Our children live in the Present Moment. However, it is good to make them experience mindfulness because the more they grow, the more they will tend to project themselves and live in the future. Thinking about the future is necessary. Living in the futur (which doesn’t exist yet) is creating anxiety…
To live in the future is always losing qulity of life and of course some inner power!
This is why there is a very simple exercise to do with your kids regularly, every weekend. You have to go near a small stream. If you live in a big city you will find a small man-made stream in most of big parks. If you live in the countryside, no problem! There is always a stream flowing somewhere!
Whatever the weather, it is good to do this exercise. If it’s cold then be sure to dress warmly.
Sit with your child and show him a calming breathing pattern. It is a question of inhaling through the nose as long as possible and feeling the belly inflate, the ribs deviate, the thorax grow in size, etc.
For exhalation, it is done through the mouth, for a long time, as through a straw, until the belly and the thorax are empty.
Ask the child to breathe in, hold their air in apnea for a few seconds to feel sensations in the body and then breathe out. In this first phase, ask the child to listen to the sound of the stream and to feel the sensations in: the belly, the ribs and the back. For example, say: “The stomach swells like a balloon. The ribs expand. The back becomes stiffer.” On the apnea time ask him to focus on both the sound of the stream and the sensations in the body.
It is the same thing except that the child adds a reference point of sensations in the navel. In addition to what was done previously, he now imagines the navel moving away from the spine.
Continue like this except that now the child abandons the first sensations to concentrate only on the sound of the stream and on the distance which increases and decreases with the rhythm of the breath, distance between the spine and the navel. In his mind he can imagine these two points of his body as a line and a circle.
This exercise takes about 10 minutes. You can also associate these 2 ideas with the river:
- The river is flowing. So it can do everything, go everywhere, in every corner of the bottom and the banks.
- The river always seems the same, yet it is never the same since the water is constantly renewed. As we learn, as we evolve, we are the same on the outside but always fresh and renewed on the outside.
This exercise will appeal to children of all ages! It will allow them to refocus, ground their minds and relax.