Mindfulness for the young led by Terrence the Teacher
Mindfulness master Terrence the Teacher has been teaching adults and children to meditate for many years. Here he gives us an insight into how you can integrate the practise into family life at home.
Mindfulness is a great way to maintain the overall wellbeing of your little ones. Children are very easily distracted, and meditation can help sharpen their focus while boosting their mental health and wellbeing. Terence outlines three stages to help children connect with both their minds and bodies and find inner peace.
Stage 1 - Mindful Posing
Mindful posing is a chance to get children interested in the practise. Choose a room in the house where they feel comfortable and explain that these shapes and stances will help make them feel happier, stronger and brave.
The Superman: For power
Children stand with their feet just wider than their hips with their fists clenched. Next, tell them to reach up to the sky and encourage them to stretch as high as they can.
The Wonder Woman: For confidence
It’s a pose that’s instantly recognisable and will help boost a sense of positive self-esteem. Children stand with their legs hip-width apart and their hands on the hips.
The Spiderman: For safety
Tell them to crouch on the floor and place some of their weight on their hands, as if they are ready to jump onto something and spider-crawl away. The aim is to make them feel like nothing can catch them.
After doing the poses a few times, ask how your child feels – you should see an improvement in their mood.
Stage 2 - Super Powers
This section encourages observation and curiosity in children while teaching them the value of being present in the moment. Tell them they can enhance their senses, as if they were a superhero, by noticing what’s around them through their senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch.
Stage 3 – Meditation techniques
Begin with an easy sound meditation. Make sure everyone is sitting comfortably, with their backs straight and their eyes closed. Create a sound with an object like a squeezy toy, a bell or an ‘ohm’ vibration with your mouth.
Tell the children to listen closely and, when they can’t hear the sound anymore, to raise their hand slowly while keeping their eyes closed. Once they’ve raised their hands, ask them to put that hand on their chest. Tell them to notice their breathing while you say the words ‘breathing in/breathing out’. After a few breaths together, they can slowly open their eyes.
Make meditation part of your daily routine – keep sessions short and practise together until your child gains in confidence. Allow them to prepare the area where they are going to meditate and let them add something they associate with comfort and safety – this might be a pillow, a blanket or their favourite soft toy.
Preteens can partake in a ‘taking five’ breath meditation. They should start by sitting comfortably, closing their eyes and placing their hands over their chest area. They should count to five with each inhale and exhale, for around two to three minutes. Over time, see if they can do this breath meditation for five minutes. When they are finished, they should open their eyes slowly.
To book your bespoke online session with Terrence the Teacher, please email firstname.lastname@example.org