Below we list some of the activities developed by Growing Zen.
The Project counts on continuous monthly modules, which begin with the application of at least 03 months of activities, once or twice a week, with an average duration of 45 minutes each class. Today we already have more than 60 fun activities, able to form a full year of uninterrupted activities, where varied focuses are worked in each class.
THE MEDITATION OF PANDA - LEARNING TO BREATHE
Sit with the children in a circle or two, ask them if they know what meditation is and let them express themselves about what they think it is. After, briefly explain what meditation is, correlating with the calm and tranquility that the act of breathing brings us. Teach the correct way to sit with the crossed legs and the body with a straight column, to facilitate the traffic of the winds.
Starting the exercise, put a Panda bear under the blouse at the height of the lower belly, and teach the children to quietly take three deep breaths in silence, watching the air in and out of the nose, and the movements of the Panda Belly.
At each session of three silent breaths, we take brief breaks, talking to the children about the Panda, their incredible "big belly" when breathing, and how quiet, peaceful and playful they are and how they feel about the Panda meditation.
Then we went to meditation in pairs. Each child breathes together with the front classmate, being instructed to maintain eye contact with one another in order to maintain concentration. Little by little we alternate the doubles, until everyone has passed through them. The Panda is now placed outside the blouse in front of the child in the region of the lower abdomen and with one hand she holds the Panda's belly and the other gives the hand to whoever is in front of them and both breathe together, feeling the Panda's belly grow and shrink.
After this stage, we get up and take a little silent walk, taking a little step at a time, still watching the belly filling and emptying with Panda in it or just hugging the Pandinha.
At the end, to the sound of a quiet meditation song, we lie down with our eyes closed and we do the "Pandas balance", with the Pandas in our belly, balancing to not fall. All in silence, legs outstretched and arms stretched out beside the body on the floor. If necessary, keep a guided meditation, giving preference to be as quiet as possible. If you have several Pandas available, you can increase the challenge by putting more Pandas to be balanced on the belly.
Finishing the time, give instructions to open your eyes slowly, to move your little hands and feet, to stretch and to rise very slowly.
The time of this activity varies according to the age of the children.
Focuses Work - Learning and concepts of what meditation is; practice of full attention without movement; practice of full attention in movement; winds and conscious breathing; amorousness; visual contact; imagination.
LIKE A MOUNTAIN
Lying, we turned a mountain. A little stone ill be placed on top of our belly. We will all inhale and exhale calmly, silently, balancing the stone so it does not roll down the mountain!
As time goes by, we can increase the challenge and put more stones into balance.
Make allusion to the mountains and stones, how they are silent and quiet, just watching everything around.
Focuses: Concentration; Balance; Self Regulation Capacity.
Explain to the children what Yoga is and how the positions can help us develop a flexible and light body to play with, and a quiet and attentive mind to live happily.
Organize designs with Universal positions of Yoga made by animals. (In the "Photos" section, we have a model)
Passing through the position of all the animals, we make two silent breaths in each of them. When we undo the position, we can imitate the animals freely, their movements and sounds. After the end of all positions, we do three "Panda Meditations" together, in a circle, sitting in silence.
Focuses: Body Consciousness; Balance; Integration with Animals.
HOW DOES MY MIND WORK?
In a transparent glass or plastic container, place colored sand or other material that attaches to the background of the glass after being mixed with water (gel balls that grow in contact with water may be used).
One child at a time blends sand or gel balls in the water for a few seconds and, in silence and breathing, watches until it sits on the background of the pot. We ask the children to show us, through the experiment, "how is their mind" at that moment.
We can do a parallel between the balls going up and down in the pot, with our mind and how it gets when we feel agitated and nervous.
When we are calm and breathing the Panda meditation, everything calms down and we can see things transparently and the balls are quiet, sitting in the bottom of the pot.
Focuses: Observation; Cognitive Association; Patience; Ability to Mute.