As you know there are many ways to practice mindfulness. You can be mindful of what is happening on the inside of your body. This includes noticing your breath, heartbeat, thoughts, and how you feel. You can also be mindful of what is happening on the outside of your body such as what you hear, smell, see, taste and feel. At Mindful Child we explore mindfulness on the inside and outside in all of our classes in many different ways.
Here are three simple ways to explore mindfulness:
Feel your breath. One of the most powerful mindfulness
tools is our breath. Our bodies can
breathe in lots of different ways and how we breathe can affect how we feel. Closing your eyes and noticing how you are
breathing can tell you how you are feeling in your body.
Engage your senses. Take a walk through your house. While you are
walking pay attention to your five senses (touch, sight, taste, smell, and
hearing). Notice the sounds you hear. Can
you hear three different sounds? Take a deep breath, what do you smell? Can you
find all the colors of the rainbow? Touch a few objects. What do you notice?
Scan it. A
body scan can help you become aware of what is happening in your body and
release stress. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in. Let it out.
Imagine a scanner is slowly moving up your body. Let your body feel heavy and relaxed as the
scanner moves gently over your body. Open your eyes. What did the scanner notice?
Science tells us the more we explore mindfulness the more calming brain chemicals our body makes. Try different activities to determine which engage your child. Need more ideas? Join us for our Mindful Child Teacher Training this summer.
Feeling a little unsettled, stressed, or upset? Grab your mindfulness bottle, give it a shake, and take deep breaths until the glitter settles. Mindfulness bottles are a wonderful addition to any mindfulness space.
Settle Your Glitter is a mindfulness activity that uses a bottle filled with glitter to help children center and relax. Children love to make their own bottle and choose their own colors of glitter.
Fill a clear plastic bottle with hot water, a tablespoon of glycerin, and a drop of liquid dish soap. Have your child choose three different colors of glitter. Pick one color to represent feelings, one to represent thoughts, and one to represent behavior. Sprinkle each color into the plastic bottle using a funnel.
Benefits of a Mindfulness Bottle
A mindfulness bottle is a fun visual prop to teach children how deep breathing can calm the body and the mind. The mindfulness bottle gives children a tool to calm down and focus their minds (settle their glitter) before they make a decision.
What to Say
We’re going to make mindfulness bottles. The glitter represents our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. When we are upset, nervous, or mad, our glitter is unsettled. What can you do to settle your glitter?
Start by finding a comfortable position.
Let’s go one by one, sharing an event that was difficult for some reason (such as giving a speech in front of your class, losing a sports game, watching a scary movie).
Shake the glitter bottle. When you are upset, your thoughts are chaotic, which means your feelings and urges are out of control, just like the glitter.
Set the bottle in front of you. Take ten deep breaths in and out through the nose. Feel the belly rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale.
Do your best to focus your attention on your breath. While you breathe, watch the glitter float down and settle on the bottom of the jar, just like our thoughts. Take a moment each day to practice settling your glitter.
Come Hang Out with Us!
If your child enjoys art, hanging upside, climbing and mindfulness. Join us for a kid’s aerial yoga class or camp! We practice settling our glitter and other evidence-backed ways to feel calm in every session.
Have fun stretching, breathing, and balancing with The Yoga Code Game! This fun, simple movement game helps children practice yoga poses while increasing flexibility and focus. For this game, family members create and draw a yoga code that is deciphered by other family members. After the code is revealed, family members take turns teaching family members how to do their yoga poses. The poses must be practiced in the order drawn, making it a fun flow challenge.
What are the Benefits?
The Yoga Code Game encourages yoga pose practice and review. It builds confidence and enhances memory skills. Creating and deciphering yoga codes fosters creativity and problem-solving. The Yoga Code game also promotes family connectedness.
What to Say.
On a piece of paper, chalkboard, or dry erase board, draw three or more symbols or pictures that represent yoga poses or breathing exercises.
Once your code is completed, take turns deciphering each others yoga codes by guessing what pose the drawing represents.
The person who drew the code becomes the yoga teacher, instructing the other players how to do the poses and breathing exercises that were drawn. The players must do the yoga poses and breath work in order of how they were drawn.
Players take turns being the yoga instructor and practicing the yoga flow creations.
The Yoga Code Game is a fun game for the whole family. It helps children light up their minds and increase their flexibility and strength. If you’d like your child to engage in more games that are good for the brain and body join us for an aerial yoga camp or class.
Air Surfer Pose is a fun way to build confidence in the aerial yoga hammock. This pose is essentially standing in the hammock while you swing or ride the air surf. This pose is for two-point hammocks only, as you want the hammock to be like your standing on a surfboard riding the waves.
What are the benefits?
Air Surfer Pose exercises the body and your child’s imagination. Swinging side-to-side provides sensory input, muscle awareness, and builds motor planning. It improves balance, grip strength and is a mood buster. Swinging, whether sitting or standing, can increase endorphins (chemicals in the brain that make you happy) and wake up a sleepy brain and body, thus this pose is great for focus and concentration.
What to Say
Let’s go surfing! Bring the hammock in front of your body.
Make the hammock skinny like a skateboard.
Hold on to both sides of the hammock as you step up, one foot and then the other.
Once you have your balance start to sway side-to-side or back-and-forth.
Pull the hammock away from your body with your arm as you lean your body to the opposite side. Now do the other side.
Don’t let go while you surf.
To come out of the pose, stand still letting the waves calm down.
Once your hammock is barely moving, step one foot down and then the other.
Mindful Child Aerial Hammocks are beneficial to your child’s development. Swinging is therapeutic whether it is standing, laying, or sitting in the hammock. Check out a Mindful Child class or camp for more fun and therapeutic aerial yoga poses and activities.
For this game, gather a group of a least four players, the bigger the group the better. It is played similar to “Simon Says,” but you say “Yogi Says” instead of “Simon Says” and your commands are related to yoga poses, breath work, and mindfulness. Explain to children that a yogi is someone who practices yoga. The players must do whatever yogi tells them, but only when he says “Yogi Says…” before the exercise. Otherwise the player is out. Allow children to take turns being the yogi. Like the majority of our games, it can be played on the ground, in an aerial hammock, or both.
Encourages yoga pose review & practice
Increases memory skills
Promotes focus and concentration
Enhances listening skills
Increase motor coordination
Helps with sequencing and executive function
What to Say
We are going play a game called Yogi Says!
I am going to be “Yogi”
If I say “Yogi says” before an activity, you do the activity, but if I don’t say “Yogi says” you do not do the pose or activity.
For example, when I say “Yogi says do Goddess Pose!” climb up to Goddess Pose.
If I don’t say “Yogi says,” and you do the pose you will be out.
Games are an important part of any kid’s yoga class and some of our most beloved childhood games have therapeutic benefits. Yogi Says is a simple and fun activity that requires no materials. It is the perfect game to address a variety of skills such as sequencing and motor coordination to help with your child’s development. We have a variety of classes and camps full of therapeutic benefits. Come hang out with us!
This holiday season shop thoughtfully and locally – give the
gift of mindfulness!
Holiday shopping can be stressful—especially if you don’t plan ahead. But the holiday season does not have to put such a heavy strain on your wallet and schedule. Consider these gift ideas this year — gifts that encourage mindfulness, promote relaxation and will have a positive impact on the your child’s well-being.
Here are a few handpicked gift ideas:
Mindful Gift Pick #1 – Mindful Child Aerial Yoga Hammock. Who doesn’t love hanging upside down? Our studio grade (this means they are high quality) hammocks are perfect Christmas gifts. They are safety rated and come in a variety of colors.
Mindful Gift Pick #2 – Meddy Teddy. Best yoga mate to your kids. A playful way to get little ones into yoga and meditation. Meddy Teddy is a pose able bear who knows 100’s of Yoga poses.
Mindful Gift Pick #3 – Winter Aerial Yoga Camp. We’ve added a mini camp over Christmas break. Three fun filled days of spinning, climbing and hanging upside down. Camp meets for two hours daily.
Mindful Gift Pick #4 – Late Winter Aerial Yoga Session. Our new session is online and ready for sign-up. Best of all the price is discounted until December 4th!
Mindful Gift Pick #5 – Essential Oil Roll-ons. Young Living has an excellent selection of roll-ons that make perfect stocking stuffers. My personal favorites are Tranquil and Valor.
Mindful Gift Pick #6 – A Journal. Science tells us listing three things you are grateful for daily can make you happier and healthier. Big Life Journal has wonderful journals for all ages.
Mindful Gift Pick #7 – A Buddha Board. Write down your worries with a bamboo brush and watch them slowly evaporate while you take deep breaths.
These gifts are meant to inspire healthy living, allowing you to empower your little ones to learn healthy habits for life. What better gift to give this holiday season?
This breathing technique is referred to as “three-part breath” because of how the breath enters the abdomen, diaphragm, and chest. Children often breathe with only the top portion of their lungs, which means they are missing out on the benefits of using their entire lungs to breathe. Breathing in and out at full capacity provides a sense of balance and calm.
In aerial yoga, Elevator Breath pairs well with Fish Pose and Mermaid Pose. However, it can be done in a seat position such as Bucket Seat Pose as well.
What are the Benefits?
Elevator Breath increases children’s awareness of their breath. Placing hands on the belly, helps kids to bring their breath all the way to their abdomen. It activates the brain’s relaxation system, which sends an instant calm feeling throughout the body. Placing the hands on the belly and heart allows children to feel their breath, which helps with focus, stress-relief and mindfulness.
What to Say.
Lay on your back, place one hand on the heart and one hand on the belly.
Notice your breath and your heartbeat. Is it fast, medium, or slow?
Take a deep breath in through your nose. Feel your belly, rib cage, and the heart center rise beneath your hands.
As you breathe out, feel your belly, rib cage, and heart center fall. Do you feel the elevator going up and down with each breath?
Start to make your elevator go even slower by making your breath slower.
Repeat nine times. Notice your breath and heartbeat. Have they changed?
Elevator Breath is one of the breathing techniques we use in our aerial yoga classes. Mindful breathing can help children become more aware of their feelings, this awareness helps them to manage big emotions.
Spider Pose – a creepy stretch for Halloween aerial yoga.
What is Spider Pose
Spider Pose in land-based yoga is a cross between Goddess Pose and Forward Fold. The hammock version is similar to Goddess Pose, but only your arms are holding you up, which means this is more of an intermediate pose. As with all aerial yoga, parents should supervise kids when doing poses.
Spider Pose is a fun way to balance the body while hanging on to your spider web (hammock). It stretches the hips while building grip and arm strength. Climbing the web and having your spider legs do the spider dance is so FUN you don’t even realize you are working hard to hold your body up!
What are the Benefits?
Spider Pose builds executive function skills while promoting upper body and grip strength. It is a mood and confidence booster.
What to Say
Begin in Bucket Seat (like a big swing).
Take your legs through the middle of the hammock.
Hook them around the hammock.
Start to climb your web (hammock)
Hold on tight and swing your spider legs back and forth.
Do a happy spider dance!
To come out, lean back and slide down the hammock.
Mindfulness is paying attention with our senses, with kindness. Meddy Mindfulness requires your child’s full attention. Each child will mindfully focus on Meddy Teddy, a pose-able yoga teddy bear. Focusing on Meddy Teddy is fun and engaging, which helps children to slow down and focus on the present moment.
What are the Benefits?
Meddy Teddy Mindfulness enhances mindful awareness and is calming. When practiced regularly, mindfulness can improve attention, cognition, emotions, and behavior.
What to Say.
Mindfulness is focusing on what is happening, right now, with our five senses – seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting.
Meddy Mindfulness helps you pay attention to your senses so you can feel focused and relaxed.
Place Meddy is front of you in Easy Seated Pose.
Start by noticing what Meddy looks like. What color is he? Are his eyes open or closed?
Next, put Meddy on your lap. Is he soft or hard? Warm or cold? What else do you notice about how Meddy feels?
Bring Meddy up by your nose. Take in a big breath. What do you smell?
Place Meddy in your favorite yoga pose. As you adjust him, listen very mindfully. Does he make a sound? Do your favorite pose with him. Notice what you hear.
We are going to skip taste since Meddy is not food. Instead let’s use our mindfulness detective skills and see if we can notice one thing about Meddy we haven’t notice before.
What did you notice?
Want to learn more ways to be mindful with Meddy Teddy? Sign up for a aerial yoga class or our online kid’s yoga teacher training! Module Three has Meddy Teddy breathing exercises, cards and games!
Teaching kids to have a growth mindset can be tricky. After all just telling kids to have a growth mindset usually doesn’t work. Instead, teach them that the brain is a muscle that can get stronger and change with challenging tasks. Emphasize the importance of hard work and problem-solving.
Games are a great way to teach tricky concepts to kids. Growth Mindset, Fixed Mindset adds yoga and a mindset twist on a classic game, Red Light, Green Light. Before you begin the game, provide an explanation of a fixed and growth mindset. A fixed mindset avoids challenges and assumes that abilities are fixed, frozen or unchanging. A growth mindset enjoys a challenge and sees failures as a way to learn and grow.
How to Play the Growth Mindset Game
Growth Mindset, Fixed Mindset is best played with four or more players, ages six and older. The leader stands at the front of the room. When she says, “Growth Mindset” players slowly move and grow toward the leader. When she says, “Fixed Mindset” players freeze in place in a yoga pose. The yoga pose can be predetermined by the leader or freestyle where players choose their own. The player who makes it to the leader first is the winner.
What are the Benefits?
Growth Mindset, Fixed Mindset builds executive function through play. Executive function plays a fundamental role in emotion regulation and impulse control. It helps kids reflect before they react. The growth mindset game also provides yoga pose review and enhances focus.
In summary, games are a great way to build self-regulation skills. For more movement ideas to support your child’s social and emotional development sign up for an aerial yoga class or our Mindful Child Teacher Training.
Teaching fun, therapeutic, aerial yoga and mindfulness to children