Mini Meditators | teaching Children the Art of Stillness

In parks, on beaches and perhaps even in office cubicles around the Gold Coast you may notice chilled-out, cross-legged folks with eyes closed blissfully, faces turned toward the sky breathing deeply and slowly and with an undeniable sense of calm surrounding them. They are the meditators among us and probably the most relaxed and happy people we know.

Meditation is an ancient practice devoted to the increased health and wellbeing of those who learn it. Practiced in many forms throughout the world, meditation promotes relaxation and stillness within both the mind and the body allowing people to experience a clearer mind and increased physical and emotional health.

Meditation has become increasingly popular in Australia over the last 20 years and more recently, with a spike in health and wellness bloggers across the country, has become a mainstream practice for dealing with our fast-paced, stress-filled daily lives.

Corinna Hancock, Owner and Studio Director of Burleigh Pilates Boutique, says, “Meditation is like keeping yourself topped up so you are able to cope day to day with life and all that it throws your way. Since starting a meditation practice I’m much more patient and find that I am so much more aware of my surroundings.”

“I truly believe we don’t check in enough with how we truly feel and most people have no clue what they need to do to feel well and nurture themselves.”

Corinna opened Burleigh Pilates Boutique five years ago with the vision to create a space that incorporated the mind, body and spirit, having never previously experienced a studio that encompassed a holistic view of health. The studio not only teaches Pilates for strengthening the body but meditation classes and wellness events for strengthening and stilling the mind.

Corinna says, “I absolutely adore helping people to feel their best – both physically and mentally. The joy I feel seeing my clients’ progress is just the best feeling in the world. I’ve had so many clients (who I’m lucky enough to call friends) receive amazing benefits from training with me.”

Most recently, Corinna has added meditation classes for children to her repertoire, some of the first of their kind on the Gold Coast.

Children in the 21st century are more active and mentally strained than ever before. They attend school six hours a day and then afterward are expected to complete homework and many also attend an after school activity such as sports training, music practice or further learning of some kind.

It is a lot to ask of our future generation especially when, in general, children aren’t taught any stress release or relaxation methods and often spend their down time in front of a screen of some kind or another.

Enter Corinna. She says, “Children are exposed to so much nowadays compared to when I was a growing up. I think if I had better coping skills when I was younger I may not have carried so many anxieties and fears with me through my adult years. I have three nieces and a nephew who are my world and just seeing them navigate life and all that gets thrown at them made me realise they need skills too.”

According to Corinna, children should be taught meditation to be able to identify what makes them sad, or scared or happy and to teach them to focus their attention on the good rather than the bad. Meditation makes them be more aware of what they are feeling, and gives them ownership of those feelings. Being able to just sit, and enjoy the stillness and not be bombarded with technology in this world we live in is vital.

She says, “I would love to run weekly classes in schools and see it become part of the curriculum. I’m also writing a workshop for parents to teach them how to incorporate it into their life on a daily basis. Everyone needs to do it – parents included, so a calm relaxed home only benefits everyone – not just the kiddies. I’m also planning on holding weekly classes at the studio.”

With an extensive array of practitioners by her side, Corinna has many resources to offer both parents and children who are curious about or wish to start practicing meditation and believes it is a necessary edition to families who wish to bring a little more stillness and understanding into their busy lives.

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