Guided visualization: a peaceful river

article from the World Family Yoga newsletter, summer 2007

In each issue of our newsletter we've decided to include a seasonal guided visualization for you to enjoy with your children. This summer, if you aren't able to join us on our rafting trip, you can take your own little journey in your imagination.

a river scenePicture yourself sitting by the side of a river. The sun is shining and it feels good on your skin. Enjoy the deep breaths into your belly. It is good to be alive...Let your mind focus on the breathing. Any thoughts that arise are like water lilies on the surface of the river. Calmly watch those thoughts float by and return to the rhythm of your breath. No where to go, nothing to do.

Suddenly a splash nearby calls your attention. There is a river otter playing around the rocks. It has noticed you and with it's playful manner seems to be inviting you in for a swim. Now you are ready to put on your flotation device and slip into the clear water. The two of you have a deep eye to eye stare and you feel as though you have gazed into those eyes before. There is a beautiful and sweet connection and you feel at peace in the water, at home floating lightly. The otter sweetly slinks off in search of lunch and you are left alone, free and happy, floating on your back, gazing at the sky above you. Fluffy white clouds drift past - and look! A bald eagle soars over your head. It circles three times and flies over the mountain ridge. Strong and sturdy, powerful and graceful. You are floating freely, safe and warm, happy and content, drifting down stream on this summer day. Back to the breath, thoughts like water lilies floating by...

You can continue on with the meditation or let your child quietly create their own ending. I often use this type of visualization with my kids after reading a bedtime story or when we just need some quiet time during the day. We would love to hear from you ways you like to meditate or create visualizations with your children.