Our Greenwood Yogi, Beth Borowsky has stopped by the blog to share how we can bring mindful practices into the lives of our little ones at home.
Mindfulness – or learning how to focus your attention on the present moment – is a big buzz phenomenon amongst adults and even school-aged children. But did you know that kids as young as 3 can be taught mindfulness techniques too?
Having taught kids yoga for 12 years, I am constantly humbled and heartened by their abilities to get quiet and focus their attention on their breath and body movements. It may just be for a minute or ninety seconds, but the calm attention is profound, and lays the foundations for being more in touch with how their body feels. It allows for deeper sensorial experiences (using their senses to explore), understanding more about how they feel emotionally and, as importantly, how others feel.
Cultivating empathy and compassion from such a young age gives kids the social and emotional tools to support their learning and to manage their stress, making them more rounded individuals who are willing to care and share as they learn to read and write, play and explore.
Bringing mindfulness into children’s lives is something the Kids Yoga team does with your children during their yoga sessions. If you’d like to cultivate mindfulness with your child in your own home, why not try these fun activities:
- Lie your child down on their back somewhere comfortable – bed, couch, in the garden. Place their favourite soft toy (like a beanie baby) on their belly.
- Invite them to breathe in through their nose for a count of 3, and out for a count of 3. Watching how their toy rises as they inhale and falls as they exhale. You can increase the count to 5 or 6 with practice.
- Start with just 5 deep breaths and slowly build to 10 or more.
A Mindful Walk
Take a silent and slow stroll together through the park. Before you begin the silent walk, decide that you’re going to either:
- Listen out for different sounds
- Notice the different coloured flowers
- Notice different smells
- Feel different textures under your feet
Let your child choose their favourite food and have them eat it really really slowly. Being mindful to notice the taste, the texture, the colour, or the temperature.
Beth Borowsky has a Masters in Early Childhood & Montessori Preschool Teaching and is a Certified Yoga Teacher, Kids Yoga Teacher and Kids Yoga Teacher Trainer. The incredible Karma Kids Yoga Team are dedicated to bringing yoga and mindfulness to children’s lives, equipping them with tools to make them feel good, both inside and out.