about

Mindful Minis is a space for children aged 4 – 12 to learn and practise the art of mindfulness.


What is mindfulness?

One of the formal definitions of mindfulness is “the practice of developing a focused awareness of the present moment with kindness and compassion, with no judgement or expectation”. Our deep conditioning often means that we are habitually lost in thought. This results in a sense of disconnection from our feelings and our bodies and what is happening directly in front of us and within us. The mindfulness practice is a simple way to begin to reconnect with our bodies and inner resources.

Watching a beautiful sunset mindfully, can touch one deeply. If we are being pulled away by our thoughts into the past or the future, we are not truly present and so loose part of what the sunset has to offer us. Life feels richer, fuller and more beautiful when lived mindfully.

Why teach mindfulness to children?

Mindfulness can help us understand complex emotions and their physical manifestation in our body. For example, do you notice your heart beating faster than usual or a tightness in your chest or sweaty palms when you are feeling anxious? This awareness helps us to understand that we are not our emotions. We are separate from our emotions. This helps us to recognise and regulate our emotions. For children, emotions can be overwhelming and all-consuming at times. Mindfulness gives a child the space needed to respond consciously to a challenging situation instead of simply reacting automatically.

Mindfulness is a very effective response to stress and enhances our “executive function”. This is the neurological process used to make decisions, manage time, organise tasks and set priorities. Mindfulness improves clarity of thought and the ability to make better decisions. The focused awareness practised in mindfulness helps children improve their ability to pay attention and in turn helps to improve their memory.

All children can benefit from learning to focus their attention, becoming less reactive, and more compassionate with themselves and others.

In short, children that practise mindfulness regularly are

  • better able to focus and concentrate
  • experience increased calm
  • experience decreased stress and anxiety
  • experience improved impulse control
  • have increased self-awareness
  • able to respond skilfully to difficult emotions
  • are empathetic and understanding of others
  • have natural conflict resolution skills

More about Mindful Minis

Mindful Minis offers weekly mindfulness classes for children during the school term. There is some variation in the classes but a typical class includes the following:

  • breath awareness – mindful breathing slows down our heartrate and encourages calm.
  • mindful movement (gentle yoga) – encourages a focused awareness of the body.
  • guided visualisation / meditation – encourages focus, calm and self-awareness.
  • mindful artwork / journaling – allows a child to express what they are feeling in a safe way.
  • affirmations – a powerful tool to build a child’s self-confidence and self-worth.

All the classes are all 45min long. The classes are kept small (max 8 kids per class) so that the children feel safe and that each child has the opportunity to share.

Mindful Minis also offers “My Parent and Me!” workshops, usually one a term. The workshops focus on strengthening the relationship between parent and child. They are usually held in beautiful, peaceful setting in nature. No previous experience of mindfulness is required but the workshops also cater for those who practise mindfulness regularly.


More about me

Guiding children in MindfulnessMy name is Bianca Browne. I graduated from Rhodes University in 1996 with an honours degree in Computer Science. I then worked in software development in the corporate world for 14 years. During that time, I never felt completely fulfilled. In 2010 I had the privilege of doing the MBSR course with the wonderful Linda Kantor. It was an invaluable experience for me – life changing!

Mindfulness is something I am incredibly passionate about. It has had a significant impact on my life. I wanted to share this wonderful tool with my own children so I started researching and reading up on how to introduce children to mindfulness. I quickly saw the value to be gained by children practising mindfulness from a young age and carrying it through to their teens.

By practising mindfulness regularly, children are able to respond more consciously and calmly to challenging situations. They are better able to recognise and regulate their emotions, instead of simply being consumed by them. They are able to access the deep peace that exists within each of us.


Certifications

I have completed the following training programs:

 

I am registered and accredited with the following organisation: