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by Jennifer Cohen Harper
“Tense and Let Go: Yoga Nidra” is a sample activity from the book Little Flower Yoga for Kids and is reprinted here with permission from NewHarbinger Publications, Inc.
In yoga nidra, the practitioner is at rest yet still consciously awake. This version makes the practice accessible and engaging for children.
1. Lie on your back.
2. Spend a few moments paying attention to your breath.
3. Scrunch your toes as tight as you can, hold them for a second or two, then let them rest. Now tense both feet, and when you let them relax, imagine they are very heavy.
4. Squeeze all the muscles in your legs. You might find your legs lift off the ground a tiny bit. After a few seconds, let your legs relax, and feel them settle comfortably into the ground.
5. Pull your belly button in for a few seconds, then let your belly get very soft. Relax your back into the floor.
6. Scrunch your shoulders up to your ears, then relax them down.
7. Make your hands into fists, and squeeze all the muscles in your arms. Like your legs, your arms may come off the ground a little. Now rest your arms by your sides with your palms facing up.
8. Close your eyes tightly, scrunch up your nose, and squeeze your lips together. Hold your face like this for a few seconds, and then let it relax. Take a big breath in then let out a deep sigh through your mouth.
9. Now pay attention to your whole body. If any part isn’t relaxed, tense it up, then let go, until you’ve relaxed each part of you.
Adapted from Little Flower Yoga for Kids by Jennifer Cohen Harper, MA, E-RYT. © New Harbinger Publications, 2014. Reprinted with permission. www.newharbinger.com