Family Activity: Animal Movements
We don’t need to sit still to be mindful. Any movement can be mindful when we pay attention to the experience in a gentle, friendly way. This is great news for busy bodies of any age! We know that our children learn, grow, and delight in life when they get to move around playfully, and we grownups often need movement to settle our systems, too.
We encourage you to do this next activity with your children, yet also take care of your own body; please don’t make any movements that cause pain or discomfort. You can watch this video and practice together: [Waiting to record Miriam for this video.]
Mariam Gates writes children’s books that encourage mindful movement. She ends each book with a beautiful, short guided visualization. Here are two choice—one for morning, one for evening—for you and your children:
Adult Practice: restorative movement + movement with breath
After a long day, our bodies are often exhausted and depleted. Sometimes we make habitual sedentary choices (e.g., watching TV, scrolling through our phones) from this overtired place, yet it can be restorative and nourishing to move our bodies instead. Stretching can be an act of kindness to ourselves and our families in these moments. Moving with the breath has a natural calming effect. Try these exercises with an open, curious mind, and remember: there’s no way to get it right or wrong. Take care of yourself as you move; modify these practices to accommodate any injuries or illness.
[Waiting to record Miriam instructing a stretching/restorative movement video.]
move your body: elongate, stretch, and breathe.