Qigong walking meditation is a great way to help kids–and grownups–find calm and joy.
During my school days, our home would be bustling with activity. Since I grew up at my Grandmother’s place, we had lots of house guests over, visiting for the summer vacation. Every day was a festival—food, people, outings, lots of cousins in a range of age groups. Those were the days!
And guess which part of our “population” needed managing? The kids. There were as many as 20 in the house. Hyperactive. Over-excited. Driving the adults crazy in a good-natured way. And having a good time. It was just that the adults couldn’t always keep up—after all, they had housework and other stuff to do.
My uncles and aunts were very resourceful though. Before the relatives descended on us, they’d sit and have a friendly meeting about the menu for those two months, the activities for the kids, who would do what and duties would be delegated. Thinking back, I admire them for having the foresight to plan. They also planned shopping as every guest received a gift when they left.
So one of the things to keep the kids occupied, besides free play, organized games, drawing, sketching, small household chores, etc. was prayer. My Mom taught us a meditation of sorts with breathing exercises. Of course, most of us ended up giggling and whispering, especially when someone farted, but that was fun. She took us for walks and picnics. Also made us all do a bit of school work – math and essay writing.
Much later, I saw her doing this at school with her class of students.
Today, I know what she did is called Qigong Walking Meditation, but back then, we had no idea that it had a name.
Qigong is a beautiful healing technique that shows you how to use your posture, breath and intention and feel balanced in the present moment. It involves meditation, controlled breathing and movement exercises.
When you feel the need to calm down, or have kids who need calming, this particular walking mediation works like a charm. It makes you aware of what’s happening within you and around you. When kids practice this, they learn how to find that calm place within themselves when they need to. They understand how the body and mind are connected, as they learn how to connect with the world around them.
Qigong Walking Meditation focuses on heart health. During this meditation, the heart releases negative energy and recharges itself with positive energy, resulting in a sense of calm, joy and vitality.
Your kids will love Qigong Walking Meditation and just the warm up will calm them down when they’re hyperactive or unmanageable. Just be prepared for a lot of laughter and giggling.
How to do Qigong Walking Meditation
The warm up
- Start by stretching.
- Shake your arms and legs and tap yourself all over.
- Slowly, swing your arms together.
- Raise your heels when your arms go forward.
- Bounce down on your heels when your arms swing back.
- Smile, have fun when you do this.
- Breathe as usual.
- Visualize the tension leaving your body and going into the earth.
Do this for 5-10 minutes.
Then start walking.
- Breathe deeply through your nose.
- When you inhale, let your belly rise
- When you exhale, use your stomach muscles to gently pull it in.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed, let your arms sway gently.
- With each step, be aware of your foot touching the earth.
- When you inhale, imagine energy from the earth entering your body through your feet, to your belly.
- When you exhale, picture your tension leaving you.
- Feel the energy in the palms of your hands as it travels to your chest and down to your belly.
- Smile, and keep walking at a comfortable pace.
- Feel the loving energy around you from everything you can see and feel.
- What can you hear?
- Which sounds are close?
- Which sounds are far away?
- How does the air feel to you?
- How does it smell?
If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the present moment.
Laughter is the best medicine
- Arrange yourselves in a circle.
- Put your hands on your lower tummy and laugh.
- Yes, a BIG belly laugh.
This is especially easy with kids.
In Qigong, laughter is referred to as the second heart. The pumping action on the diaphragm when you laugh enhances the blood flow in the body.
Laughing is also a wonderful way to let go of pent up steam and impatience from the heart.
Visualize exhaling impatience and tension when you make the HA HA HA sound. You’re welcome to make any other sound that appeals to you.
Emperor Walks, Heart Opens
This one is especially for those of us who work, hunched over a computer or a desk. We need to open that heart, right? Let’s do it!
- Clasp your hands, fingers linked, behind your back.
- Stand up straight.
- Looking forward, walk for a couple of minutes
- Feel like an Emperor surveying his kingdom.
- Breathe as usual.
- Imagine energy flowing from heaven through the top of your head, all the way down your body.
- Now walk normally, conscious of everything you see/feel/hear/smell.
- Take a deep breath.
- Inhale love and joy into your heart.
- Rub it gently.
- Imagine your heart bright red and smiling.
- Exhale, making a long “hawww” sound.
- Imagine impatience and tension leaving your heart and disappearing into the earth.
Do this twice.
To finish up, do the following:
- Stand still.
- Join your hands as if in prayer.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe slowly deeply – belly breath.
- Say thanks to your heart for the work it does, for helping you make wise decisions.
- Imagine love and patience radiating from your heart to the rest of your body.
- Conclude by sending a blessing of love to someone.
While the instructions seem longish, they are quite simple, as you can see.
Do try this. With kids, when possible.
Enjoy the peace, joy, and calm.