Yoga, meditation, wellness routines… All ideas we typically reserve for adults but the The Little Yoga House, a boutique children and family yoga studio in Austin, is on a mission to change that mentality, focusing on our children. Both parent (or teacher) and child can benefit from a few minutes of stillness every single day. We spoke with owners, Abby and An, and they shared 3 ways to mediate with your babies, starting as early as 2 years old. For more information on all the The Little Yoga House has to offer (Pre and Postnatal Yoga! Birthday parties! Aerial yoga for kids!) read below. Photos by Alysha Rainwaters
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a specific technique in finding stillness in the mind in a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It does not magically happen in just a few attempts. It takes years and years of practice to get your mind to be clear, relaxed and inwardly focused.
Meditation for children can look very different from adult meditation. Our approach to meditation for children helps prepare them to get to this level of awareness when they reach their teens and young adulthood. We teach stillness in the body first then stillness in the mind. To start out, meditation is practiced through concentration games and guided imagery. Meditation can start as early as age 2 (toddlers). The use of props are very beneficial for ages 7 and under. At about age 7, they will start to understand the concept of stillness in the mind.
Three Ways to Meditate with your Child at Home
Counting Meditation (Ages 7 and Up)
- Sit in a comfortable seat or lie on your backs.
- Try to count to either 10 or 20 without letting a thought pop into your head.
- If a thought comes in, you have to go back to 1.
- Give your chid a few minutes and then ask if anyone made it to 20.
Power Minute (Ages 2 and up)
- Use a sand timer from a board game or purchase on at our North Austin Studio. You can find them from one minute up to an hour!
- Depending on the age group, you can start with a 1 minute timer and then have them build up to longer times.
- Place timer in the middle and have yogis find stillness in their voice, body, and mind until all the sand falls to the bottom.
Floating Bubble Meditation (Ages 2 and up)
- Have kids lie on their bellies with their hands under their chin
- Place the floating bubble timer in the center of the circle or in front of them and flip it over
- Have kids focus on the bubbles as they fall to the bottom of the container
- CHALLENGE-Ask them to choose just one of the colors of the bubbles to focus on
- Remind them that this activity is done quietly and to be as still and focused as possible
- When the bubbles are all at the bottom of the container, ask what/if they thought about anything during this activity