HAPPY PLACE MEDITATION
Meditation is something that children are more natural at than adults realize. When introducing meditation to young children, it is best to start with a short amount of time and realistic expectations. Most kids can't help but wiggle and twist and turn over or blink their eyes open and shut. Just like with adults new to meditation, children will benefit more with each time they practice and slowly you will notice a more still and focused meditation from your little one. It's a journey and it should be a calming, enjoyable one. The happy place meditation is perfect for beginners and yogis of all ages!
After some movement or doing some standing yoga poses, invite the child or children to sit down with criss-crossed legs or flat on their back, with their eyes closed. Tell them to start by taking a really slow and big, deep breath. Model this for them and then do five more to get the focus and calm started.
Next, ask them to keep their eyes closed and to think about, but not say out-loud where the happiest place in the world to them is. Tell them it can be a real place, a place they've been or an imaginary, made up place. Give them a moment to think about this and begin to visualize their happy place.
Involving the Senses
After they've started to give little smiles because they're thinking about the happiest place they can think of (it can vary each time), ask them to start imagining, using their senses and how they can add details to their "happy place". Make sure to remind them to think about this but not say out-loud. This can be very difficult for some kids and easy as can be for others.
- What do you see in your happy place?
- What do you hear in your happy place? Music, nature sounds?
- What do you smell in your happy place? Favorite smells?
- What do you taste in your happy place? Your favorite food is there!
- What do you feel in your happy place? A hug from a loved one?
- Who is there with you? Are you alone?
After the child has gone through all of these questions, mentally, invite them to bask in their happy place for a moment longer, if their stamina can handle it. Then ask them to slowly wiggle their fingers and toes back awake and sit up and open their eyes. Ahhh... happy and calm.