We all know through research and probably experience that meditation is a good thing. It’s true that meditation helps children to feel better, know better and do better. That’s because meditators are in touch with their best self. If we’ve neglected to stay in touch with that part of ourselves, then how can we introduce that self to others? When access to our best self is as close as our next inhalation and expressing our best self is as easy as the next exhalation, then showing up to school, tests, parties, conversations, and even to do your chores as your best self feels natural. If your best self feels like a stranger, this meditation will help you tune in to your goodness and integrate that energy into your being. This powerful mantra, mudra and meditation practice prepares children, so when it’s time to show up as their most grounded and elevated self, they can bring it!
Touch thumb to pinky and say One
Thumb to ring finger and say Two
Thumb to middle finger and say Three
Thumb to index finger and say Four
Keep repeating the hand positions (mudra) with each set of words (mantra).
Touching the thumb to each finger creates a specific mudra that stimulates the brain and calms the nervous system.
When we repeat words or sounds, they become our Mantra. Repeating a mantra is a very effective way to direct the mind.
Either hold this mantra (thumb and index finger touching) for several deep breaths or…
Touch thumb to pinky finger. Breathe in, Breathe out.
Touch thumb to ring finger. Breathe in, Breathe out.
Touch thumb to middle finger. Breathe in, Breathe out.
Touch thumb to first finger. Breathe in, Breathe out.
Show thumbs up. Breathe in, Breathe out.
Repeat as many times as needed to result in a balanced body, a peaceful heart, a settled mind and an uplifted spirit.
Variation – Practice saying the words aloud, then in a whisper, then only in your mind, then return to a whisper, and finally once again aloud. Remember to practice the five deep breaths before repeating the mantras.
The words associated with the numbers represent each chakra.
First Chakra- Ground your foundation and steady yourself
Second Chakra – Feel your emotions and honor yourself
Third Chakra – Charge your power and express yourself
Fourth Chakra – Explore your heart’s desires and guide yourself
Fifth Chakra – Truth in what you speak and tell yourself
Sixth Chakra – Wit is inner wisdom and your intuitive, intelligent self
Seventh Chakra – Now exist in the present moment and know yourself
Eighth Chakra – Meditate and all of the chakras align with your best self
Meditate before and after this asana practice for even greater grounding and elevation.
Do Your Chores (both directions)
Cat Scratch Fever
No Whining & Because I Said So (both on one side, then the other)
Down Dog, Straight Leg Lunge, Bring It On (both on one side, then the other)
Serious Crow Playful
Bubble Gum Breath
Baby Got Back
Just A Sip (stay on back)
Do The Twist
Rock and Roll (side to side)
Sedef Dion who co-created our Pre-Grounded program shared with me the story of a four year old girl who in the cutest way mistakenly called Savasana….Lasagna. This inspired me to write a Savasana visualization with a Lasagna theme that Amy and I recently used to connect with our Fernbank Elementary Yoga Club students. After we did our practice complete with the Lasagna Savasana, one of our students..the Principal’s five year old daughter said…”that was so relaxing…this could help me fall asleep at night”. Since it was her birthday that day, we wanted to put together a recording that her parents could play for her as she settles down for a good night rest after a long day. The artwork in the slideshow is that of our Fernbank students expressing themselves after the Savasana.
Prepare your body for lasagna.
Lie on your back with your legs out long in front of you.
Allow your feet to fall open.
Bring your arms out to the sides of your body, palms facing up.
Look ready to be baked. Close your eyes.
Settle and get heavy, descending your weight to the bottom of your pan.
Tune into the rising and falling of your breath. Create long, deep warm breaths.
Focus on a point in the middle of your forehead between your closed eyes. Imagine a rectangle in this spot and slowly begin to expand it with each breath that you take.
As you continue to breathe, your rectangle begins to grow and grow, getting larger and larger, until you and the rectangle are one.
Become aware of any frozen or congealed sensations in your feet…legs… belly…, chest…, shoulders…., back…..arms…, elbows…, wrists…, hands…, neck.., jaw…, face…
Notice any fears, doubts, attitudes, quandaries, conversations, or memories that are uncomfortably stored or perhaps even bubbling up to the surface.
Imagine a cardboard box next to your pan.
Silently, allow any bitter, stale, or sour bits of ingredients to emerge one by one.
As each bit appears, put it into the box until you feel softer. Knowing that the sweetness is still inside of you. Your box of course will be recycled into healing compost.
In the space of your rectangle begin to sense the ingredients that represent your highest, best self.
Notice the tomato red stability across your base, followed by the flow of carrot orange creativity below your belly button, above is the shiny pineapple yellow of confidence, bright leafy green love at your heart center, the solid blueberry truth at your throat, indigo black berried imagination between your closed eyes, and pomegranate purple connection to something bigger at the top.
Invite in delicious warm sauce to coat you. Top with a heavy layer of noodles. Drizzle heaps of delicious white love on top.
Experience your inner colors, textures, smells, sounds, and how your body feels in this place and in this time.
Continue to layer more of what you need…until you find the place inside where you are steady, heavy, and held by something bigger.
Soften every noodle. Settle, secure and grounded in the lasagna of your presence. Know that you are completely and totally supported in the Universal Oven, as you lie here warm and cozy.
In your final baking moments of lasagna notice what could bring out your individual flavors more fully. Add them to jazz yourself up Notice how sweetly melted you are below your eyes, your throat, your heart
Notice how delicious you smell, how hearty you feel and how tender you are.
Keep your eyes soft as you bend your knees into your chest and sweetly roll to the side. You are still cooking Press up with your hands to a seated position. Keep your eyes soft and place your hands together in front of your heart.
As I was preparing for my Pre-Grounded classes this week, I knew I wanted to introduce these 4 year olds to something new and exciting. For the last couple of years, I’ve been participating in gong meditations and enjoying them very much. That wasn’t always so. My first gong meditation was not a pleasant experience. The sound of gong was loud and frightening, almost overwhelming. As I learned more about the gong meditation, I grew comfortable with it and let the sound of gong permiate every cell in my body. Gong meditation is excellent for the parasympathetic nervous system which is ruled by sound. The intensity of the sound puts the entire nervous system under pressure to heal itself. Even though the gong meditation has many benefits, the sound is too much for young children. I decided to use a little bell instead and the bell meditation was born. It was a beautiful experience.
The children lay down on their backs with eyes closed. A few wanted to be on their bellies and I allowed it. I explained that I would ring the bell for 2 minutes. I began to shake the bell soft at first and then loud for the next minute or so. I then began to soften the sound until silent. There was not another sound or movement in the room for the entire time.
When I asked about the experience they all had positive things to share. All agreed that it was relaxing and one child in particular described how she felt the sound of the bell deep inside her body. They were all fascinated and wanted this to be part of the class from now on. My vision when co-creating Pre-Grounded was to prepare the little bodies for a lifetime of yoga practice by planting the seeds into their big souls.The success of this meditation was clear as a bell. Sat Nam.