May 15, 2017
Put on your helmet and hop on your bike for a ride around in your imagination! Today we’ll focus on visualization and movement as we imagine our journey, ending with a head-to-toe relaxation exercise while we consider how we are all connected to each other and the earth.
A mindfulness story suitable for children aged 5 – 12 years old.
Hello everyone! I’m so glad you’re here.
It’s spring here so that means that we’re outside almost every day afterschool because my kids love to ride their bikes around our neighbourhood. Do you like to ride bikes?
Today for our relaxation story we’re going to head out on our bikes, off for some fun and adventure! Are you ready? Let’s get our helmets on and get ready to cycle!
Have a seat on the floor, crossing your legs if that’s comfortable. Sit up tall. Lift your chin so that it is parallel to the ground. Close your eyes. Breathe.
As I do the Calm Down Countdown, try to visualize the path we’re going to cycle on. Some of you may imagine a dirt path through the green woods. Others may think of the sidewalk in a familiar neighbourhood. Maybe some of you will imagine a gravel trail through a park.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Let’s keep our eyes closed. We’re going to relax today but work our imaginations! So let’s start by imagining our bicycle. You can think about your own bike, or maybe a different one. What colour is it? Does it have a horn? A basket? Or handlebar streamers?
We have our helmets on already, so let’s hop on our bikes now. Pretend you’re holding onto the handlebars and lift your arms out straight in front of you. Now let’s imagine that we’re on a trail that’s twisting left and right. Move your hands backwards and forwards like you’re steering. Take big breaths in through your nose and long breaths out from your mouth.
Put your arms down now, placing your hands on your knees. Make sure you’re keeping your posture straight.
Let’s imagine that we’re going up a hill now. Do you see it there in front of you? What does it look like? It is a grassy hill with a thin flattened path carved in it by hundreds of bikes and footsteps before you? Is it up a steep sidewalk? Hold that picture in your head as you begin to lean backwards from the hips now, keeping your back straight. Lean as far back as you comfortably can without losing your balance. And come back to centre.
We’ve made it to the top of the hill! Take a moment here to look at the view, imagining what you can see from up here.
Alright, it’s time to cycle down the hill. Sit up tall, take a deep breath in and let it out as you lean forward from the hips. Keep your back straight as you lean forward. Imagine the wind on your face as your bike speeds down the hill, faster and faster, until it begins to slow down as the ground levels. Now move back to the centre. Wonderful!
Now we’re really moving along on the bike trail. We’ll need to make a couple of turns up ahead. Do you know the hand signals to use when you want to make a turn? Knowing and using the hand signals are part of bike safety because it lets other cyclists and drivers know where you’re going to move.
Let’s take that next left up ahead. We’ll let the people behind us know we mean to turn left by sticking out your left arm straight out to the left side. Let’s hold it there for five seconds… Great! You can put your arm down now.
There’s a right turn ahead now. There are two ways to signal that you’re going to turn right. You can either stick out your right arm straight out to your right side. Let’s give that a try now. The other way is to stick out your left arm, but this time bend your forearm at the elbow up towards the sky so that your arm is making an “L” shape. Give that a try.
Which did you prefer? Choose one right turn signal and do it again now. Hold it for five seconds… Very nice, you can put your arm down.
Hey, there’s a perfect place to have a rest. We’ll stop there so let’s make the stop signal. Stick out your left arm straight out to the side again. Now bend your forearm down at the elbow, pointing it towards the ground. Your arm should look a bit like a number “7.” Okay, you can put your arm down again.
We can’t finish a relaxation story about bike riding without using our legs to cycle! Take the next couple of moments to lie down on the floor or on your bed. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in and out. Another breath in and out. One more time. Good.
Lift up your legs up so that you’re ready to peddle. And start peddling! Peddle on your own for five breaths.
When you’re done, pull your knees to your chest. Do you feel a little stretch in you back?
Gently lower your legs to the ground. Take a moment to make any adjustments to make sure you’re comfortable.
Before we go, we’re going to try to relax our bodies from head to toe. Close your eyes.
Let’s start at the top. Every time we get to a part of the body, try to focus on that one part and let it totally relax, like it’s just melting into the ground. I know that might sound a little weird, but trust me, it’ll feel really great!
First, relax your head. Feel it getting heavier against the ground. Relax your face too. This might mean letting your mouth relax too and drop open a little.
Now let your neck relax.
Your shoulders. You can shift them a little to make yourself more comfortable.
Your arms are next. If you’re tensing (or tightening) them up, let them drop.
Your hands are next. Make tight fists and squeeze. Now let them go.
Keep everything we’ve just relaxed nice and loose.
Now we’re moving on to your stomach. Feel it move up and down as you breathe.
Hips now. Let them sink deeper.
Thighs…relax your knees…and your legs. Let your legs fall completely to the ground.
And now your feet. Flex them so that your toes are pulling towards your head…and now let them go.
Feel your entire body sink a little more into the ground. Think about the earth just beneath you. You were connected to the earth as you rode your bike up and down its hills and through the wind and past the trees. And now you’re even more connected to the earth, as you sink even deeper. You’re connected to those around you, and even people across the world, who are all walking on the same earth as you, breathing the air like you. You’re even connected to the animals and plants, all who need the same things as us to live: water, air, food, warmth.
Let’s remember that as we finish and move on with our day. Wherever you go next, whoever you speak to, whatever you do, keep in mind that connection that you have with everyone and with the world. Remember that you’re not isolated, which just means alone. If you need someone to talk to, reach out. If you think someone might need a friend, spend some time with them.
Here’s a nice quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goeth that I’ll end with today: “In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.”
We’re all connected and I hope that gives you a sense of peace. So until next time, peace out. And peace within.
AThis Peace Out episode was written and narrated by Chanel Tsang and produced by Rob Griffiths. Thank you for listening.
I wanted to say hello and thank you to Miss Rodrigues’ class in the United States for listening to Peace Out together. They posted a great photo of the class relaxing to a Peace Out story on Twitter. I hope you enjoyed today’s story and that you thank Miss Rodrigues for carving out class time for you to pause, breathe, and relax! If you have any comments, photos, or questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @peaceoutpodcast, or on our Facebook page, @bedtimefm. Thanks again!
"Odyssey" and "Garden Music"Kevin MacLeodLicensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/