Spending time with family and friends is a great time to practice mindfulness. Here are three games, plus 6/ 1-minute meditations you can do anywhere, anytime.
What you’ll need:
- Jenga game
- Set of yoga, mindfulness, table talk…cards
How to play?
Set up the game. Shuffle all cards together. Turn pile upside down and place near the game.
- Traditional rules of Jenga apply. Do not choose tiles from the top 3 tiers.
- Choose a tile. Breathe in. Remove tile carefully. Breathe out.
- Place tile on top of the tower.
- Flip top card. Everyone completes the designated action. If a yoga pose is chosen, take a breath in and out in the pose. Do both sides, if needed.
Card Deck Suggestions:
- A Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Grounding, Soothing, Coping and Regulating Cards by Dr. Karen Treisman
- A Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Sentence Completion and Feelings Cards by Dr. Karen Treisman
- Creative Yoga Games for Kids (Vol 1 & 2) by Yoga Education Resources
- Mindful Kids: 50 Activities For Calm, Focus & Peace by Whitney Stewart
- The Go Yoga! Card Set: 50 Everyday Yoga Poses for Calm, Happy, Healthy Kids by Emma Hughes
- Yoga Pretzel Cards by Tara Gruber and Leah Kalish
- Yoga Warrior Cards: Radiant Child Yoga Games by Shakta Khalsa
- Another mindful activity: Make your own deck. Draw favorite yoga poses, “this or that’s”, etc.
What you’ll need:
- Yoga Memory Set (of course you can make you’r own too…which could be a totally other mindful activity. Everyone designs two yoga/mindfulness activity cards….. They can be similar pictures or even two aspects of the same idea…which could lead to cross matching….oh! So many options)
How to play?
Mix-up tiles/cards. Set up game. Traditional memory has 36 matching pairs for a total of 72 tiles. Reducing the number of tiles used can make the game easier and more fun if needed for special adaptation. .
- Traditional Memory rules apply.
- When a pair is found, all participants practice the activity.
- Breathe in and out in each pose. Do both sides of a 2-sided pose.
Found Object Mandala
A mandala is a series of concentric circles, beginning with a central concept, an then radiating out to the outer rim with repeating shapes, colors or designs.
What you’ll need:
- Nik-Naks, Bric-A Brac, screws, nuts and bolts, pins, jacks, toy cars, ABC blocks, sea glass, beach rocks, or head outside for a walk and collect leaves, acorns, stones….everything and anything that has multiples.
- A large open space, maybe covered with a table cloth.
How to play:
- First, look around the space you are in and find mandalas, for example, a clock face, the ceiling sprinklers, window moldings, etc. Think of mandalas outside, for example, the sun, a flower, a hubcap, etc.
- Work as a team to build the mandala.
- For fun, take photos throughout the process. This makes a nice flip book or picture video or even a nice picture for next years holiday card.
6/ 1-Minute Meditations:
- Whistle Breathing: Whistling is breath and music combined that you create with the lips. It is very powerful because it relaxes inside and out. It creates inner balance.
A. To do it on the inhalation: pucker your lips, concentrate on the third eye point, and inhale through the mouth making a high-pitched whistle. Exhale through the nose. Focus the third-eye point on the sound of the whistle on the inhalation and on the soft sound of the breath through the nose on the exhalation.
B. To do it on the exhalation, reverse the procedure: inhale through the nose and exhale through the puckered lips with a whistle. Focus the eyes at the third eye point and focus the third-eye point on the sound of the whistle on the inhalation and on the soft sound of the breath through the nose on the exhalation.
- Tongue Action Meditation A: Stick your tongue: left, right, in, out. You will start to laugh!
- Tongue Action meditation B: Roll your tongue on the inside of the mouth around the gum and lips (not the teeth) as if you are wiping peanut butter off from the inside of your mouth. Can switch directions 1/2 way through, if desired.
- Kiss the air! Pucker up and kiss the air. Or possibly kiss the left palm and then the right, back and forth.
- “Z” Stand: Balance on toes; bend knees slightly as if to start sitting down; arms out, parallel to the ground, palms facing down; Chin gently dropped; Eyes 9/10th’s closed; Breath-of-fire. Short sniff in and short puff out with the nose or circled lips. Focus on the navel point.
- 4-Stroke Breathe: Emergency calming activity! Breathe in 4 strokes with the nose; Breathe out all in one stoke, to the count of 4,3,2,1. (the exhale can be through the nose or with the mouth).