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 Ocean 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 lay 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. Remind them to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth.
Next, ask them to keep their eyes closed and pretend they are at the beach. Tell them to think about all that they see at the beach and give them a minute to imagine their beach scene.
Involving the Senses
After they've started to give little smiles because they're thinking about the beach, ask them to imagine they are really there. Tell them they can imagine sand underneath them. Ask them to use their senses and how they can add details to their imaginary beach. 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 at the beach?
- What do you hear? Waves, seagulls?
- What do you smell at the beach? The salty air, maybe?
- What do you taste in your happy place? Your favorite food is there! Maybe its your favorite soup?
- What do you feel in your happy place? Sand beneath your toes, the warm sun on your skin? Water on your feet?
- 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 happiness and relaxation of their imaginary beach for a moment longer. Then ask them to slowly wiggle their fingers and toes back awake and sit up and open their eyes. Ahhh... what a wonderful feeling.