Nova Scotia

Kids at the heart of a new meditation program in Sydney

Sydney instructor says meditation is the focus but science and baking are also part of the fun.

Goal is to provide young children with important life skills and to reduce stress

A Sydney meditation instructor says it was the parents in her classes who gave her the idea of creating a meditation program for children.

"After every class I always have a parent approach me and say, I wish I had this when I was younger," said Lori Digou-Westbury, who is launching the class for kids this Sunday. 

The program is for children ages five to 11 and runs for four weeks each Sunday for an hour and a half. The cost is $130 for the four weeks.

Digou-Westbury will use games and visualization techniques to demonstrate the mechanics of meditation. She'll also use science to explain what happens in the brain when a person focuses on their breathe.

Coping skills

Alana Coady enrolled her five-year old daughter Alex. She sees meditation as an essential coping skill. 

"We're living in such a busy world that we don't take time for ourselves," said Coady. "So if we can implement people taking time for themself right from the get-go, it's going to help her with stress management in the future."

Coady said she's also hoping that she'll be able to get Alex to meditate at home. 

"I think it is something that's up and coming in our culture, so I want her to get a handle on it at a young age," said Coady.

Digou-Westbury said children will bake during some of the classes. Another activity will be to fill a bottle with water, add sparkles and shake it up while they dance. Then they'll sit and watch the sparkles slowly sway and settle in the bottle. 

"So when they're out in the world and they're having a moment when they're feeling very frustrated and they'll remember, 'Oh my mind is like the sparkles right now, what can I do to settle myself?'"