by Marni Levitt – Nov.8, 2017
For my own personal mind-body wellness practice, I sit on the couch in the morning for about half an hour to meditate, some days I also do a few yoga postures, and some days I swim (which is meditative, rhythmic and regulates my breathing). I also attend some mindfulness groups when I have time. I do my best to notice my footsteps when I am walking wherever I need to go during the day, and to notice the taste and texture of my food when I am eating. If I notice I am lost in thought, I gently bring my attention back to the activity at hand.
When I lead programs in schools, in the community and with families, I find that people are always wanting to know what online resources are available to continue with mindfulness practise on an ongoing basis. Its good to get a little boost of support, to keep you going, motivated and informed. Finding the right resources and supports is the key to a sustainable practice that will make a big difference in your life!!!
Here are are a few sites that I have used over the years as a teacher, or that I have heard about. Each of them offers something different! I will keep my ears open and let you know when I find more!
GoNoodle: This is my favourite! https://www.gonoodle.com/ offers movement and mindfulness for the classroom and for home. You can sign up for free as a parent or educator with your email address. From the main page, click on ‘categories’, then you can find the ‘mindfulness’ section, or the ‘sensory and motor skills section’ etc…
There are so many health benefits to physical activity and exercise, as well as to relaxation, mindfulness and breathing. This site offers the best of both worlds (most similar to the programming I offer!!) The videos are amazing, engaging and fun – and there is SUCH variety, with more energetic, upbeat videos and songs, to more relaxing and calm guided visualization and meditation. I have seen teachers use these videos in class, with a lot of success. Because some people feel they aren’t musical, these videos are a way to offer a musical experience for kids that they can move along to.
Cosmic Kids Yoga: You can sign up for free to the YouTube channel.
There are lots of fun, engaging stories, songs, games and activities that kids can follow along with and do stretches and poses. The colours are bright, the sets for the video are elaborate and exciting, and the leader is engaging and animated. The activities are simple and easy to follow/. I find kids (usually younger kids) love it!
Patti Shukla Music: You can sign up for free to the YouTube channel. There are some great playlists there! I often use the whole playlist while teaching.
Her material isn’t necessarily designed for mindfulness, but the blend of music and movement is wonderful in getting that mind-body connection happening! They are all action songs, which means the lyrics she sings guides the kids in movement and actions that go along with the music. Great exercise for the brain and body! I find teachers and kids both love her songs. I find them enjoyable to listen to!! (which isn’t always the case for kids music LOL). As a songwriter, I find her songs are well-written and offer a lovely blend of melody, rhythm and dynamics (loud and soft). They are acoustic songs she plays on guitar, and they have been recorded and produced beautifully, along with other instruments. I have used her material over and over again in teaching young children.
Calm.com Kids: If you go to the main website https://www.calm.com/ you can sign up and try out some sample guided mindfulness sessions for free. To find the kids programming, you click on ‘meditate’ at the top, the scroll all the way down to ‘Calm Kids’ – this is a paid program: you can subscribe to different packages. I found the free guided mindfulness sessions are relaxing and soothing. I have not yet paid in order to try the kids content. I would love to hear what you think!