Many western adults have long known the value and benefits of mediation. Can these same benefits be attained by children who do meditation? Eastern practitioners routinely teach children as young as eight to meditate. Let is look at how meditation can be taught to children at various stages of their lives.
When children are encouraged to meditate, it must be clear that these meditations will not be the same as those for casual users who are seeking peaceful relaxation or serious practitioners who seek a higher level of knowledge. Meditation for children is designed to help them develop their personality and creativity. In turn, developing a stronger understanding of personality helps children have a healthy self awareness and self esteem.
Below Eight Years of Age
Eastern practitioners of meditation do not recommend meditation to this age group. Children of this age group will accrue benefits simply from the fact that the parents are meditating regularly and therefore carrying positive yogic energy into the home. Children always benefit from growing up in a healthy, relaxed environment, which of course will be the case in a home where meditation is practiced. Parents who practice meditation are more likely to be able to focus on their children’s needs and express their interest in them than parents who are distracted by their busy lives.
Eight to Twelve Years of Age
As a child begins to develop his body awareness, he can be taught some basic techniques, as well as to use visualization successfully. Children of this age have a distinctive personality and as they approach puberty, it is important to maintain a balance between physical and mental development. This can be done by guided meditation. This balance will be a great aid for assisting the child to meet all of the emotions that assault them as they develop to maturity. In addition, they will be able to develop better focus and memory, which will help them succeed in school.
Simple yoga positions, such as Sun Salutation for the body, basic nostril breathing for a healthy mind, and mantras for calmness and spirituality are the steps that are encouraged at this age. Developing the child mentally in this way will allow the mind to keep up with the tremendous physical changes that are occurring. Only postures that are easy and playful should be used, so that too much pressure is not placed on their systems, and poses should not be held for too long. Children should not be asked to hold their breath, merely to be aware of the calming effect of feeling their breath in their bodies.
Thirteen Years and Older
At this age, children should now be able to perform the classical forms of meditation. In addition to techniques that will help their mental development, we can add yoga positions that rotate awareness through the body, and then move it inside via breathing exercises. Breath meditation helps to keep the young adults relaxed and more receptive to the calming effects of their exercise.
This is the perfect age group to begin serious visualization techniques, since their imaginations are so stimulated at this age in any case. These visualizations are powerful tools for memory skills as well as stronger mental power in general.
At any age, the physical and mental benefits of meditation can be capitalized on, as long as the teacher/parent introduces the practice in a relaxed manner, without schedules or pressures.
Before enrolling your child to an expensive medication seminar, see if your credit score range and “support” that investment.
- Take a Bit to Sit: How Not Moving Helps You Stay Healthy (jamieweilhealthcoach.com)
- Beginning a Meditation Practice (peacejoynamaste.com)
- Managing your child’s stress (cnn.com)