Running meditation for kids should be done at a comfortable pace without any sense of competition. Rather it should be viewed as an individual activity even if a group of kids are running together around the track at school or the park.
The reason for kids to keep at a non-competitive pace is that their bodies are still forming and they don't need the hard impact of fast running that teens and adults can tolerate.
The benefits for kids doing a running meditation are, amongst others:
1. Stress relief.
2. Breathing in more oxygen and exhaling more carbon dioxide.
3. Developing the synapse between the right and left brain from the cross-crawling action. That means when the right foot steps forward the left arm swings forward, and just the opposite of when the left foot steps forward the right arm swings forward.
Another big plus for kids is making running a meditative time to think about any problems they may be having with relationships or school work. Just this little space of time by themselves is like a mini vacation from the regular routine; a time of refreshment.
When the kids get going in their slow running pattern there is time to think - the running has become automatic and this frees up the mind to work on planning how to improve a relationship that is causing grief.
To begin - start out walking, swinging arms back and forth as described above. After a minute walking it is time to step up the pace to the slow running. The total time spent running could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes or more, depending on the individual's endurance and time constraints.
The arms in running are held a bit differently than in walking. In walking the arms are almost stretched out while swinging back and forth, but in running the arms pump and are held bent at the elbow with the back and forth motion still coming from the shoulders. Walking and running use the same pattern of arm and leg opposition as described in number 3. above.
Running meditation has the benefit that it does not look like something different than the other kids are doing. No one knows the running session is a time for peace and quiet; a space to think over stressful situations in a relaxed way, and let some answers come to mind.
Article and photo of child running by Susan Kramer
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Meditation for Teens and Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.