I often use my qualification in child-centred therapy to create guided meditations for children with a focus on healing. Working with a child’s inner world needs to be carried out safely and non-intrusively, with respect for the child’s own pace and state of being- just like how I teach children’s yoga. I thought I would write one of my favourite guided meditations in a blogpost for you all!
In a moment I am going to ask you to close your eyes so we can go on an imaginary journey. You're going to pretend that the things I say are really happening. When we’re finished you'll open your eyes and draw something. Now find a comfortable position, you can sit up or lie down. Close your eyes and go into your own space. When you close your eyes you can feel the air around you and get a sense of the space around your body. We’ll call this your special place. Your own space. You don’t usually notice your own space but it is always there. It's your space. Notice what's going on in your body, is it tense or relaxed? Now think of your whole body, from your head, to your nose, to your tummy to your toes. (pause) Take some very deep breaths now, breath in 2, 3, breath out 2,3,4,5,6, now this time breath in and as you breath out, let the air out with a big sound AAAHHH (repeat x 3), I’m going to tell you a little story now, it will be a make believe trip. Listen carefully and follow along. Imagine what I'm telling you is really happening. If you come to parts that you don’t like, you don’t have to go there. Just listen to my voice and follow along. Let's just see what happens.
Imagine you are walking through the woods, there are trees all around and the birds are singing. You are in the shade but it is dappled with sun light shining through the leaves and branches. It is very nice walking through the woods. You are walking along the path and you can see wild flowers on either side. Every now and then you see a little rabbit scurry across the path. You see a beetle scuttling to the side of the path and notice there are rocks alongside the path. In amongst some thorny brambles you hear some rustling. So you walk up to the brambles and to your astonishment there is a little squirrel all tangled up! You help the squirrel out of the brambles and because this is imaginary, the squirrel can speak! He says ‘Thank you for helping me. In return for your kindness, I will tell you a secret... The rocks and pebbles on this path are magical, they heal you’. Then with a hop, skip and a jump, he hurried up the nearest tree and disappeared. You look down at the floor and notice the stones and pebbles, one of them stands out to you- what does it look like? What colour is it? Is it shiny or sparkly? What does it feel like? Is it smooth, rough, hot or cold? You put the stone in your pocket and continue to walk along the path.
You are walking along and the path becomes really steep. You realise that you are actually climbing a mountain! You keep walking up the winding path through the woods (long pause). When you get to the top of the path you sit on a large rock to rest and take in the view. You look around, the sky is blue, the sun is shining and there are birds flying around. You are at the very top of the mountain. Across the valley you see another mountain with a cave and wish you could get there. You see a big eagle swooping through the sky and wish that you could be like the eagle. Suddenly you realise that you have grown huge, strong wings. You test them out and sure enough, you can fly! So you fly across easily to the other side of the mountain (long pause).You land on a grassy ledge on the side of the mountain and instantly your wings disappear. You clamber around the rocks on the side of the mountain looking for the entrance to the cave (pause). Finally you notice a tiny, dark opening to the cave so you crouch down and crawl through.
When you're inside there's plenty of room to stand up. You walk around examining the walls of the cave. Are they smooth or rough? Cold or warm? Suddenly you notice a walkway, like a long, dark corridor. You walk down the corridor and soon you notice there are rows and rows of doors. You are walking along looking closely at each door... soon you find a door with your name on it! You stand there thinking about it. You know that you'll open it soon and go to the other side. You know that it will be your special place. It could be somewhere you've been before or somewhere completely new, it could be a place you dream about, it could be inside or outside. It could be somewhere you don't like. You won't know until you open the door. But whatever it is, it will be your special place. You turn the door knob and step through. Take a look at your place! Are you surprised? Where is it? Is it inside or outside? Are there people? Or animals? Or are you alone? How do you feel in this place? Notice how you feel (pause). Now walk around in your place (pause). As you are walking you remember the squirrel that told you about the magic stone. You take the stone out of your pocket and put it down somewhere in your special place.
When you are ready, slowly bring your awareness back to this room. When you open your eyes, stay silent. Take a piece of paper and pencil, find somewhere to sit and draw your special place. If you can't draw your place, you might want to draw your feelings about the place by using colours and making marks. I don't have to know what your place is about by looking at the picture, because you can tell me all about it if you want to.
It is important that this is read slowly, allowing pauses for the imagination to follow along. It is also important to only ask open ended questions about the children's drawings, do not try and interpret the drawing and do not to force anyone to share their drawing if they do not want to.
By Jessica Tizzard (BA Hons, PGCE, QTS, Yoga Teacher for children and teens)
Wild & Free Yoga for parents, babies, toddlers and children in Bournemouth, Christchurch and surrounding area.
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