Seeds of Mindfulness

This activity works on visual, memory, alertness, following directions, teamwork and attention, motor skills, somatic reactions and verbal skills.

Do it in either small or large groups or in pairs. This can be done in an individual session of therapist and student or in a classroom variation. The goals for this activity are:
•  Engage in a quiet activity and feel somatic responses.
•  Focus and observe awareness coming through the body.
•  Notice wanting to move towards (attracted or reaching).
•  Become aware of wanting to move away (pulling or retracting).
•  Put your observation into a present moment response.
•  Compare thoughts and feelings before after movement.

Mindful of My Reactions #1: Moving Towards or Away
•  Look at pictures or a story that portray different emotional states: happy, sad, fearful, worried, safe, brave, light, and dark.
•  Choose images of nature, objects, action, animals, or people.
•  Invite children to say what they notice. (Colors, objects, etc.).
•  Ask the students these questions:
What do you see that you want to move towards? (Reach)
What do you see that you feel neutral about?
What do you see that you want to move away from? (Pull)
How do I feel when I look at the picture?
•  Invite students to take five deep breaths slowly inhaling and exhaling.
•  Practice a yoga sequence: Warrior II, Triangle, Tree pose.
•  Get on hands and knees. Do a crawl movement.
•  Give directions for the Cat and Cow poses (See below).

Mindful of My Reactions #2: Moving Towards or Away
•  Resume sitting.
•  Ask the children to pretend that they are reaching for something.
•  Pretend to pull away from something.
•  Discuss which movement they like better.
•  Discuss how the movements feel different in the body.

The Cat Pose
•  Begin on hands and knees.
•  Bow the head down, chin in towards the chest.
•  Exhale into the pose.
•  Round the back up into a dome shape the way a cat stretches.

The Cow Pose
•  Inhale
•  Let the chest sink in towards the floor, raising the chin up, let the head go back and look up.
•  Repeat Cat and Cow five times slowly.

The Golden Ray Somatization
•  Invite the children to stand. (You may wish to do this seated if needed).
•  Begin the Golden Ray meditation.
•  Sense your legs and feet.
•  Place your hands on your hips.
•  Feel the bones of the hips.
•  Imagine and sense the hip bones connecting to the knees and the heels.
•  Imagine a column of golden light going down through the top of the head, the spine, the legs, the feet, down into the center of the earth.
•  Feel this sensation grounding the body as you yield into the earth.
•  Take three deep breaths with this image.

Mindful of My Reactions #3: Body Cues and Feelings
Present the pictures from the earlier exercise:
•  Invite the children to look at the pictures again.
•  Ask the students: “Do you notice anything about the picture that you didn’t see before? Where in your body do you feel or notice your reaction?
•  Have any of your feelings changed?
•  Notice if your mind feels quieter and your body more able to concentrate.”
•  Discuss if the movement and the visualization helped.
•  Focus on how you feel after these exercises.