That is the motto at Yogaville, where I received most of my training. I’m not sure I totally understood this when I first heard the expression but as I go through life, I realize that it means exactly what it says. There is nothing in your life that isn’t improved with the addition of even a few minutes of meditation.
Below the age of 8 or 9 kids don’t need much formal teaching of meditation. Children absorb the energy of their environment. Whether you are a Kids’ Yoga teacher or a parent or you work with kids on any level as a play therapist, a school teacher, a school counselor, a psychologist… The BEST thing you can do for younger kids is to teach their parents how to meditate, or better yet… meditate WITH them.
If you are in a position to invite the parents to join you, 9 times out of 10 they don’t know how to meditate. Take this incredible opportunity to share this ancient practice with both generations.
What exactly is meditation and how do you do it? The way I look at it is that “Prayer” is talking to G-d and “Meditation” is listening to G-d. In meditation, I like to say that your mind should go from: MANY THOUGHTS… TO ONE THOUGHT… TO NONE. Technically speaking, Meditation is the absence of thought. BUT getting to NO THOUGHTS is really really really challenging. So in Kidding Around Yoga in our Kids’ Yoga teacher trainings and in our standard Kids’ Yoga class, we settle for ONE THOUGHT. If you get to NONE than BOOYA!!! Mazel Tov!!! Congrats!!! Halleluiah for you! Bye Bye Monkey Mind!
The standard Mantra for Kidding Around Yoga is “Peace begins with me”. We feel that this Mantra or Affirmation is suitable and frankly totally awesome for all religions, demographics, ages, and just about every possible human walking on the planet. Watch this great video to see how we do it!
It works! And with the addition of our Online Kids’ Yoga teacher training, we are currently teaching this method of meditation to folks all over the world. We have many other methods of teaching meditation to kids but, if I told you what they were, we’d never see your shining face in one of our upcoming Children’s Yoga teacher trainings, right? I can’t give away all of our secrets. =)
If you know me, you know I like to talk talk talk a lot. When I’m not talking I’m singing, or EATING! Which means my mouth is always moving. I’ve tried to stop, but apparently, it’s in my DNA or my genes. Meditation gives me and my hubby a break from the incessant chatter. Silence is golden. This age-old proverb is SOOO old that nobody even knows where it comes from. So many of my students young and old say that they “can’t” do it, only to be totally surprised by how much they loved the quiet. Kids too! Yup, kids LOVE to meditate. It starts out as just a really cool thing to do, for example, sitting in full lotus hands in Chin Mudra. When teaching this mudra I always put my hands up and say “Yoga is A-OK” or “Meditation is A-OK”. And then they place their hands on their knees. Kids will usually laugh a lot along the way, but this is just the beginning of something big that “may” last an entire lifetime. So, don’t expect them to be as attentive as an adult while you are teaching them the most important tool they will have for the rest of their lives.
Think about how much different your life might have been if as a young child somebody taught you how to meditate. My most common “Om work assignment” in yoga class is to ask the kids to meditate every day for ONE minute— they love to do it. So here’s YOUR OM WORK assignment. Meditate every day. Meditate as if your life depended on it. I promise you won’t regret it! Swami Satchidananda used to say that 15 minutes was the shortest amount of time to meditate that counted as beneficial. At Yogaville, the practice is done three times a day for ½ hour at least. YUMMY! When I visit the Ashram I know my mind and my body have a totally different vibe. It’s not only because I’m meditating more, but it’s also because so many people in the community are meditating… creating one truly awesome vibe. Try it why don’tcha??! Get your family meditating. Create a peaceful vibe in your home and in your body and then keep that vibe going. OMMMMMMMMMMM
P.S. Oops I almost forgot to tell you that we take our OM WORK so very seriously at Kidding Around Yoga that we wrote a song about it! Listen to a sample here and take it home with you if you wish. If you like Arlo Guthrie you will love it! It features my husband, Evan Cohn, and I’m so proud of him! They don’t call him “easy going Ev” for nuthin.
[mp3j track=”www.kiddingaroundyoga.com/mp3/samples/Om_Work_sample.mp3″ title=”Om Work”][wp_eStore_buy_now_button id=28]