On Sunday the 26th of February we held our second family charity event at our Portobello Dock based yoga centre. The two-hour session was dedicated to encouraging mindfulness in children. Leading the event was the inspirational multi-disciplinary musical artist, Jahnavi Harrison, and healing Hatha yoga expert, Sneha Hothi.
The children were entertained with a series of interactive stories, yoga movements, and singing sessions. Here are the three key takeaways from the event that you could use in everyday activities with children to encourage mindfulness:
Turn bedtime stories into an interactive activity
This is more than a mountain pose, a downward dog or cat-cow stretch. This is an adventure that trails through a thick forest, a dive that goes deep into an oceanic underworld, and for the children at our recent family event, this was an opportunity to explore the vast benefits of yoga using the unlimited breadth of their imaginations.
The next time you read a bedtime story with your child, try acting the story out to incorporate yoga postures and invite them to have a greater awareness of their body.
Set the scene for mantra music
As the children sang along to the melodies Jahnavi strummed on her guitar, they began to incorporate mudras (arm and hand movements used as an expression of emotion) and mantras that activated a greater sense of focus on their thoughts during the moment.
Try a sing along at home, in class or any other setting you see as fit with the child. If you’re not sure how to approach the practice a meditative audible book could be a great introduction into the routine.
Make meditation and yoga a time for play using props
The props used throughout the session were an inspiring example of the resources you could use from around the home or classroom to entice children to practice yoga and mindfulness.
If you choose to invest in inexpensive materials that will motivate children to connect with their thoughts then pompoms could become the target for deep exhalation exercises, while bubble wands become an instrument for mastering multiple other tactics that can become essential defences to children as they grow to take on an increasing amount of responsibility.
While there is no set date for the next Family Charity Event, we do intend to host another very soon! If you would like us to let you know when we have a confirmed date please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the meantime, check out our ‘Teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Children‘ course.