Meditation for Children Below Eight Years
* From the point of view of yogic physiology, children below age eight do not need much formal meditation training. It is more important for these children that their parents learn yoga and meditation and carry yogic principles into their homes
. * Children absorb the energy of the environment. If their parents practice some form of self-development, their children will grow up in a healthier, more relaxed and aware environment.
* Parents need to practice meditation techniques that increase their own capacity for awareness in the midst of their busy lives, so that they can be more present and available to their children. The child needs to know that a parent is really interested in them, is really listening to and attending to them. At the same time, parents need to learn how to allow children to be themselves and to foster each child's own unique being and abilities.
* One meditation technique can be used with children in this age group, however. A modified practice of yoga nidra is a deep relaxation practice in the Corpse Pose (Savasana). In this practice we cannot ask the children to feel individual parts of the body, but rather we work with awareness of larger parts.
* For example, we may playfully instruct the child in body awareness by saying, "Feel that you are a statute until I count to 10. Now bend your elbows and now straighten your arms." We give similar instructions with the legs and may ask them to wiggle their toes, and so on. This takes their awareness through the body.
* Once children have developed a little body awareness, we can teach them to listen to and follow outside sounds, or to visualize imaginary realms, or we can read stories that stimulate their imaginations.