Sleepy Time Meditation
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
I've been seeing a lot of Moms posting that nap time has become seemingly more difficult during this time of quarantine. My own personal sleep schedule has been compromised due to extra screen time, excessive energy, difference of schedule, and oh my goodness what even is "normalcy" these days?! So, I'm sure your littles are struggling to find space for rest with all this extra pent up energy. I thought today, we could take a mindfulness journey and learn some hopefully helpful meditation practices for your littles.
Today we'll be focusing on breath. First we'll practice breath awareness and mindfulness with two breathing exercises. Maybe we even call them "games" because with everything, we still want it to be fun...:)
Right before nap time or even bed time, have your little grab a favorite stuffed animal. Encourage them that this fluffy friend will help them with their meditative practice. Next have your little lay on their back, placing the stuffed animal on their belly. Place your hand above their belly and say you will count to 3. Encourage them that in those 3 counts, they should take a huge breath from their belly, allowing the stuffed animal to rise to touch your hand. Next, count to 3 again and ask your little to slowly blow out all the air in their belly. They can watch as their stuffed animal lowers away from your hand. You can repeat this practice a few times.
Next we'll practice "Snake" and "Dragon" breath. Your little can sit or continue to lay down, whichever feels most comfortable.
Snake: On the count of 3, have your little take a deep breath in from the deepest depths of their belly. As they release out the air, have them pretend they are a snake, copying the hiss sound. Encourage them to "Sssss" on their exhale until all the air has left their belly.
Dragon: On the count of 3, have your little take another deep breath in. This time, on the exhale, they should open their mouth wide open, sticking their tongue out. With a big "Haaaa", release all the air like a mighty, fire breathing dragon.
After we have brought breath awareness into the body, we're ready for simple meditation.
Ask your little to lay down on their back. Encourage them to gently close their eyes. You can encourage but also know that successful meditation is fostered from a place where your body is at total ease and comfort. So, eyes open may feel better to them. Keeping your eyes shut for a long time can feel tricky at first. Allowing the body to practice at it's own pace creates healthy mindfulness rather than forced mindfulness. With arms and legs stretched relaxingly wide. Encourage your little to find "weightlessness". Try using a soothing image. Pretend you are a butterfly or a bird gliding through the air with ease. Next, imagine that your belly is full of color. Beautiful rainbow colors that explode all over the ceiling with each exhale. Ask your little to tell you their favorite color. We'll practice with my favorite: turquoise. On the count of 3, inhale big big big and fill your belly with turquoise. On another count of 3, exhale on a sound like "Haaa" and paint the ceiling with splotches of turquoise. Repeat this process several times, changing colors each time and allowing exhaled sound to get quieter until their is no sound, only breath.
Breath awareness and meditation slows the heart rate down, connects the mind and body, and allows relaxation. I hope you found this practice today soothing and helpful.
Namaste and Happy Napping!