This week we looked at a graceful and mesmerising ocean creature – the jellyfish.
Do yourself a favour and spend a few minutes watching this video of a jellyfish swimming.
Calming, right? The kids in the classes this week thought so too. They specifically commented on how calming the wonderful underwater sounds in this particular video are. There were some requests for me to do a guided visualisation recording about jellyfish so watch this space!
We discussed how the rhythmic swimming motion of the jellyfish can teach us about slow, mindful breathing. So, as we take a deep breath into our lungs, we close our eyes and imagine the dome top of the jellyfish filling up with water. And as we breath slowly out, we imagine the jellyfish squeezing all the water out of its dome. Breathing in. The dome top fills with water. Breathing out. The water is squeezed out.
In addition to a guided breath awareness exercise, I also did a guided body awareness exercise with the 9 – 12-year-old group. We sat cross-legged with our hands in Chin Mudra. This is a classic meditation pose where the tip of the index finger gently touches the pad of the thumb, palms are turned up and the backs of the hands rest on the knees. We focused on bringing awareness to the point where the thumb and index finger meet. The children did so well. There were a number of distractions, especially a group of hadedas that decided to have a party on the roof at that particular moment, but the children managed to maintain their concentration and focus which was lovely to see.
After the breath and body awareness exercises, we moved into some creative time. The children made the most colourful suncatcher jellyfish. Some contact paper, tissue paper and strips of card for the tentacles and you have a jellyfish! We made the jellyfish extra special with each child either writing their name in the centre or a special mantra to themselves as a word of encouragement. I loved how some children used the Mindful Minis tag line of “Stop. Breathe. Be.” The results really were beautiful and inspiring.
This week the guided visualisation was about swimming in the ocean with a jellyfish. Watching the rhythmic motion of the jellyfish and feeling calm and safe. Allowing all worries and concerns to dissolve into the water and float away. After all the rain in Cape Town the past two days, we have felt a bit like we are swimming in the ocean but it was wonderful to see the sun come out today and shine beautifully to light up the suncatcher jellyfish.
It was then time to say goodbye. I encouraged all the children to hang up their jellyfish against a window in their bedroom or another well used part of the house to remind them about slow, rhythmic breathing in the upcoming week.
Happy mindful breathing!