School starts finally and all of us are getting busy again. No matter how busy we are, it’s important to take a break. Below is a simple exercise called ‘squared meditation’, which we can practise with children to relax and learn to stay focused.
Let’s find a quiet place and sit comfortably. When you close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and focus on your breathing. When you are ready, breathe in slowly and count ‘1-2-3-4’ as if you are drawing a square. As you are breathing out, count ‘1-2-3-4’ and visualize drawing a square again. Do this slowly and gently, but don’t struggle if you can’t hold the breath for too long. Practise this until you feel you’ve done enough then take a few extra deep breaths and bring your attention back to the room. I recommend five to ten minutes to begin with.
If you are practising with older children, you may verbally count ‘1-2-3-4’ slowly in order to lead the exercise, adjusting to a speed that all of you feel comfortable with. If you are doing this with younger children who may not be able to visualize shapes, you can aid them with pens and paper. Tell them you are playing a game where they have to compete to see who can draw a square as slowly as possible, whilst not forgetting to match with the breathing. It maybe a challenge at first but once you get started, you will see how quickly they become focused. This may also help them to improve concentration at school eventually.
Have a nice school year!