Art and focus combine in Little Gurus class

Published 1:46 pm Thursday, January 27, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE/Managing Editor

A new class for children that combines creativity and exercises to increase mindfulness is coming to the Chilton County Arts Council.

Little Gurus Mindfulness and Meditation is for children kindergarten to fifth grade. The class begins March 8 at 4 p.m. Each class will be one hour. However, space is limited, so those interested in having their children participate are encouraged to sign up now.

“I wanted to have the opportunity to empower children to empower themselves,” instructor Deanna Lawlis said.

The class helps children pay attention to the little details of their days using the five senses (sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste).

This debriefing from the day is something many adults do, even if they do not use this term for it, Lawlis said.

“The benefits are improved sleep, increased focus and prolonged attention space, reduced stress and anxiety, stronger mental resilience, improved emotional regulation and increased self-awareness and empathy,” Lawlis said.

Each class will begin with five minutes of stretching “winding down from the day” followed by a New Horizon program meditation specifically designed for children, journaling about their day and an art project.

Lawlis said the meditations “don’t have anything more than what a child would normally do, which is just imagine.”

One meditation leads children through a journey up a tree while teaching breathing exercises.

“There is nothing spiritual about the approach,” Lawlis said. “It is not coming from any religion. My method is more of a scientific approach because it has been proven to be beneficial to children.”

Lawlis had experience teaching meditation to adults, but completed additional training to be certified to teach children. She has 300 hours of classes through the Centre of Excellence and Udemy. She took the Udemy courses to better understand how to teach the methods to students with ADHD.

The class will meet each Tuesday at the Chilton County Arts Council, 500 Fifth Ave N in Clanton. Cost is $80 a month. The first payment includes a yoga mat, journal and four classes.

For more information or to register for the class, contact Lawlis at 334-306-6756.