Yoga Nidra Sessions for Children
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Yoga for Complete Relaxation - Yoga Nidra.

Yoga nidra can be practiced by children and the practice can prove very beneficial to them. The children as small as eight years of age can be taught adequately to practice yoga nidra. Between the ages of eight to fourteen years it is advisable that the yoga nidra sessions should only be of fifteen minutes. But since the mind of the children is much fresher than the adults they can relax and rejuvenate better during this short time only. Also the children have lesser stress levels than the adults so it is easier for them to learn to relax and make them open up for the practice of yoga nidra.

The instructors can use the power of their imagination and make the sessions very interesting and imaginative for the children. A small example is to imagine the body to be an island and let various fantasies stimulate the mind. A very poignant fantasy could be to imagine a butterfly landing at the various body parts and light emerging from the body at the point wherever it sits. This helps in rotation of the consciousness.

There are certain points that the instructors must keep in mind before getting into teaching the kids the practice of yoga nidra. These are:

  • The practice sessions should be adapted to the specific needs of the children of a certain age and understanding.
  • In the group sessions the children belonging to one age group should be chosen to be a part of one session.
  • The room that is chosen for the practice of yoga nidra should be spacious and well ventilated. The energy feel in the room should not suggest gloominess in any way.
  • The same space or the room should be used for all the sessions to bring about certain bit of uniformity in the practice. It becomes easier to concentrate for the kids and even for the adults when the same space is used for all sessions. This is the same principle that is followed in the practice of meditation.
  • Each session should be followed with a group activity like a short discussion or drawing or painting of the experiences during the session.
  • Each child should be encouraged to talk about his experiences. The shy ones may need to be motivated more to come up and speak out.
  • Each child's doubt should be cleared thoroughly. The children should not be confused or unhappy when they leave the practice session.
  • It is best to let the children practice yoga nidra in a lying position with the face up and hands on the sides with palms facing up. The legs should remain a little apart. This is the Shavasana position. The muscles should be relaxed beginning with the feet and legs and attention should slowly proceed to the facial muscles.

The rotation of the consciousness can be done after a few breathing exercises which make the body feel heavy. After this the instructor can help the kids become aware of the body parts by naming them one by one and telling the kids not to move them but just be conscious of them. The instructor should also keep telling the kids to not fall asleep. By naming each and every body part in succession this can be easily achieved.

After this breath awareness can be done by telling the child to imagine breathing inside a transparent bubble or balloon. The breath monitoring can be done by telling the kids to imagine the bubble contracting every time the child breathes in and expanding every time the child breathes out. The breath can also be imagined passing in and out of the left nostril and then with the right nostril. Alternately the breath can be imagined passing in and out of the nave

The inner love visualization can be done by bringing the consciousness to the centre of the chest and imagining the heart right in the middle of the chest. Then the children should be told to keep the mouth shut and imagine breathing through the heart. The concentration on the breathing is very important and consciousness about each incoming and outgoing breath should be vigilantly kept. Then to take the imagination further the kids should be told to imagine the air they are breathing through the heart be of misty golden colour. They should then imagine this golden mist spreading all over their body. Then they should imagine all the good qualities they want in their personalities to come inside their system through this golden mist. At the same time they should also imagine all the bad traits leaving their minds and bodies. After a while of practicing the consciousness should then be directed towards the heart. The heart should be imagined as surrounded by the golden mist. Then slowly the mist should be imagined to be changing in a small golden egg. Then the egg should be imagined to break open with a small heart sitting inside the golden egg on a beautiful flower. This little heart should be imagined glowing in a bright golden light. This little heart is imagined filling out the system with immense love and feeling of well being. This feeling of love should be sent out to the world to friends and to all who need this love.

The finish can be done by imagining bringing the attention back to the body that is still lying in Shavasana. Then a resolve should be given to the self three times mentally in simple and clear words. This resolve should be allowed to sink in deep within the system. After this the body should be moved slowly and awareness about the environment should be brought back. After this the recitation of 'Om' should be done three times in a cross legged sitting position. This would conclude the practice session.

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