After the energetic summer holiday, some parents find it difficult to get their children back into a bedtime routine.
Yogic master, Sushant Pandey who practises at the Ananda Spa in the Himalayas, says that regular meditation practice can help children ease back into their routine as well as benefiting them in other areas of life as well.
Below Sushant answers some key questions about childhood meditation:
1) Can meditation help improve sleep patterns for teenagers and children?
Yes. Five to 10 minutes of meditation in the evening or before going to bed helps to improve sleeping patterns.
2) What can parents do to encourage their child to meditate?
- Instilling the habits to sit quietly and encouraging them to focus the awareness through techniques of meditation.
- Encouraging the child to lead a disciplined lifestyle from childhood.
- Most importantly being the perfect role model to the child.
3) Can meditation help a child's concentration and/ or anxiety levels?
Yes. Meditation helps to calm down nervous stimulations and level of relaxation is enhanced in the practitioners.
4) What are your top three meditation tips for teenagers?
-Learning to breath correctly through pranayama techniques will help to improve a teenager's concentration and level of relaxation.
-Parents can try introducing 10 minutes of candle gazing meditation to a teenager's routine before going to bed.
-Adopting a technique of inner visualisation such as a "review of the day", in which the teenager visualises the events of the day mentally for five to 10 minutes.
5) Are there any "fun" meditation activities parents can practice with their children?
Yes. One can teach children to create a humming sound with long exhalation with the ears closed with the index fingers. While creating the sound, resonance of the sound is heard inside the skull cavity. This is very good exercise to develop concentration and memory.
6) What benefits can come from regular meditation?
Regular meditation has many positive effects which include: increased focus and concentration, a balanced response to stressful situations, enhanced awareness of one's own self, positive outlook towards life events, sound sleeping patterns, increased immunity to diseases, healthy cardiovascular system and healthy functioning of physiological systems.