What can Heartfulness offer to School Children?
As many of us are living lives that are evermore busy and stressed, the effects of this on the environment of our children cannot be underestimated. Along with their increased exposure to live coverage of natural (and non-natural) disasters and to graphic violence in film and on television, this can lead to feelings of anxiety and tension, which can often be manifested as restlessness, irritability and lack of focus, or even in physical ways, such as aches in the head or stomach.
Heartfulness helps children to find a much needed safe space within themselves to develop self-awareness and find calm. The following activities can be offered to children at school, according to their age:
Relaxation: A simple 5-10 minute guided relaxation that can help children to calm and refocus for the learning that follows. Having experienced this, it is common for children to request this relaxation again. It is often more effective following some gentle physical exercise, such as stretches to help children to release some of their physical tension.
Guided Visualisation: This is a longer (20-30 minutes) and deeper experience of relaxation, in which the children are talked through a calming sequence of visual imagery.
Ages 14-15 (but potentially much younger)
Heartfulness Meditation without Transmission: Children under 16 are too young to be offered meditation with transmission, but they may wish to practice the technique without the element of transmission so that they are comfortable with it if they wish to begin later. It will also make them much more able to contrast the meditation with and without transmission then. If they have experienced and enjoyed the relaxation and guided vidualisation exercises, they may request to learn this technique, even at a much younger age.
Heartfulness Meditation with Transmission: From the age of 16, children can practice the same meditation as adults, and can be introduced to it in the same way as teachers can be (see below for more details).
What can Heartfulness offer to teachers, staff and parents?
We usually begin by giving an experience of Heartfulness meditation to the teachers and other staff in the school before offering it to the children. This is so that the staff can appreciate what is being offered to the children and hopefully see the value in it.
This is in the form of a Heartfulness Introduction Workshop (the same workshop as is offered to businesses and other organisations) - which is 4 short sessions at the school, ideally on consecutive days. At the end of the workshop, the participants will be able to practice Heartfulness with transmission by themselves, and we offer ongoing support for them, at the location if possible. Pupils and students aged 16+ may also join this workshop if they wish, and parents may also be invited if that is applicable.
As part of the workshop, teachers will get an experience of the guided relaxation that the children can be offered, and on request can also be walked through a guided visualisation.
These workshops can also take place at other educational institutions such as colleges and universities.