The character of a monkey is playful and cheeky, and they love to move and swing from branch to branch. We teach our students about the ‘monkey mind’ at times, and we call it this because the mind is like a monkey - busy jumping from thought to thought.
A fun activity that can help to occupy and calm the monkey mind is a ‘double doodling’ exercise. The benefits of this are not only the sheer enjoyment and concentration, but this exercises both sides of the brain as it uses the non dominant hand.
How to do it
We all get a bit grumpy from time to time let’s be honest.
So when our children are feeling angry or upset it is healthy to be able to recognise these emotions, whilst also learning that we can actually diffuse them by becoming aware of them and trying different tools.
A glitter calming jar can do just that. It is both a visual and interactive tool for children to use. You may want to get a plastic jar to make the recipe, then shake it up and offer it to your child to focus their attention on the glitter as it slowly makes it way to settle on the bottom of the jar. I find it's both soothing and calming to my mood too!
What you need and how to do it
I found this photo recently and it reminded me of the wonderful holiday I had with my family in the Maldives a few years ago, and where a daily yoga practice for Mum and Dad became a must.
Adjusting to the heat meant that ‘legs up the wall – or Viparita Karani’ was a great accompaniment to an after lunch nap ☺.
A pose that calms the nervous system, reduces swelling in the legs and gives the heart a gentle massage. And as we get closer to the end of the year we may even travel to see family and when we arrive we may just want to ‘put our feet up to relax’ at the other end.
So why not share the love and teach this to Dad’s and Grandparents – just make sure if they have tight hamstrings that they bend their knees a little and get them nice and comfy.
Make sure you remind them to relax and breathe, and most importantly, enjoy the pose.
Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season with your family.
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Mindfulness is cultivating the ability to have present moment awareness. In simple terms this means an openness and friendly willingness to understand what is going on around and inside of you.
Life is busy even for kids now days, and they are finding it increasingly difficult to focus and concentrate. Stress is also on the increase in our children.
The benefit of practicing mindfulness for a child is he/she can learn to pause for a moment, take a breath and get in touch with what they may need/feel in that moment.
Mindfulness helps children develop the skills to accept not all things in life are great, or go their way. They learn to respond rather than react, thereby gaining tools to help them navigate their own special inner world, and the world around them.
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Karen Wightman is the founder of Creative Yogis. She is an experienced, local and international children’s yoga instructor, yoga teacher trainer, and children’s art teacher.
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