In the classes this week we focused on mindful movement as part of the Mindful Me series. By practising mindful movement, a child can strengthen their connection to the body and deeper their internal awareness.
We started with our usual breath awareness exercises. In any mindful movement sequence, breathing is important. It can often be forgotten because one is so focused on what is happening in the body so it is always good to start with a couple of exercises that focus only on the breath.
We then warmed up our bodies with some fun movement exercises. The hula hoop game is a firm favourite with children and this week there were many giggles. I made the game a bit more challenging this week by saying the word hula every now and again which meant the hula hoop had to change direction! For those of you who are new to the hula hoop game, here is a video (from a past class): https://www.facebook.com/MindfulMinis/videos/2113429988971932/.
We also played the pom pom game this week to get the bodies warm and to tune the children’s focus. This is really a great exercise for helping kids to focus. You can be assured that they will not be thinking of anything else other than picking up pom poms when playing this game. The idea is for them to pick up pom poms with their toes and place them in a central container. This week I asked the children to move into mountain pose when the music stopped. This was to help ground them and allow them to feel stable and connected to the earth in amongst the activity. A concrete expression of the well-known quote:
“Peace: It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.” ~ unknown
Once our bodies were warm and our attention focused, we explored a simple sun salutation. We followed the beautiful “Dance for the Sun” song from Kira Willey which I simply love (and the kids do too!). We slowed things down a lot, and paused a lot in each pose, giving ourselves time to connect with our bodies throughout the whole sequence. I felt in all the classes the children could really connect with how their bodies were moving. In the younger classes, we had a bit of additional fun with some extra poses such as warrior II. Always good to remind ourselves of how strong, brave and important we are! 😊
Finally, it was time for a guided visualisation. This week I choose Fly Eagle Fly from the Mindful Moments for Minis album. It fitted in well with the mindful movement theme since the visualisation asks the child to imagine themselves soaring through the sky like an eagle. Many of the children commented afterwards how they loved flying through the sky!
So I would like to encourage you that the next time you go for a run, or a cycle, or a walk in the park, you take some time to use the movement to deepen the connection with your body and your internal awareness.