The words “meditation or mindfulness” seem to be the ones triggering the most confusion and concern. Some people believe that meditation is all about spirituality and religious beliefs and for this reason parents worry about their children meditating in class. This misconception of what meditation is really about is the cause of some resistance to kids participating in yoga classes. However, what meditation is trying to teach us is to live in the present moment, to enjoy the here and now, not worry about the past or the future. It is a way to calm our hectic mind that is constantly rushing from one thought to the next, not allowing us to enjoy the present moment that we are living. It is a way to slow down and unwind the body and the mind!
When we are very tired because of all the physical activities that make up our day, it is really nice to just relax – laying down, taking a nice warm bath, receiving a massage or taking a nap. All these things allow some down time for our body, helping us regain some energy to begin our activities all over again. Well, just like the body, our mind also needs down time. We help our mind receive this down time through meditation or mindfulness, where we can concentrate on just one thing at a time (be it an object, a word, our breath, etc.), allowing our mind to slow down and rest.