Why Teach Mudras To Kids?
Children love mudras! Many children and people around the globe use mudras. Mudras (pronounced moo-drah) are usually practiced with yoga, breathing exercises, relaxation or meditation. Mudras can be used for self-regulation and body awareness and are typically and can be done anytime and anywhere.
What Is A Mudra?
Mudras are simple hand gestures that tune us into the subtle energies of the body. They are yoga for your hands. Research shows us that mudras engage certain areas in the brain, creating a brain-body connection. Different areas of the hands are connected with different areas of the brain and body. When children place their hands in different hand positions or mudras it can activate a certain state of mind. Therefore, mudras can positively affect how your child feels. Mudras energize, focus and calm the body which makes them a great tool for children to help regulate how they are feeling.
Ways To Practice Mudras With Kids
Ways to use mudras are limitless! Used with yoga poses, breathing exercises or relaxation. Use a focusing mudra at their desk before a test to focus and feel calm & confident before taking a test. Use a calming mudra when they are scared. My daughter has a hard time with takeoffs and landings on a plane, and we travel quite a bit. She has realized that doing an alternating finger press mudra using words of affirmation helps calm her nerves when in flight. Use a relaxing mudra combined with a breath after a rough day to chill out.
What Does A Mudra Look Like?
Here are 5 examples of Mudras we use. Give them a try!
Peace Fingers Mudra or Prana Mudra:
Bring together the tips of the ring and little fingers together with the thumb. Try holding your hands in Peace Mudra while holding your arms up in Goddess arms taking several deep breaths and repeat “May all beings be happy.” Take three breaths. This mudra symbolizes positivity and happiness and gives a boost of energy.
We used this mudra in our “It’s All Funny & Games” Lesson Plan.
Kindness Mudra or Lotus Mudra:
Begin by pressing the base of the hands, the pinky fingers and the thumbs together. Allow the index, middle and ring finger float outwards to represent the petals of the lotus flower. Have the kids imagine kind thoughts or kind gestures in the center of the flower. How will they shine these kind thoughts and gestures out into their day, to their class, to their family or to their community today? This mudra provides an opening to release and accept kindness. It also helps to calm and ground.
We used this mudra in this month’s “Reach for the Stars: outer space kids yoga” Lesson Plan.
Bring your hands to your heart and create a shape of a heart with your hands. You can use your breath with this mudra. As you inhale, open up your hands opening up your heart and as you exhale close your hands to form the shape of the heart again.
We used this mudra in our “Love & Heart Yoga for Kids” Lesson Plan.
Owl Eyes or Gyan Mudra:
Touch the tip of your index fingers and your thumbs together. Make owl eyes. What can you see?
Now turn your hands up and rest them on your knees if you’re sitting. This mudra will help you concentrate and clear your mind so it’s easy to learn new things. You can use it to calm down whenever you’re feeling tense. At home or at school. It’s also the perfect bedtime mudra if you’re having a hard time falling asleep.
We will use this mudra in next month’s “Guided By The Light Of the Moon” Lesson Plan
Simply bring your palms together at the midline. This mudra is grounding and integrates both sides of the brain. Namaste Hands help with balance and focus. Holding the hands at heart center when balancing in tree or airplane helps children to balance and is easier than reaching the arms above the head. It can also be done as a greeting or gesture to begin and end a yoga class. This is also a popular meditating hand position.
Teaching mudras to children helps them feel empowered, by giving them a single therapeutic tool they can use in times of stress. Practice them anytime, anywhere and often to instill peace and happiness in your child.