Kids LOVE yoga! I see it first hand when I practice with my neices, and in the Kids Yoga Classes that I teach. Children yearn to move their bodies, learn about the environment and develop an awareness of how to take care of the planet.
From a developmental standpoint, yoga helps to build self esteem, camaraderie, body awareness and foster a compassionate heart.
Even in a child’s eye, the world can seem like a busy, busy place. With parents on the go, participation on competitive sports teams, various lessons and school work, children need to be taught how to de-stress. It can be strange to think that children are stressed out, but the hussle-bussle of a busy household can have a profound effect on their joy and sense of innate calm.
One book that I love to read to children in my tiny yogi and yogini classes is called “Peaceful Piggy Meditation” by Kerry Lee MacLean. It is a fabulous meditation book about slowing down and is appropriate for kids and their parents to read. An individual or family meditation practice can help to settle energy, relieve anxiety, increase empathy, strengthen confidence and calm a busy mind.
Try this meditation taken from Kerry’s book. Experience a sense of calm for yourself and see its effects on your children!
Peaceful Piggy Meditation (taken from “Peaceful Piggy Meditation” by Kerry Lee MacLean)
- Find a quiet place to sit on the floor. Use a pillow to sit on.
- Sit like the piggies: cross-legged, with a straight back, looking down at the ground about two feet in front of you.
- Ring a gong or a bell to start. (If you don’t have either, a metal mixing bowl makes a nice sound when you strike it with a pencil.)
- As you breathe, feel the cool air coming into your nose, then feel the warmed- up air going out of your nose. If it helps, count the breaths – one in, two out, three in…
- Feel your thoughts and emotions settling down as you sit still. If you feel yourself start thinking, thinking, thinking again, slow down. Remember to let your thoughts go, and just feel the air going in and out, in and out.
- You can do this for as long as ten minutes. It may seem hard at first, but do it as long as you can – long enough to feel peaceful.
- After ten minutes, ring the gong to end. Don’t move yet. Wait until you can’t hear the gong anymore. Enjoy the moment.
- Remember this quiet feeling. Imagine that you keep it deep inside yourself all day long.
You can also “Meditate with the Piggies” online at www.kerryleemaclean.com!
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Krista Bromfield is a RYT, Can-Fit-Pro PRO Trainer, Mom and Auntie. She has an Honors Degree in Kinesiology and Education, and is the lead Anatomy Instructor for the Balanced Life Yoga Teacher Training Programs. Krista teaches a variety of yoga classes including Kick Your Asana Strength Training Yoga, Power Yoga, Partner Yoga, Kids Yoga, Stroller Fitness and Mom and Baby Yoga Bootcamp at Balanced Life Yoga.