In our Bloom Yoga program, we talk a lot about mindfulness. Simply stated, mindfulness is paying attention to one specific thing in the present moment. But why would we want to practice mindfulness? And how can we practice it?
The five senses help us to make observations and collect information from our environment. By utilizing this, we can start to connect to what is happening right now in this moment. This helps the mind from continually reliving the past or being anxious about the future, which is a really essential skill in times of stress!
But how can we do this in a fun way for Kids and Adults? Here are several ways…
Games and activities that include the senses
Some of our videos on Bloom Yoga’s YouTube playlist could be a great resource for this!
You can use any food for this! However, we love to use the little Cutie oranges for this activity. Give all participants an orange. First, have the person observe the orange, the color, the shape, the pores. Second have them feel the outside of the orange, texture, temperature, peel their orange and notice the feeling inside and outside the peel. Third, have them smell their orange. What happens to your mouth when you smell the fresh orange? Does your mouth start to water? Notice that your body is already reacting without even eating! Fourth, perhaps take a small bite and move it around in your mouth. Notice the taste. Slowly eat your orange and pay attention to it slowly and mindfully.
Image from Mindful Kids Miami
Take a walk outside. Notice all your senses. What do you hear? What are some things you see? What do you smell? Does it create a taste in your mouth, similar to smelling an orange? Can you touch a tree, pinecone, or blade of grass? what does it feel like? Perhaps journal or draw about your nature walk and all your senses afterward.
Rock Detective (good for groups of 3 or more)
Have everyone pick out a rock (adult included), either store bought or from outside. Sit in a circle on the floor and have everyone place their rock in front of them. First, start by just looking at your rock. Have them notice colors, shapes, and designs. Next, have them pick up their rock and feel it. Does is feel rough, smooth, hard, cold, etc.? Have them listen to their rock, maybe tap it against the ground or something nearby, what does it sound like? Hollow, dense, loud, soft? Have them smell their rock. Does it have a smell? After using their senses, have them place the rock in a box or bag and close it. Have the kids draw their rock on piece of paper. When finished drawing, place all the rocks in the center of the circle, have each of them, one by one, go and find their rock. The adult’s rock should be the last one left! But it’s ok if it’s not. You were still successful in promoting mindfulness!
Pay attention to the voices, background noise, and what you feel in your body. Where is your body connected to the earth? Just utilize your senses to be present and rest your body. We posted a video of a guided relaxation HERE.
We hope some of these ideas help you to be a little more mindful today.
For more information about Bloom Yoga, visit our webpage.
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