Many studies have proven that meditation classes and programs in schools help youths reduce stress, increase focus, and improve attitudes and self-confidence. Transformation Yoga Project has youth programs for alternative education and schools.
These same meditation benefits for children and teenagers can be achieved at home. They can learn how to reach a mindful state to help later react to stress or handle difficult situations positively.
Identifying the stress in their life is a major part of mindfulness, and according to the 2018 American Psychology Association’s Stress in America survey, Generation Z is the most likely to report poor health and seek help for it.
Developing the skills to practice meditations and be mindful daily can help with these stresses, anything from major transitions in schools or relocating to schoolwork to troubles with staying focused.
Mindfulness expert Laura Cipullo explained to NorthJersey.com that mindfulness has “four prongs”: being aware in the moment, being present in the moment, being nonjudgmental, and narrating to yourself as you go along.
Practicing meditation prepares children to stay mindful daily. Some meditation practices Cipullo explains are gardening, hiking, practicing yoga or engaging in art. These activities all have steps that require focus and awareness of the mind and body — noticing the leaves and birds when hiking, or noticing the movements and focus in painting or yoga.
These meditations don’t have to be daily or very long. A simple 20-minute meditation can help disconnect and gain that mindfulness. This can be a conversation between a parent and a child, a few simple yoga poses, or some mindfulness games. Here are a few meditations from Positive Psychology Practice and Do You Yoga for young children and teens:
Mindful Posing: The Superman – stand with feet just wider than the hips, fists clenched, arms reaching out, stretch the body out as long as possible; The Wonder Woman – stand tall with legs wider than hip-width apart, place hands or fists on hips
Counting Meditation: Sit or lie on your back and count backwards from 100 to 1, focusing on the numbers and concentrating on counting down free from thought. If you lose count, restart at 100 to regain focus.
Silent Walk: This practice focuses on keeping mind and body together and being present. Start walking around a room or outside, focusing on each step and breath, your feet connecting with the earth, breathing and smelling the fresh air, and listening to the natural sounds around.
Spidey Senses: Instruct the children to “turn on their Spidey senses” and be super-focused on taste, smell, touch, hearing and sight.
Blowing Bubbles: Tell the children to focus on their deep breaths and long exhale as they blow the bubbles and see the shape of the bubbles while forming, while in the air and when the pop.
Although the APA’s study found that Generation Z is the most likely to report stress and poor health, teaching these meditations and mindfulness tips at-home can be a great advantage for kids and teens to take on life.
TYP is participating in #GivingTuesday this year!
All the money we raise during the 24 hours of the global day of giving will go toward our Yoga for Youth programs. We hope to raise $5,000 on #GivingYogaDay!
We are thankful for our community and donors that support our programs and help us grow to serve even more individuals. Your kind gifts provide greater access to healing yoga.