Are you looking for a safe, holistic and effective way to help your child learn to calm and relax her body and mind?
I know I am!
So when I came across the practice of Yoga Nidra and meditation for kids through a book called, The Dolphin’s Secret: A Meditational Journey for Children, I was intrigued and hopeful! Teaching children the practice of Yoga Nidra and meditation will give them the skills to relax their body and quiet their mind.
As a mother to 3 young girls with medical and mental health struggles, I am always trying to find the safest and most effective treatment options to help support them and improve their quality of life. Our youngest daughter has ADHD, our middle daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder and likely ADHD, our oldest daughter has complex medical issues, and all three suffer from anxiety. As their mother, I research and read all the reputable resources that I can, while also collaborating with their doctors, to discover the best treatment options available.
My goal for my children is that through therapy and other non-medical interventions, we can improve their symptoms and quality of life. So when I began reading more about meditation for kids and interviewed the author of The Dolphin’s Secret: A Meditational Journey for Children, I knew this was a practice we had to try with our daughters.
Through the book and interview, Meryl taught me so much, including about a practice called Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is an ancient yogic practice that is becoming a popular form of meditation and mind-body therapy. There are many benefits to practicing Yoga Nidra and meditation for kids, but I will highlight the 4 that stand out from my perspective.
1. No unwanted side effects from pharmacological treatments.
While medication has value and can be very beneficial in certain circumstances, I do try to avoid it and use a more holistic approach whenever possible. My mission in life, and as a part of Simply Living Green, is to go green and live clean. I’m committed to seeking out healthier options for my family that do not involve the use of chemicals. It’s not always achievable for our family and our unique circumstances, but I do as much as I can to reduce the harmful and questionable chemicals that we are exposed to.
2. Many resources are available at little to no cost.
The book, The Dolphin’s Secret: A Meditational Journey for Children by Meryl Best Lowell, is a great resource that is available at a low cost and can be used for years to come. This unique book has Yoga Nidra techniques incorporated into a children’s story that will guide them through the practice of mindfulness to relax their body and quiet their mind. Additionally, there are many free resources available online to add to your child’s daily routine. I found options such as Yoga Nidra Relaxation for Children by Little Flower Yoga on YouTube.
3. Can be practiced at home, school or anywhere!
The book, The Dolphin’s Secret: A Meditational Journey for Children, can be used at home in the morning to start your child’s day off on the right foot or in the evening when it’s time to wind down before bedtime. I had the honor of interviewing the author, Meryl Best Lowell, and asked her how the book can help the average child at home. Meryl replied, “I think most kids experience stress of some kind. The Dolphin’s Secret and Yoga Nidra recordings or sessions can be used to reduce stress and anxiety and promote better sleep. Further, they are learning techniques they can use throughout their lives.” When I inquired if the book could be a resource for teachers as well, she replied, “Yes! Yoga Nidra is often done in group settings. The book could be used either at the beginning of the day to set the tone for the day, or prior to nap or quiet time as a way to both relax and recharge for the remainder of the day.”
4. Becomes a skill that can be taught at an early age and practiced for a lifetime.
When I reached out to Meryl to see if her book and Yoga Nidra could help children with anxiety, stress, and other medical diagnoses, her response was one that gave me much hope. According to Meryl, “Yoga Nidra definitely helps people who face these types of medical challenges. One of my teachers, Kamini Desai, PHD, wrote a book, Yoga Nidra: The Art of Transformational Sleep, which details the benefits of a Yoga Nidra practice for a number of medical conditions and cites different studies. Yoga Nidra is very effective in reducing anxiety. My intention in writing the book was to introduce children to the mindfulness techniques of Yoga Nidra at an early age. Children can directly experience how each technique feels in their body and hopefully be encouraged by a parent or teacher to use these techniques when they feel stress.”
Furthermore, the study published in May 2017 titled, Mind-Body Therapy for Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, found that “Parents who practice mindfulness with parenting techniques report better outcomes in ADHD symptoms of their children.”
All of the above-mentioned reasons give me lots of hope that Yoga Nidra and meditation for kids will give many children the tools they need to combat stressful situations, learn to relax their body, calm their mind, and lead them to a healthier, happier, more well-balanced life.
For more information on Meryl Best Lowell and her book, The Dophin’s Secret, visit https://www.merylbestlowell.com/.
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