Introduction to Mindful Movement
Now that you’re familiar with the basics of mindfulness, with this module in Mindful Matters we’d like to remind you that ‘being mindful’ is not just about sitting and meditating quietly with your eyes closed.
You can also use mindful movement as a fun way to bring yourself and your kids into the present moment.
This is one of the best ways to introduce young children to the concept of mindfulness.
By focusing on your senses in the body, while doing some simple, everyday movements – either outside in nature or even in your own home – you can synchronise your mind and body.
When you do this for even a few minutes, you start to bring focus to whatever you are doing.
Here at Smiling Mind, we often recommend a few different practices and meditations that can help you get started yourself, or with your child as you work through the content in this Mindful Matters module:
For this activity, you and your child will need to stand up and walk to an open space. You can do this either inside or outside and you’re going to imagine that you are a big, tall tree. This activity will help you focus on the sensations and feelings related to movement and is a great way to focus your mind, especially for those who find sitting meditation a bit difficult:
Mindful Movement meditation
Listen to the activity below.
Mindful movement activities for children are designed to be fun and interactive. Here’s another quick and fun activity you might like to try after you’ve listened to the tree activity.
- For our mirror movement activity, stand in front of your child and decide who will be the leader and who will be the follower. The leader starts to move and the follow has to mirror their movement. As you get comfortable with this, make faster and bigger movements. Be creative and fun! After a few minutes, you can switch roles.
- You can also try a variation where you face your child, holding your hands in front of you so your palms are nearly touching. One of you takes the lead by moving your fingers, hands and arms. The other has to follow, trying to mirror the movement. See if you can switch between leaders naturally without using verbal cues!
Remember, an important part of practicing mindfulness and mindful movement with your children is debriefing each experience to normalise any physical or emotional reactions they may have had. Here’s a few questions that might help:
- What was that like pretending to be a big Tree? How did it make you feel?
- What sensations in your body did you notice?
- How did you feel when you were leading the mirror movement?
- Do you notice your heartbeat in either of the activities? Was it fast? Or slow?
- Did you notice how you were breathing, was it fast or slow?
- Did you notice the sounds around you during these activities?