditation involves you looking at an object for 10-20 minutes. Sit quietly and comfortably and feel totally relaxed as you stare at the object. It could be a flower or painting or anything that invokes a feeling of peace.
Movement meditation involves putting on some relaxing music and moving slowly and mindfully to the music. Be completely aware of each muscle in your body as it moves.
Sometimes meditation can be a little too much for children.
That is where the Relax Kids CDs come in!
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