Doing it for the kids

“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” Dalai Lama

Last weekend I spent two magical and inspiring days with a group of strong and determined women, all passionate about changing the lives of children for the better. We moved, played, stretched, breathed and more, and came away feeling ready to help all the children currently in our lives, and hopefully many others, to feel more calm, more confident and more able to cope in the world.

We were training to be Relax Kids Coaches. We spent two full days leaping about in a hotel conference room pretending to be animals, vehicles, pirates and more. We used music and props and the simple powers of imagination, compassion and positive thinking to celebrate all of our amazing talents as human beings. We laughed, we cried, we hugged, and we gave anyone listening outside the room plenty of reason to wonder what on Earth we were up to. It was a total blast, and it has left me buzzing about this fresh opportunity to help parents and children experience first hand, the far-reaching benefits of mindfulness, self care, and emotional self-regulation.

Relax Kids is a programme that equips children with skills for life, promoting healthy habits and life-long emotional wellbeing. It’s an award-winning 7-step programme which boosts children’s confidence, calm and concentration, using clinically-proven therapeutic techniques to tackle anxiety, anger management, stress and hyperactivity. Sessions include movement, play, stretching, peer or self massage, breathing, affirmations, mindfulness and relaxation, and it’s already making a huge difference in over half a million homes and schools across the UK, with kids of all ages, needs and backgrounds. There are some worrying signs and stats around the mental wellbeing of the next generation, but your child doesn’t need to be suffering any particular anxiety, stress or behavioural issue to benefit.

This is a loud, busy and challenging world, and these tools set the kids up to be able to navigate it with more calm, confidence, and compassion.

Relax Kids classes are one extraordinary way that we can start to get these emotional survival strategies into our kids’ pockets. Another powerful tool is teaching our kids how to meditate. Dipa Trivedi is a yoga and meditation teacher and wellness expert, passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills with both adults and children in classes and workshops around London. She is based in West London and has two kids aged 5 and 3, and you can find her at www.yogamuni.com.

I asked her to tell us a bit about she uses meditation to teach children calm, balance, focus and confidence. “Meditation is a great tool for building children’s self esteem. As parents we need to be listening to what they are feeling and saying, and teaching them to express what they want and how they feel. Children are like sponges: whatever you give out, they take in. Especially when it comes to emotions. They are extremely sensitive to the stress and anxiety that parents project, and are also very much affected by their environment. Teaching them to channel that, to neutralise what is around them and focus on themselves, is a great gift to give a child to set them up for the future.

“I use imagery and sound bowls to help my kids build their confidence and improve how they see themselves. Here’s how I teach my kids visualisation with meditation. I ask them to sit quietly and have a ‘dream while awake’. They describe what they see and I then help them focus on one point. In training the mind this way, they learn to focus on one thing at a time and stick to it for a while. The more you practice, the better it gets, as it will help open up the third eye, chakra of self knowledge and intuition. This is one way to help them feel confident about their strengths and aware of their weaknesses, they are learning to be their own wise guides.

“Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, so the energy we put in them now is so important - we are raising the future generation.”

Namaste

~ Dipa Trivedi www.yogamuni.com ~