Meditation has significant mental and physical health benefits for both adults and kids. Lots of schools are doing short meditations and find that the children are more relaxed, more focused, have greater concentration and are better able to cope through the day.
Harvard research has shown that meditation can increase levels of serotonin in the brain, as well as growth hormone which repairs cells and tissue. It has also been shown to lower the heart rate, boost immunity, lower blood pressure, increase blood circulation to the body’s tissues, create emotional balance, lower the body’s inflammatory response and induce a state of calmness.
My kids, who are 10 and 5 years old, love this rainbow meditation, which is an adaptation of the more well known chakra meditation I have learnt during my practice.
They often ask for this one before they go to sleep at night and by the time it has finished my 5 year old is usually fast asleep! With kids (or adults new to meditation), start small with just a couple of minutes to begin with, slowly building up to 5 or 7 minutes. Remember that its called a meditation “practice” for a reason!
Lie down on the floor on a mat or in your bed and move your body around to get out the wriggles. Wriggle your arms and legs, wriggle your fingers and toes, and wriggle your head and your nose! Now stop wriggling, find a comfortable position and see if you can lie quietly still. We are going to lie here for a few minutes so try to get as comfortable as possible. Take a few deep breathes and as you breathe, imagine the air going into your nose or mouth and down all the way into your belly, making it big. Feel the air in your belly and then breathe out again, pushing the air out in a big huff, like this. (Talk them through this 2 or 3 times).
Let your breathing return to its normal rhythm and feel your body begin to relax and then start to melt into the floor. You can close your eyes or keep them open. Imagine a warm red light glowing brightly at the very bottom of your tummy. Every time you breathe in and out the light gets brighter and warmer and begins to spread throughout your body. It goes from your tummy down your legs to your feet, and then up through your arms and hands into your head until your whole body is glowing a warm red. The red light makes you feel comfortable and happy, safe and secure.
Now, imagine a bright orange light glowing in your belly just under your belly button. As you breathe, the light gets brighter and spreads down your legs to your feet, through your arms and hands, and all the way up to the top of your head. You are now glowing orange light. The orange light helps you to be happy and comfortable expressing your feelings.
Imagine now a yellow light glowing just above your belly button and getting brighter and brighter. It spreads through all of your body, making you glow yellow. The yellow light is warm and makes you feel confident and happy in yourself.
Now, imagine a green light glowing in the middle of your chest, just near your heart. As you breathe, the green light gets brighter and spreads down your body to your feet, and up your body all the way to the top of your head, until your whole body is glowing green light. This light is full of love and as it glows brighter, imagine you feel more and more love in your heart until its so full it might just burst!
Now imagine a beautiful blue glowing light right where your throat is. The blue light gets brighter and warmer every breath you take. It is your favourite type of blue. The bright blue lights spreads all through your body until you are glowing blue. It makes you feel confident and safe expressing who you really are, creative and happy.
Now imagine an indigo light glowing just between your eyebrows. Indigo is a kind of bright pink. As the indigo light gets brighter, it spreads through your head and down your whole body right to the tips of your fingers and toes until you are glowing bright pink light. This indigo pink light helps you to see clearly with your eyes and with your heart.
Now imagine a violet light, which is like a deep purple, glowing right at the top of your head. The purple light gets bigger and feel wonderfully warm and happy. It spreads down your whole body, into your belly, your arms and hands and all the way down your legs right to the tips of your toes until you are glowing deep purple. This purple light is the same light and energy that is in everything around you, the earth and the trees and flowers, right up to the stars in the sky. It keeps you connected to the whole universe and makes you feel so very safe and happy.
Now imagine all of the colours joining together in a beautiful rainbow above your head. The rainbow gets brighter and moves around you in circles until it makes a glowing ball of rainbow light all around you. When you breathe in, the rainbow light comes into your nose and down into your belly and spreads through your body until you join with the rainbow and make one big rainbow ball of light. Rest in the rainbow.
(If going to sleep) The rainbow ball of light is full of love. It will keep you safe through the night and bring you sweet dreams and when you wake in the morning you will feel healthy, happy and refreshed.
(If waking up) Gently start to wriggle your fingers and toes and feel your body on the floor. Slowly open your eyes and when you are ready, you can sit up.
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