I’ve been thinking about writing a kids yoga and mindfulness holiday blog but haven’t been inspired until this weekend when my son lost his cool and had an intense meltdown (I'll take inspiration wherever I can get it)!
Lately, this has been happening every few days and my reactions haven’t been very “yoga like” to say the least!
This weekend’s meltdown happened after a particularly rough 24 hours. I was ready to react by stomping my feet and walking away from him or with some other form of anger. Suddenly I remembered a recent conversation I had with a friend. My friend reached out to me for advice about how to use yoga and mindfulness to help her son who has been having anxiety, meltdowns and trouble falling asleep. I suggested she do some yoga breathing and listen to a short guided meditation with him. I also suggested giving him a hug instead of walking away or yelling. Super tough to do when you and your child are in that rough space.
So, for whatever reason, this time when my son was melting down I was able to pause, stop myself from yelling and calmly ask my son to sit on the couch with me. I asked him to join me in a couple deep breaths and a 5 minute guided meditation. I was shocked to hear him say “ok” and he followed me to the couch (meltdown still happening).
We did 3 count breathing: (inhaling for 3 slow counts and exhaling for 3 slow counts). This helped a little so I quickly looked up a 5 minute meditation for stress relief. I chose the first one that came up and I got lucky because it was perfect for this situation.
He calmed down right away, I was shocked. He listened and tried to sit in sukasana, (criss cross apple sauce) with his hands on his knees and breathe. My eyes were closed, but occasionally I would open them to see how he was doing. He wasn't always in the moment and sometimes he was fidgeting and looking around but he was still sitting, meltdown gone and my heart and soul were healing as well.
After the guided meditation I gave him a huge hug and we both smiled...relieved.
Although a few minutes later he seemed to be gearing up for meltdown, round 2, he stopped himself and said he was still upset and asked if we could do another big hug and a couple more deep breaths.
Blown away by this I realized that the mindfulness we teach during Budding Buddhas Kids Yoga Classes truly help with big emotions and offers children tools to self regulate.
We teach kids mindfulness not because we think we can make big emotions disappear but because it gives us tools to use for our reactions to big emotions.
It’s important to practice mindfulness techniques and listen to guided meditations on a regular basis so they are in our minds/bodies and souls before the meltdown so when a big emotion comes our mindfulness tools are familiar and accessible.
I’d love to hear your stories about using yoga and mindfulness with your children.
Please send them to me.
Guided meditation Apps:
Stop, Breath, Think
Have a wonderful holiday season!