Massage and mindfulness, in my opinion, should be taught to children as early as possible.
In India, children are massaged from very early on, and I wonder whether this is one reason for their flexibility in yoga.
Luckily, this attitude has been catching on in the West, and naturally, most children love being massaged. As an example, ‘Peaceful Touch’ is a concept that was begun by the Axelsons Institue in Stockholm, Sweden. It was intended to help and spread the effects of human touch within society, and especially aimed towards the younger generation, to reduce and prevent violence and distress.
Since its introduction into schools, it is now used by more than 10,000 trained teachers in Sweden.
Here is a touching testimonial:
“I have introduced massage in my class since the children were very busy and inattentive. The children appreciated those quiet moments very quickly . Only David couldn’t stand any physical contact, he always kept aloof, while he showed his disapproval, until one morning he came to join our session. After choosing Laura, he gently attentively massaged her. After this Laura massaged him in turn and he turned out very relaxed. David has really enjoyed that session today. Even if tomorrow he goes back to his solitude, this positive event has occurred and she will definitely repeat when he feels better”. Lieve (teacher)
Buddhists have practised mindfulness for more than 2,000 years, but the technique of focusing on the present moment has long been dismissed by scientists as new age mumbo jumbo.
Now, though, the West is finally waking up to the benefits of Eastern meditation and schools are discovering a daily dose of silent reflection can not only calm a classroom but may improve academic performance.
In recent years, medical science has discovered the extent to which mindfulness can help treat a range of mental conditions, from stress to depression. While most studies have focused on adults, new research shows mindfulness can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health and wellbeing of young people. Incredibly, neuroscientists have found that long-term practice alters the structure and function of the brain to improve the quality of both thought and feeling.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that teachers are becoming increasingly interested in the potential benefits of mindfulness for students.
Caroline Woods teaches year one and two at The Dharma primary school in Brighton and starts her class every day with a few minutes of silent mindfulness practice. She says getting the children to sit still and in silence isn’t the struggle you might imagine. Students actually look forward to a time when all they have to do is stop, be calm and listen.
We take you through a brief period of mindfulness in our tantric massage sessions. We hope that you all enjoy it and also reap the benefits.