Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are all tools for cultivating compassion. They help us to become more aware of our bodies, minds, and emotions. We are able to better understand what triggers us and how we react to these triggers. Once we can identify these triggers, we can begin to make changes in our behavior that will allow us to respond in a more compassionate manner. Our Children’s Yoga and meditation expert specializes in this amazing art of self-awareness and mindfulness and is here to help.
Meditation is one of the best ways to cultivate mindfulness. It allows us to focus our attention on the present moment rather than being distracted by thoughts about the past or future. When we are able to focus on what is happening right now, we can then choose how we want to react or respond. This skill is especially important when dealing with children because they often have trouble staying focused on anything for very long. This is due to their short attention spans caused by their developing brains. When we practice this form of self-awareness, our children see this and then have the opportunity to reflect it. As much as we as parents may not realize it, our children are always watching, taking away from our actions, no matter if those actions are positive or negative. When we set an example of serenity, peace, compassion and self-awareness, our children will most likely follow.
Yoga is another tool that can be used to cultivate compassion because it helps us connect with ourselves physically through movement. As we become more aware of the sensations in our bodies, while doing yoga poses or breathing exercises such as pranayama (breathing exercises), it becomes easier for us to recognize other people’s physical sensations as well as their emotional states without having them tell us what they’re feeling first. This is mindfulness, and is a trait that is absolutely necessary for change in the world.
To engage in these practices with our children is the ultimate gift. Self-awareness and breathwork is something that is not taught to our children in schooling systems, but is critical to their development. Imagine if our children knew how to pause when upset and take some deep breaths and work through their feelings. For most of us, that would be unheard of, but if we take the initiative to teach these mindfulness practices to our children, we are setting them, and ourselves, up for a bright and compassionate future.