How to introduce ATB from kindergarten on
This one day workshop introduces the foundational tools of Awareness Through the Body. We explore how to implement ATB with kindergarten age children using games and fun activities. Most of these activities are equally useful for initiating people of whatever age to ATB.
Some of the activities we offer in Awareness Through the Body at kindergarten age are similar to activities offered in the schools through psychomotricity. The significant difference is that the ATB teacher always keeps in mind the principles and goal of ATB. In ATB there is the clear intention on the part of the leader to facilitate the children’s’ contact with their own inner self.
Through fun exercises and games the children start discovering themselves and learn they can effect changes in themselves and around themselves. They realize also, not in a rational way but through feeling, that they can be in very different states of consciousness, and that each of these states entails very different sensations: The children feel very different when they are concentrated, working in silence as in the “labyrinth” or when they are running and laughing when they “travel to Africa.”
At this age children experiment and feel without the need of explanations. Through activities and exercises each child feels and integrates in his/her body the precise sensations that indicate a state of concentration, tranquility, fun, relaxation, self- centering or sharing with others. That is why it is important for the adult facilitator to have their own embodied understanding of the aim of ATB at this level.
The following are some of the objectives of Awareness Through the Body demonstrated in this Basic Tools workshop. All are key for young children. Most are central to helping all new learners of ATB regardless of their age.
- Listening for meaning
- Self control
- Focus and capacity for being present: ability to notice
- Alertness of the senses: ability to notice
- Freedom and fluidity of movement
- Stimulate bodily awareness by empowering the kinaesthetic sense and playing with gravity and balance
- Develop body awareness: differentiation and refinement of movement, coordination.
- Stimulate the different muscular chains of the body.
- Develop breath awareness.
- Develop body image, work on laterality and teach the parts of the body their location, name and use.
- Social skills – awareness of oneself and the others.
- Respectful and sensitive body contact with peers.
- A healthy self image.
- A sense of respect and responsibility within the capacity of the children.
- Subjective memories for relaxation and tonicity.
- Imagination and creativity.
- Curiosity and sense of discovery.