Tag Archives: meditation

Mindful Sound Meditation

Mindful sound meditations improve mindfulness, listening skills, and attention.

It can be difficult to find quiet time in a child’s day. The following exercise will remind you to help children appreciate silencing themselves for a bit to better hear other sounds around them.

What Is Om Gnome?

Om Gnome is a mindful listening meditation.  In this exercise, children will pay close attention to the experience of listening. Play ambient music that includes nature sounds.  Children sit quietly like an Om Gnome and try to detect all the nature sounds in their enchanted garden. After some practice, children may find Om Gnome useful to help settle their minds before homework or any activity that requires sustained concentration.

What Are The Benefits Of Om Gnome?

Om Gnome builds listening skills, attention, and focus. It promotes mindful awareness and self-awareness.

What to Say.

kids mindfulness

Sit up tall in Easy Seated Pose. Place your hands on your knees and make the Focus Mudra also known as Gyan Mudra. Close your eyes. Begin to breathe slow calming breaths in and out through your nose. Imagine that you are an Om Gnome sitting in a tranquil spot in your enchanted garden. Listen to the sounds in the garden. If you listen closely and mindfully you will be able to hear all the magical nature sounds. Slowly open your eyes. What did you hear?

Want to learn more ways to help children be mindful?  Sign up for a Mindful Child Teacher Training or buy my book, Mindfulness for Children.

Reference

Daniel, T., Mindfulness for Children. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2018

What is AntiGravity Aerial Yoga?

Mindful Child Aerial Yoga is officially a licensed AntiGravity studio!  This means our instructors have completed AntiGravity training , we use Harrison AntiGravity Hammocks, and  we meet the safety standards associated with being an AntiGravity studio.

What is AntiGravity Aerial Yoga?

AntiGravity is an aerial yoga fitness technique designed to improve one’s health and fitness while having FUN!  AntiGravity uses the Harrison AntiGravity Hammock as a yoga prop to support you as you learn aerial yoga techniques and inversions.  This unique combination of exercises is intended to decompress your spine and align the body while stretching and strengthening your muscles.  Seriously?  What more could you ask for in a fitness class!

Who is Christopher Harrison?

AntiGravity was founded by Christopher Harrison.  He is a former Broadway dancer and world-class competitive gymnastics specialist.  At the age of 20 he suffered a major injury that required eight surgeries to reconstruct his knees.   Christopher Harrison spent the next two years rehabilitating himself through rigorous physical therapy and Pilates.  His resilience led him to discover, “In life, hidden in the forces that pull us down is the energy to lift us.” In the early 90’s he created AntiGravity, the first aerial yoga practice!

What are the benefits of AntiGravity?

AntiGravity has many beneficial effects on overall health in adults and children.  Christopher Harrison personally guarantees: If you can “suspend your disbelief: I guarantee I can make you healthier, happier, and taller, in just one session.

Here are a some of the recognized benefits of a regular AntiGravity practice:

  • Increased muscular flexibility
  • Muscular tension release through self-massage techniques
  • Core strengthening
  • Upper and lower body strengthening
  • Increased joint mobility
  • Self-esteem enhancement through the process of conquering basic fears
  • Enhanced mindfulness
  • Decompression and re-aligning of the spine
  • Refreshes the endocrine, lymphatic, digestive, and circulatory systems
  • Releases “happy hormones” such as dopamine and serotonin
  • Increases neuroplasticity of the brain (creating new brain pathways)
  • Glowing skin: inversions enhance one’s complexion

These are just a few of the many benefits of AntiGravity.  While it is great read about the benefits the true magic is in experiencing them first hand.  Join us a for a class!  After all, who doesn’t want to be healthier, happier, and taller?!?

 

 

 

Yoga for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Yoga meditation outdoor

“When you don’t go within, you go without. ”  – Yogi Bhajan

Science is beginning to prove that Eastern methods of healing such as meditation and yoga are valid ways to address psychological conditions.  Research suggests that breathing exercises and yoga postures can be individualized to address psychological disorders.  Different types of yoga help different disorders.  For example, kundalini yoga has been found to reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (Shannahoff-Khalsa 2006; Shannahoff-Khalsa & Beckett, 1996). Not sure what a kundalini yoga practice entails?  Check out my earlier blog entitled, “What is Kundalini?”

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

Mantras are an important element of kundalini yoga techniques.  Yoga philosophy asserts that in the upper palate of the mouth reside 84 meridian points that interact with the tongue when sound is uttered.  When a mantra is repeated the tongue stimulates the points of the upper palate in a certain sequence.  The repeated sequential sequence is transmitted to higher brain centers through the hypothalamus and thalamus, which affects the psyche.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?

In a study using an 11-part kundalini yoga protocol the  obsessive-compulsive disorder subjects who participated in yoga showed significant improvements when compared to the control group (Shannahoff-Khalsa, 1997; Shannahoff-Khalsa et al., 1999). The yoga group demonstrated a 62% improvement in mood, whereas the control group declined 2%.  Additionally, the kundalini group had a 48% reduction in stress levels.  Researchers hypothesized that the retention in participants for this year long study came from the rapid relief felt from participating in kundalini yoga therapy.

REFERENCES

Shannahoff-Khalsa, D. (1997). Yogic techniques are effective in the treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorders. In E. Hollander & D. Stein (Eds.), Obsessive– compulsive disorders: Diagnosis, etiology, and treatment (pp. 283–329). New York, NY: Marcel Dekker.

Shannahoff-Khalsa, D. (2006). Kundalini yoga meditation: Techniques specific for psy- chiatric disorders, couples therapy, and personal growth. New York, NY: Norton.

Shannahoff-Khalsa, D., & Beckett, L. R. (1996). Clinical case report: Efficacy of yogic techniques in the treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorders. The International Journal of Neuroscience, 85, 1–17. doi:10.3109/00207459608986347

Yoga To Improve Memory, You Betcha!

Meditating teenager

Yoga typically involves physical postures, breath control, and meditation. However, meditation can be hard, especially when offered in the traditional manner, which consists of remaining still and seated for a long period of time. OMMMMMMMM.

There is good new for those of us who find the traditional practice of meditation difficult. Researchers discovered that moving meditations are just as beneficial. Subramanya and Telles (2009) conducted research on a yoga practice that involved cycles of yoga postures and supine rest (lying with face up), which is referred to as cyclic mediation. This was compared to a simple meditation in corpse pose or shavasana. The cyclic meditation or moving meditation subjects demonstrated improved memory scores following the yoga practice and a decrease in state anxiety.

Similarly, researchers examined the relationship between yoga, relative to aerobic exercise and found that performance after yoga boosted accuracy and reduced reaction times on inhibition and working memory tests more so than aerobic exercise (Gothe, Pontifex, Hillman, & McAuley, 2013). It is hypothesized that this increase in cognition is due to yoga’s practice of combining specific postures with regulated breathing and meditation. The combination of these techniques initiates active attention or mindfulness, which is linked to increased cognition.

This is big news for children with ADHD and learning disabilities who struggle with working memory. Before starting homework or taking a test hit the yoga mat and jumpstart the brain. Actually, a mat isn’t even needed. A child can do simple seated poses while staying at their desk. Voila! Your child is set for success.

References

Subramanya P, Telles S. (2009). A review of the scientific studies on cyclic meditation. Int J Yoga, 2, 46-8

Gothe, N., Pontifex, M., Hillman, C., & McAuley, E. (2013). Acute effects of yoga on executive function. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 10, 488-495