Jenny Schatzle

Jessie Kohn Ziva Kids

Parenting Tools to Develop Emotionally Resilient Children through Mindfulness & Meditation

EPISODE: 58   |    DATE: September 9, 2021

“When we meditate we don’t immediately become bliss bunnies who never get frustrated again. But what it does do, I think, is that it teaches children that who they are is who they’re meant to be and that they are perfectly whole as the people that they are.”

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Key Takeaways

Can you tell everybody what Ziva Kids is and how it came to be?

  • Ziva Kids is an online, completely digital meditation training for kids. 
  • It’s targeted for ages 4-14. 
  • And we have 2 programs: 
    • We have PLAY which is our younger age group for ages 4-8.
    • And play is very – as the name suggests – play based. That’s how young kids learn. 
    • And so play is very much about movement and incorporating playfulness and fun so the kids can really understand these concepts and use them in a practical way.
    • PLAY features Z bunny who you just mentioned. 
    • He’s a super fun, very cute Sesame Street type puppet. And he is a bunny. 
    • And he’s Emily’s co-host. 
    • And then we have GROW for older age groups. So that’s more 9-14. 
    • And GROW is a little bit more of a deeper dive. 
    • It’s a little more science minded for the older kids and Emily really makes it accessible to them.
    • So it really helps them understand why meditation is important, how it can help them in their daily lives, and how it can help make them better at the things they love. 
    • And so she has a really great way of distilling these concepts and making them accessible for that age group.

  • Emily is the founder of Ziva Meditation
  • She’s a meditation teacher out of NYC. And she’d been teaching adults for years and years. 
  • People kept asking her to please make a kids course that incorporates the Ziva technique, which is mindfulness, meditation and manifesting. So it’s this whole very powerful meditation trifecta.
  • They said this technique has changed my life so much, but I’m not a meditation teacher. I need some help teaching it to my kids.
  • And finally Emily said Ok! I hear you! I’ll make this course.

How was Ziva Kids developed?

  • Dr. Elisa Song, who is a holistic pediatrician, was one of the first people to ask Emily to create the course. 
  • Emily wanted to get a team of the best experts that she could because she’s a meditation expert but not necessarily an expert in kids. 
  • And so she wanted to make sure that she really had all of the resources and knowledge to make this the best course it could be.
  • So she brought in Dr. Elisa Song and then she started building her team from there.
  • One of Emily’s students was actually a puppeteer from Sesame Street. 
  • So Emily went to him and said I have this idea – would you be interested in working with me on this? 
  • And so she actually and so he introduced her to a writer from Sesame Street and another puppeteer from there. 
  • So she actually collaborated with them on the writing and the building of Z Bunny. 
  • A Sesame Street puppeteer actually built the actual puppet Z Bunny! And they actually voiced him and did the puppeteering for the lessons.
  • So it’s a real Sesame Street type of project. 
  • And then Emily also brought in some amazing experts: 2 clinical psychologists:

  • Both Dr. Shefali and Dr. Cohen are so well versed in holistic parenting and conscious parenting. 
  • So they made sure this course really targets the specific age groups in an age appropriate way. 
  • We’re not trying to force kids to meditate. We’re trying to help them understand how this can be helpful to them. And how this can help them be their best selves.  

I recently interviewed someone who overcame a 23 year addiction to adderall to manage her ADHD. She said that had her parents taught her some mindfulness techniques, that would have been helpful. But in general, I feel like our kids are on major sensory overload with the dawn of this digital age and social media and so much coming at them.

  • Absolutely. And it’s a scary place right now for our kids and as parents. 
  • I feel like it’s a lot more difficult for us to navigate as parents than it was for our parents because like you said, we didn’t have those distractions and those things to worry about and those additional social pressures. 
  • And our kids are really feeling the impact of that. 
  • Kids are so stressed and adults are too. 
  • Our kids feel that. Our kids feel our stress. And it impacts them in a huge way.
  • And so the training addresses this in the course. 
  • So we have the kids courses, PLAY for ages 4-8 and GROW for ages 9-14 and the lessons that come along with them.
  • But in addition to that, parents also get 3 adult lessons. 
  • Emily really walks through how to be a good “sidekick.” 
  • In the course Emily talks a lot about kids innate super powers and helping them find and grow them and turn into the best superhero version of themselves.
  • To go along with that language, Emily calls the adult meditator or whoever is going to be going through the course with the child the sidekick.
  • So for the sidekick there are 3 adult trainings and these really focus on how to help yourself be less stressed and embody the teachings of the course so that you can help your child. 
  • And to be honest, I think that the adult training are as important if not more so than the kids lessons. 
  • Because how we feel and how we interact with our kids changes the entire dynamic. It’s so important that we manage our own stress in relation to theirs.

Yes and we know that we can’t regulate our children if we aren’t regulated ourselves. And we are their safety and if they see their safe net freaking out, they can’t calm themselves.

  • To your point about the person you were speaking with about ADHD and all of the inputs coming in, one of the things that is so important for kids and adults in this time that we live in is that we really get comfortable with our feelings. 
  • For many well intentioned parents, when their child is stressed or angry or sad or frustrated, they want to fix it. 
  • They want to step in and say oh no no don’t cry! What can I do to make it better? Do you need a snack? Are you hungry? Do you want to watch TV? 
  • We want to distract. We want to numb. We want to take it away. We don’t want them to hurt – we love our kids! 
  • So we want to make it better.
  • And in doing that sometimes what we’re telling our children is that it is not ok to have that feeling. It’s not ok to feel angry or stressed or anxious. 
  • And so I think the beauty of this program is that it can help us and also our children learn to sit with our emotions. To learn to allow them to be what they are.
  • And then also to recognize that they are going to pass. 
  • That’s the nature of emotion, right? It changes. We’re never angry forever. We’re never sad forever. It passes if you let it move through you. 
  • But we have to make space for those emotions. And we as parents have to be strong enough and resilient enough to make space for our children’s emotions. 
  • And when they are in that moment, when they are having that meltdown or when they’re just inconsolable, we have to be ok. 
  • We can’t squash that emotion because it makes us uncomfortable. 
  • And so I think that’s one of the really important things in the adult trainings and is a reason why it’s so important that we develop our own meditation practice as parents:
  • It’s so that we can develop the ability to create that space, and to be that safe space for our kids so that when they’re melting down, we can step back and say hey, I see you! I see that you feel anxious or overwhelmed. 
  • And allow our children to be in that feeling and then move through it to the other side rather than squashing it down or repressing it and saying no that’s not ok.
  • But we feel like when our kids are melting down, we have to do something. We feel like we have to take action. 
  • And really all we have to do is be and allow our children to have this experience and to work through it in their own time and their own space.
  • And that is the most difficult thing to do as a parent. 
  • Because every instinct in you says do something! Fix it! But so often we don’t need to.

For any parent thinking that this seems like so much work, Ziva kids does a lot of the work for you, right?

  • It does almost all of the work for you. 
  • The lessons are all pre recorded. 
  • There are 7 for PLAY and 8 for GROW. 
  • And they are short – 15-20 minutes long. 
  • The beauty is once you have the program, you have it for life. 
  • And especially with the PLAY – the kids love Z bunny and they want more of him. 
  • So you can go through it again and again and again and every time it sinks in a little bit deeper and they learn a little bit more. 
  • And this can be a practice that you just slowly, gradually, lovingly build throughout their childhood. 
  • But through the courses, Emily has done all of the work.
  • For adults I would highly recommend that you watch those 3 adult trainings – they’re only about 15 minutes long. 
  • And then they’re there for you and you can always go back to as needed or if you have a question and are like oh I remember Emily said that but I can’t remember exactly what it was. 
  • But the beauty of this practice both for adults and for kids is that what we’re trying to teach is a self sufficient practice. 
  • So we don’t want to be another meditation app. 
  • We don’t want to be something else that you have to fit into your day. 
  • What we aim to do is teach tools that kids can use anywhere, anytime when they have that stress feeling coming on.
  • For example, if they have a big test coming, they have a technique to help them through their stress or anxiety.
  • And so what we’re trying to teach are techniques and tools that kids can really learn and that can become habit for them so that they have them whenever they’re needed.

You have a masters in childhood education. Did you learn about any of the techniques in Ziva Kids in your program?

  • I will tell you and this is heartbreaking to me, but there was nothing about this. 
  • There is nothing about mindfulness and meditation and very little about social emotional learning in my masters program. 
  • So that’s a whole other conversation we can have about what our teacher education programs are doing or not doing. 
  • This is stuff that I think every teacher needs to know and that every teacher should be teaching in their classroom. 
  • But the reality is most aren’t. Most don’t have this knowledge. Most don’t have it for themselves! And so they’re not able to teach it to our kids in schools. 
  • I think it’s super important that if parents are aware of it and have the ability to do so, that they can teach these tools to our kids. 
  • Because unfortunately I think a lot of times – as you mentioned – we’re so busy and focused on where we have to go and what we have to get done that this kind of education really just isn’t a priority in schools or elsewhere. 
  • I wish that it was more available.
  • We’re working now on trying to get Ziva Kids into the schools because the beauty of how it’s set up is that it’s so easy for a teacher to show the videos and make space every day in their school day for the kids to practice these techniques. 
  • Hopefully we can get that rolling in the near future and make it more accessible to teachers and students but in the meantime, really it’s available for parents.

From a neuroscience and physiological standpoint, how does mindfulness and meditation alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress? How does it work?

  • I think to start we need to think about what is happening in our body when we’re stressed. 
  • Our brain is a big part of that. 
  • We take in things and we process information and we have a response to it. We react to it. And often that reaction is stress. 
  • And what is stress? Stress is cortisol in the body and cortisol creates inflammation. 
  • So we have these dual processes happening where yes, it’s mental and emotional, but it’s also a physical response in the body. 
  • And inflammation causes disease. 
  • So when we’re talking about all diseases – diabetes, Alzehimers, all of these things that we think don’t happen until later in life – they all start with inflammation. 
  • And stress causes inflammation in the body.
  • So when we’re thinking about not only mental health but also physical health for our children – especially in later life – so much of that comes back to how we handle stress. 
  • And a lot of that begins in childhood. 
  • These are cumulative stresses that build up throughout our lifetime. 
  • So when someone learns a meditation practice, what meditation does is it de-excites the nervous system. 
  • So all that stress and fight or flight that’s going on all day means that we never do anything to de-excite that nervous system. 
  • Meditation allows us to kind of shut that system down for a few minutes and let our body rest and heal.
  • If we don’t do that, then we continue this disease process from inflammation from stress. 
  • Stress gets locked in your cells. And our body holds onto that stress. 
  • So we have years and years as adults of stress built up that we’ve held onto. 
  • And our body physically remembers. 
  • And so as we build this meditation practice, that stress comes up and out. 
  • And we can clear that backlog of stress so that we can then be fully present in the moment. 
  • So for our kids I think it’s so important that we help them stop building on that stress and kind of pause those disease processes that are already beginning to happen. 
  • It’s also great to help them release the stress they’ve already accumulated and then have the tools to prevent it from being accumulated in the future.

I was reading a quote from Dr. Elisa Song and how she wants parents to understand that learning mindfulness and meditation is something to consider as powerful medicine like the food we eat and supplements we take. Most pediatricians likely aren’t  talking about mindfulness and meditation and certainly aren’t talking about it as medicine.

  • I think a lot of that has to do with our medical model.
  • It’s very disease and symptom oriented. 
  • Whereas if you’re coming from a holistic perspective, let’s get to the root cause of where all of this disease and mental health crisis that we’re in is coming from.
  • A lot of it is the chronic stress and inflammation that we’re not dealing with. 
  • It’s just being swept under the rug and we’re just going on with daily life and then trying to manage the symptoms. 
  • And so if we can really address that root cause and we can get back to how do we not only build mental health but also build resilience and growth and compassion? And how do we help our kids be the very best version of themselves so they’re not dealing with these things?

Yes and without dipping into toxic positivity, pretending they’re ok when they aren’t.

  • Yes! Just put a smile on and be happy no matter what! But that’s not reality! 
  • We’re human! We have these emotions. And that’s what makes life beautiful. 
  • I mean if we were just joyful all the time there would be no depth to that experience. 
  • We have to go through sorrow and frustration and pain and that’s how we grow and learn. 
  • So I think it’s so important for our kids to have the tools and be empowered to acknowledge those emotions and to name them. 
  • And so what’s super fun in Ziva Kids is that Emily calls these bad feelings stormies. 
  • And she actually has these little puppet clouds on strings and they come in and they hover over Z bunny when he’s feeling stormy or angry or sad. 
  • So it’s super fun and helpful for kids to be able to name those emotions. 
  • To just acknowledge that we have these feelings is so empowering for kids.
  • But also – the concept of the stormies is that storms pass. It never storms forever. 
  • And so you have this storm and you have this emotion, this very strong feeling. 
  • But then after a little while if you sit with it it will pass. And you’ll come out on the other side. 
  • And so I think that’s also so empowering for our kids for them to understand that these emotions aren’t forever because kids a lot of times can’t understand that. 
  • They’re so in the moment. That when they’re angry or frustrated, they think they’re going to feel that way forever. 
  • And so what really helps to talk about the fact that hey, this is going to pass. 
  • So you can sit with this feeling and you can feel how you feel and it’s ok. And then it’s going to pass! And then you’re going to feel differently in a few minutes.
  • And so I think that’s the beauty of how Emily frames the practice and also gives a framework for parents to discuss those feelings with their kids but not feeling like you have to be happy all the time. 
  • And not feeling like you have to disguise or repress those emotions because that’s the human experience.

Aside from mindfulness and meditation, can you speak to some of the ways that a parent can set up their household in such a way as to limit or more proactively manage daily stressors?

  • Yes. And just as a disclaimer – this is all my personal point of view. 
  • At Ziva Kids we’re exclusively focused on the meditation and mindfulness piece. 
  • But as a mother and a teacher I can certainly speak to other things. 
  • I think one of the most important things I have found in my experience is being proactive. 
  • So if you can set up your environment to be the most prepared for any of those challenges you may face. 
  • And what does that look like? What do kids need to be emotionally regulated? What do we all need? We need sleep. We need a consistent bedtime. We need to get up at a consistent time every day. 
  • We need to really make time and make sleep a priority because when you don’t have it, it can make you feel miserable. And that’s especially true for kids. 
  • Think about how miserable you are when you’re tired. 
  • How is a 5 year old that’s hungry going to react when she’s also exhausted because she didn’t get enough sleep last night?
  • Compare that to maybe I’m just a little cranky and a little hungry. That can be a massive difference between a cranky 5 year old and a full on meltdown. 
  • So I’d say #1? Make sleep a priority.
  • The second thing I would say is good nutrition. 
  • As parents I know we do the best we can. Some days you’re just trying to get out the door and you’ve got to give your kid a bowl of cereal or whatever it is you can get in them before you leave the house 
  • There is no parent shaming here. But if you can make it a priority to fill your child with healthy foods that are as natural as possible, that’s a good thing. 
  • Fruits and vegetables. Kids need fiber. Kids need a small amount of protein. 
  • The less processed the better.
  • In addition to sleep and nutrition is also managing expectations. 
  • Our kids struggle when they don’t have predictability. When they don’t know what’s coming next. 
  • And so if you can build routines at home, that is beneficial. 
  • Get up at the same time every day. Have breakfast at the same time every day. Make sure the shoes and the toys always go in the same spot. Lay out the clothes for school the night before.
  • It’s so hard to do as a parent because you’re already doing so much. 
  • But if you can build those routines for kids they thrive on that stability and that predictability and those routines.
  • If they know what the expectations are ahead of time, then they’re much more likely to fall in line with them. 
  • For me personally that helps make my day go a little bit smoother. 
  • And truthfully my husband is a huge part of that. 
  • So we have sat down as a family and said ok what does our morning look like? How do we want this to go? What time do we want to get up as a family? 
  • He and I have a pact that we sit down at 7am and we meditate together and then he can go work out or I can start my day or whatever that looks like. But that way we have some accountability.
  • And we make sure we get it done. 
  • So you can do that with your kids too. You might say, “Hey after breakfast every day we’re going to do our Z bunny or we’re going to do a 15 minute meditation!” if your kids are a little bit older and are willing to do that. 
  • So I think setting routines and taking a look at what do we want our day to look like, what is important to us as a family – and make those things the priorities. 
  • Where do kids get structure if not from us? They can’t make it for themselves. 
  • And all of us do better with some sort of structure! 
  • Like it or not – none of us want to be locked in a box in our rigid structure and our schedule every day – but at least having some sort of routine where you have a plan for how things get done and what you’re going to do every day lends a feeling of safety.
  •  It makes our children feel that someone is in charge, that someone is going to take care of them and that they are protected and cared for.
  • And remember there are going to be those times where even your best efforts at being proactive don’t work! 
  • And your kid is hungry or cranky or tired and melting down. And that’s ok. 
  • That’s where I think it comes to  just being present with our kids.

Could you share any of the observations you’re hearing from the community of Ziva Kids children or parents about how this program has had a positive impact on them?

  • One of the biggest things that we’re seeing from parents is how much it’s impacting the parents themselves and how much they’re taking away from the course. 
  • And how it has given their families a language around those big feelings. 
  • So that vocabulary of “the stormies” and some of these techniques, like belly breathing and wish balloons, are really helpful to families. 
  • There is a really fun vocabulary that comes along with the course that kids and parents alike will learn if they watch them together. 
  • And so I think having that framework and having that vocabulary to talk through those feelings and those experiences has been so helpful for our families, especially for the parents to have a way to engage with their kids that their kids then understand and can share with them what’s going on.
  • But also I think that the kids are just having so much fun with the course. 
  • We had one parent in particular share that her son had a big hockey game. 
  • The parent took a picture of her son sitting and meditating before he did his game and he was able to go out and play his game with less fear and anxiety and feeling more present. 
  • And so we’ve had a lot of kids write in and say that this is helping them be better at the things they like to do. 
  • And that’s what we want for them. 
  • We want for them to have a better hockey game or to feel better about the test that they’re taking or have more calm in their lives and be their more authentic selves.

I touched earlier on a previous guest with ADHD. Have you been in touch with any families who have children with sensory processing conditions and maybe has Ziva Kids been able to help them better cope with these conditions?

  • We don’t have a ton of research on that but I have one in my own house. 
  • My 9 year old is ADHD and dyslexic. 
  • And actually so is my husband. 
  • I have a masters in childhood education but I also have a dual certification in special education. So this is my secret passion. 
  • And so I just love the way that kids with learning differences – I love the way their brains work. 
  • They are so incredibly creative and they have so much ingenuity and they have this really incredible way of thinking outside the box. 
  • I’m a neuro-typical learner. I’m a book learner. I love to read. I think in very straight lines and very rationally. 
  • So it is just an immense pleasure for me to watch my son’s brain work. 
  • He’s so creative and visual and an amazing 3D thinker. 
  • And he can just think in these ways that I can’t. My husband is the same way.
  • It’s fascinating to me how their brains work. It’s so much fun to watch and to learn from them. 
  • So those parents out there who have kids with ADHD or autism or any of these things just know that there are those of us out there that just really treasure your children for who they are and the special gifts that they bring to this world. 
  • Because I think so often we talk about and think about those things as handicaps or as deficiencies.
  • And in my mind they’re just not at all. They’re incredible gifts. 
  • And I think that should be recognized and celebrated. So here is my plug for that.
  • But  in terms of Ziva Kids – we don’t have any hard data. So we have to be careful about claims that we make. 
  • And I don’t want parents to think that Ziva Kids will be this pain pill and your kid is never gonna have a tantrum again.
  • These are techniques and practices but they have to be used and it’s not going to solve every problem. 
  • Even as adults, we start meditating and we don’t immediately become bliss bunnies like we never get frustrated again. 
  • But what it does do, I think, is that it teaches children that who they are is who they’re meant to be and that they are perfectly whole as the people that they are. 
  • And to be comfortable with who they are and how they feel and how they learn and how they think.
  • And I think there can be a lot of stress and anxiety that comes along with having ADHD or having a learning difference or having autism because our children – they know. 
  • They feel that they’re different from others and they may have experienced some rejection or bullying at school. 
  • So I think that in terms of those kids, this meditation isn’t going to make any of those things go away.
  • But what it can do is help address that mental health piece that comes along with those. 
  • So what I really want kids to take away from this and to have the tools to do is to fit and be comfortable with their true selves. 

Can you tell us more about Ziva Meditation, the course you offer for adults?

  • Yup and so plug – if you buy the kids course there is a coupon code for Ziva Online in the course. 
  • So if you’re considering buying it for your kids – get the kids version first and you’ll get the coupon code for the adult training. 
  • But I would highly recommend parents take the online course for themselves.
  • It’s called Ziva Online and that is our flagship online training. 
  • A lot of times in modern language we have conflated mindfulness and meditation.
  • Everyone thinks those are the same thing. 
  • So when you hear someone is doing a meditation practice usually we just think of counting your breaths or focusing on your breath or that it somehow must be breath related or that it’s getting rid of your thoughts and just being in the moment. 
  • Emily teaches a different style of mediation. So she uses mindfulness which is what we usually think of as meditation.
  • It’s being in the present moment. 
  • So that might include some breathwork or focusing on parts of your body and just being very aware of the sensations that you’re feeling. 
  • That’s mindfulness. That’s being in the moment.
  • The actual meditation practice is a mantra based meditation practice.
  • In the course, you’ll get a mantra. There are 3 to choose from. 
  • And you will use that mantra to meditate. It’s a surprisingly deceptively simple practice. 
  • The course is make up  of the 3 M’s: Mindfulness, Meditation and Manifesting.
  • You start with 2 minutes of mindfulness, 15 minutes of meditation, and then a few minutes of manifesting.
  • Alot of people will think of manifesting as visualizing. What do you want for your future? What would you like the universe to bring you? What in your wildest dreams would you like to see happen in your life? 
  • Visualizing those things daily can really help us get clear on what we want for our lives. 
  • It’s this very powerful trifecta of these 3 techniques.
  • Mindfulness was a technique developed from Monks who could sit and meditate all day long. 
  • But we’re parents! We don’t have time for that! 
  • The beauty of this practice is that Emily has made it so accessible, so easy to learn and so easy to do. 
  • It’s 15 minutes twice a day. 
  • I do my first 15 minute meditation first thing in the morning when I get up. So it’s done. 
  • And then you just have to find another 15 minutes. It could be nap time, it could be before dinner.
  • If you’re working, it could be break or lunch time. 
  • Find one other 15 minutes to just commit to yourself and commit to this practice.
  • Ziva Online will teach you how to do that. 
  • If you’re not dealing with your own stress then Ziva Kids is only going to be half way effective. 
  • As you said, we can’t expect our kids to do something that we’re not willing to do. 
  • So we need to be modeling this behavior for them. 
  • And I can almost guarantee you that your kids will see the difference in you. They will see a change in you and how you react to stress and to them and how you respond to those stressful moments.
  • And by extension, you will see a C change in the environment in your household.
  • Because when you create this practice for yourself, you give yourself that ability to create that space that is so necessary for interacting with our kids in a way that we want to. 

For somebody listening who says I can’t sit still and quiet my mind, what makes Ziva Meditation different?

  • You don’t have to quiet the mind. That’s not the point. 
  • We’re not asking you to focus. It’s a gentle surrender based practice. 
  • So the idea is as long as you sit with the intention to meditate and you can hear your mantra gently floating around, then you’re doing your job. That’s it. 
  • And so that almost itself can be hard to do. We don’t know how to do that – it’s so difficult. 
  • But the beauty of this practice is the more that you do it the more natural it feels and it becomes and it can be this beautiful time of just surrender. 
  • And full disclosure – sometimes it’s not gonna be beautiful. 
  • Sometimes you have a meditation that’s just so full of thoughts and your brain is so busy.
  • Emily teaches that that’s ok. We’re not judging our meditations or wanting it to be good or bad. 
  • It’s ok if it’s deep or shallow. All of those things are ok. 
  • The main focus is that you get on your buns twice a day and do the work, which basically means sit and hear your mantra and that’s it. It’s that easy.

I was definitely resistant to meditation in the beginning. But now it’s a part of my daily life.

  • I’ll tell you my ADHD husband was like no, I don’t think so. 
  • But once he committed, he was hooked.
  • His blood pressure used to be off the charts. It got to the point where it was really a concern for us.
  • So that was when we really buckled down with him and committed to meditation.
  • Hisblood pressure has come down 50 points!
  • And so it has been an incredible transformation for him. 
  • He went through the course with Emily and I think he’d always felt like meditation isn’t for me. I don’t really get it. I can’t do it. 
  • And then once going through the course he then felt comfortable because he knew what to do. 
  • And I think a lot of us aren’t sure if we’re doing it right. We don’t know what to do. 
  • Emily does a beautiful job in the course of really distilling the concepts down. 
  • And she gives clear dos and don’ts: here’s when you know if you’re doing it wrong. Here’s when you know that you’re doing it right. 
  • And it just makes it so digestible and accessible and my husband is doing great with it so anyone can do it!
  • Emily says any place you can have a thought, you can meditate.

One final question around young moms who have young children and who may be sleep deprived. They are often told to nap when the baby naps and it’s not really possible. Is it possible that doing a meditation can help alleviate some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation or that lost energy?

  • Yes. And so here is what we recommend for new parents. 
  • If you take the course, Emily’s going to give you an ideal schedule. 
  • For new parents, all bets are off. You get it in when it works for you. 
  • If the baby is up at 4 oclock and you can’t go back to sleep, do your morning meditation at 4:30am. 
  • If you have to get up and get the kids to school, get them to school and then do your meditation if that’s what it takes. 
  • So for parents, you just have to make it work. You’re in a very different space and unique time in your life. So you roll with it and fit it in when you can.
  • In terms of the energy and the sleep deprivation, absolutely. 
  • That 15 minutes is the best rest that you can give your body aside from real sleep. 
  • Meditation is actually a deeper rest for your body than sleep. 
  • Because what’s happening is you’re clearing out all that stress and your body is able to actually finally let go and really really rest. 
  • And so that 15 minutes can be the equivalent of an hour and a half nap. 
  • There can be a little period of un-stressing, though.
  • It’s temporary but when you start a practice, you may actually feel worse for a short period of time because there is so much stored up in your body and it’s got to come up and out. 
  • So there can be some emotions or more exhaustion and fatigue for a couple of weeks as you establish this practice and move through that.
  • But once you get through that initial un-stressing period and get to the other side of that and continue your practice, it’s like taking an afternoon nap. 
  • I actually do this when I start to feel sleepy in the middle of the afternoon and I want to reach for a cup of coffee. I’m like oh, time to meditate! 
  • And I’ll sit down and do my 15 minutes. 
  • And about 30 minutes after that meditation is done I have that quick burst of energy and that’s my second wind to get through the rest of the day. 
  • So I would recommend any parent that is sleep deprived and exhausted: this is some of the best self care that you can give yourself.
  • Meditation is a true act of self care.

About Jessie

Jessie can usually be found answering emails in the inbox or chatting with parents and kids in our zivaKIDS Facebook community. Jessie has dual Masters Degrees in Elementary and Special Education, and loves to help kids discover their own unique superpowers.



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Resources mentioned in this episode

Episode with Dave Asprey & Emily Fletcher

Holistic pediatrician: Dr. Elisa Song

Clinical Psychologist: Dr. Christina Cohen

Clinical Psychologist: Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Episode with Audrey Stimpson about ADHD

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