Episode #51: Teaching Relaxation to Children w/ Marneta Viegas


Hey it's good to have you here come on in have seat. Welcome to the beyond picket fences. Podcast we are your hosts mandy panicky and naomi marquez against has been running her own businesses and she graduated in performing arts in nineteen ninety-two she set up relaxed kids in two thousand supporting children's mental health and wellbeing and has written twenty books ten published so far and a range of relaxing audios for children and adults. She has developed an award winning seven steps system to teach him relaxation two children and has trained over. Five thousand coaches from over fifty countries. Marnie has recently developed her new project. Ignite your spark club. A membership club for women to experience more joy through fun. Mindfulness and creativity. Please welcome menedez's i need. Are you task to carry you. I'm good well. We are very excited to have marna neta here today. How are you. i'm very well. Thank you wonderful. Where would you like your story to begin. Okay so my story begins I'm gonna stop in nineteen nine t two when i was a children's entertainer and i was entertaining children for from ninety two to about two thousand and over the years i noticed a change in children's behavior so the way i entertain children was a as account i didn't like wiping them up into a frenzy. If they were like that. That would be a party. That was not successful for me. The type of policy. I really loved was when they were eating out of my hand and over the years i noticed that this is becoming more and more difficult to get them eating out of my hand to get the children to be ready calm and relaxed and quiet. The concentration was waning and so i thought they need something here. Something needs to change. And so i started bringing in some relaxation and i stopped taking them on relaxed stories so i remember party way was bedlam. There it was off the schools. They will come back. Have this party. That real hyper. And i thinking this isn't gonna work so i called them lying down and took them on a story adventure. In like using fairy stories imagine jack climbing the beanstalk and floating in the clouds. And what you and the parents were really shocked. And so this is something. This is something and having practice meditation. Since i was twelve. I really believed meditation. Relaxation was the onset. So i i actually went to go on a retreat and i had this idea that i wanna write this book or Even book at the time. I want to write lots of fairy stories and ten them into relaxations. So i took a whole list. Alison wonderland old fairy stories. You know the princess and the pea lying on a bed of twenty mattresses jack and the beanstalk little mermaid swimming free and over that time early in the morning on this meditation retreats when it was ray beautiful i remember sitting right up on a mountain and drinking morning chai and it was rainy relaxing and the three mornings. I wrote the entire book. It just came so quickly. And then i put it away in a drawer full. I think maybe couple of years. Wow yeah maybe a year and a half or so and frightened said. Let's police out the draw. I said i was reading it ted. She was typing them up. 'cause this just handwritten at the time. This is way before. I had a laptop or ipad and says she typed them up. And i was embarrassed as i as i read. She she'd no. Let's keep going. And i sent them off to a publisher publisher loved them and he says two books here so we split the fairy stories on the more nature type meditations and in two thousand and three the two books out but what happened was he said okay. It's going to take a year for these books to get out. And i just i can't wait a year. We need to do something now. So my mother. I'm half english and half indian my father's from goya and my mother was moving back to go. My father passed away when i was eighteen. She loved india and she was wanted to build a house in india so we had our inheritance early so we had to. I think it was forty. Five thousand pounds and the money was bad to put a deposit down for flat in london. And i said i don't want to do that i want to make. Cd's i did. What made me do it all hat money down to make. Cd's i didn't really have time much of an idea of what i was going to do. And so i filled my bedroom with oli cds and i thought well now and then Slightly i built a website but also alongside bill writing cds i Created this very unique method of teaching children to relax using a seven step a relaxation method. Seven steps yeah Taking the from a high energy to a low energy and it was using all the exercises all the experiences. I've picked up from performing arts degree so bringing a breathing exercises for the singing. Dancing drama games stretching. All those things as well as the meditation that i picked up from when i was a child i also did yoga as i was the one in the seventies and eighties was laughed at at school for being vegetarian for eating lentils for doing yoga. All the things that is now so wanted and so needed in. Almost this is the way to live life. it was absolutely. I was floored intensive Bullied for the. He's things then answer. I created this seven step system. And i had some friends. Children come to the house comes. My flat. Small flato was renting and started experimenting every week. I think they would pay one pound or two pounds. And i slowly developed this program and then two thousand and five having had so many people are coming have classes he can. We have classes. I thought i need to start training. So i started my first franchise training in two thousand and five and now that sixty years ago. I think i've trained myself and now trained trainers I've trained over five thousand coaches in nearly fifty countries. That forty five thousand pounds has kept me in as an income for the last twenty one years and it's given other people many many people and income not certainly my stuff but also the coaches who have set up their own really successful businesses. Save now look back. I think forty five thousand pounds wolves a good investment. I don't own my own house. But it's i i don't own my house but i've made many many thousands of maybe even millie. Yeah probably millions because we have so yeah. Millions of homes more peaceful and set up. Feels good when you look at the seven steps. Does that mirror like the shaqra system or is that were did you. yeah now. this is really interesting because the seven steps are Okay why after. How many years am i still remember a move. Says they stopped often. They move around room. Get rid of all the extra energy. Then they play games. They play fun games then. Relaxing aims to bring them down than they stretch than they massage than they breathe than they say affirmations. And then they do. Visualizations now created the seven step system and then it was two his audit creating these seven steps. I was on a plane one day. And i just wish. I read a book about the chat. Chris i didn't know about jack chris before. Even though i had done an yoga as a child. I did not know about the chat. Chris and i was just home during s. You do when you're up in the air. How known this these seven steps. They followed the chat chris. The move is the grounding. The play is the sekou chakra which is creativity. The stretching is the balance the yellow the massages the heart chakra. The breathing is the throat. Chakra affirmations is that Said i and then the visualizations is the crown chakra and i. It was a bit of that moment when i was up in the ad thinking. Whoa now this is interesting but but we pretty much. I was joke about this. We keep kept safe all our chapel in the closet so to speak. Because i never wanted to eighty eight anybody from this lovely system that absolutely works and we know why it works because it's following on actual energy system but i want to any innate any Parents or teachers who may think ots based on some indian tradition. Because it absolutely wasn't it. It was a complete fluke that it it. It follows the chat. Chris hand on heart. It's if your ancestors actually like gave you that information without knowing the i mean if you really look. At the history of spirituality rate and if you believe in spirituality you were given that information to bring it out and put it out there without even having the education behind it. That's fascinating yet. Yes it was very very interesting. Yeah out the child. How were you introduced to yoga. And how were you introduced to the style of eating that you had. How did you stick with it as you were bullied as a child so It was it. Nineteen eighty so. I was about twelve and we went to india on a holiday so as i said before my father through indian. My mom is very white. She's very english. she was both on a foam. So has story is interesting. Bringing on indian back to parents. Navy twenty years older than her in the sixties. That would yeah so on. Simar story is that she got involved in starting to do meditation and yoga. Tactique training to the Teach training and sorry member. Buying there was one book for children. I think it's cooled. Lynn marshall's book yoga books. Children lynn marshall was like the green goddess of yogurt time and she will these lead. Todd's types that matching. And i just remember being so fascinated by this book this child in an all these positions and my sister and i would have new competitions. Keep this position the longest and then intense being bullied. I went to private school and You wanted out to have pat lynch's at this private school. You have to pay to have her expected lunches and they didn't have a vegetarian option and off. They did and i remember saying owner. Sorry vegetarian and they would just pick the me talk at remember. The time thinking. I'm vegetarian amend. We did get compensation to bring in pat lunch so instantly that setting you up to be alienated. You'll the only ones with a pack lunch so And i think yeah. It was lots of snidey comments about lentils and yoga and meditation and then our member. I think one point. Yeah i remember. One point. David ike moving from football. This is a hazy memory. In around ninety five. I think because i was in secondary school and And a friend said and he became spiritual and starts talking about spiritual things and the end of the world and things and they'd be going. Oh space david is your friend. I haven't even heard of him so yeah. All sorts of things like that came throughout primary and secondary school late primary and secondary. 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Do you help them through that process and how to continue the work if it if they do get bullied at school in if it's not something that the other kids are Accustomed to and they want to inc and they need to call themselves down at school or at home or at a friend's house honestly the culture has changed now. It's like seen as the right thing to do to be doing relaxation to be doing you meditation to be doing mindfulness. It's almost gone the other way if you're not doing it that's you're in not the in crowd but it's just seen as this is becoming a way of life and everybody knows that this is good you in fact. I can't believe that that was a time where we didn't see that this wasn't a good thing. It's because it's just so ingrained in in us but in the eighties we ate so badly. And we everything was passed steak and It was all getting things Things are changing now. Children really really ought changing and stuff that they coming out with in terms of wanting to make a difference wanting to make a difference to the world but also for example. One of my coaches in class. Just this week said that she whispered she as she does every day to child five year. Old you you special and the five year old. Five-year-old whispered back. You are loved now. There are so many stories like that. Where you go coaches who are bringing up children on this diet of relaxed kids in. It's just becoming that cutting out off cards for the then. Mums to take to the causes. The moms just do it becomes part of the culture of the home and this is what i say dearly. Want that families and schools. Bring this into the culture. So it's it's it's so embedded that they that it just becomes natural. It was another coach. She hadn't seen her. I think it was of another fi. She might even be full. And she told me she'd she went to says and she was writing out. Affirmation qods making packs of affirmation cards drawing and copying. And it's just magic and this is what we really want because matching when they grow up to be mothers. It's gotta be amazing. The we ought generation have coked in our parents. Generation have coped without tool this. The coping skills are going to be that not just for themselves but for the next generation. And it's going to have a knock on effect talking about generations it so interesting now because this has been going twenty one years the children who are who were my original children on now in late twenty s so my original and i am in touch with a couple of the original people in in my book. I took a picture of the The five who came to my flat. It's very grainy picture now. And because i didn't have a good camera and one of them is eleanor and she Continued that relaxation meditation and says as a result of that it really helped her life and she's now a westend actress performing she just been through Drama school are nash. She's performing an says that all they skills have really helped build confidence and helped keep her calm in a very stressful job. Yeah that's what. I was going to ask you about how you so much. Medication is given to children to manage their energy her. How has that fit into what you're doing. How is that helped parents. Navigating ended up. Yes well the way. I like to see that i. I hope that something like relax. Kids is is something that is done before we get to the need of medication and in the beginning literally p parents and teachers would laugh in my face. I can see them now. At exhibitions of various places at the concept of teaching children to meditate or relax literally laughed and children. Don't need to relax. That's absolutely ridiculous and yet we're happy to poss- across a pale and for me. I'm thinking wha-what's ridiculous because we know now with all the research that meditation relaxation literally changes children's brains positive affirmations Growth mindset all that can change. i'm not theoretical based so. Please don't ask me theory questions. I just know that this works. And there is a whole bunch of fairy out there. But i have always said i'm not the fairest. I have just come from a purely practical. What i can see. I can see. This is making a change in children's behavior. I've seen children who have had. Adhd been scaling the walls before my classes and just thinking gosh how we can do this and then by the end. They are asleep because they are shattered because their brains. Just haven't had a chance to to relax and it's just like it's home is soccer. Relief isn't it. It's like finding this moisture in the middle of a deficit This is that their their brains are like and they finally have those moments when they let go and when they let themselves go and surrender to it. That's why the magic ace. Yeah so yeah in terms of your question of. Where do i stand in terms of where we worked to. Generally i say relaxed kids is a preventative and it can support. What wherever children are. So you said you're you're still coaching me. No i have to because on the the all the other parts business now yet. But i was so when you are teaching You said you were coaching coaches or teaching coaches. Were these parents or were they teachers or both a real mix so Okay so i've been in two schools. And i've trained schoolteachers own. I have just done a relaxation for teaches to To help them relax because again. It's like a it's a triumph Effect we need to work with the children. We need to wet with the parents. His are lots of the stress anxiety. Children will be reflecting. We'll be marrying whatever the parents are going through. Even if they're not children will be marrying site. You have a dog often. The problem is is is the iona. I i put my hand up. I haven't trained for lady was arrested and say it's about working with the children. Is that working with the parents. And then working teachers and my ultimate dream for pathak's relaxed kids child or child who is getting this path in concoction. If you like would be that going to classes with our coaches that the parents are doing. Relax kids with them in a family way relaxing at home farrell working on themselves that doing that own meditational yoga or or relaxing Mindfulness a wet. That means to them whether it's mindful walking and also the teachers are doing the relaxation in school with the children. And also ideally having that. I'm practice so you can see how knock-on effect of everybody in this situation. Everyone's fading relaxing so they can be each other in a more relaxed state so Yes i have taught teaches. I have also trained teachers to do this with the children. And then i have trained parents to do it with the young children but parents will teaches to become coaches so to train. And have if you like a franchise and run their own classes and then they can train They can teach parents. They can teach children and they can teach teaches. Yeah so if i'm a parent and i am. Parents and i'm listening or a teacher is available. Are there videos online. How would they learn about relaxed. Kids yes so Lots of different ways. We are got audio's if you want to do relaxation as a teacher or a parent you can listen to an audio off. The realizations a whole variety for ages all the way down to in half toddlers to teens and also audios for adults maintain komi break meditations. So all covid. I will cycle the books which parents will read to the children at bedtime. Ofter off to story time and a half a relaxation so really and juices beautiful beautiful sleep. And then i have my training program which is online us video so if anyone wants to train to be a coach that they can go online and they can do that and then i have two more programs which are coming soon full parents and teaches and there will be an online aspect so whatever country you're in you will be able to get that but so i just watched the space on the website Full days yeah. Tastic and you In our last conversation you brief- briefly told us about a new passion of working with adults Would you kind of briefly go over that. And then we're going to actually record a as second podcast to go more into that a case. My new little project is ignite. You'll creative spa. Can i fail that. I've worked so much for the last twenty one years well. Plus last night. He said two years with children with creativity. And i've just felt creativity is my thing and now i want to work with mums with women to help them find that creative spark step out that that the same old same old and find that mindful colorful beautiful amazing wondrous world that is inside can reflect outside so they can feel. They're living life. That's the way they want to live raw than just Alive can just find sometimes life. Our lives can be monotonous but bringing out the creativity so making an ordinary life extraordinary. And that's my ignite jewel. Spock club which i've just known each day. That's exciting Before we wrap up your podcast episode. I wanted to go over some grandma. I have four grandkids and a Let meditation into my life about four years ago so my youngest was two and my oldest was nine and i started incorporating them into my meditations. Were just asking questions. And it's like oh come lay with me. And it was truly fascinating. All four of them would lay down and meditate. I would guide them. You know. I just whatever came to me i did. I'm not an expert. But just to showcase how amazing it is and how kids just they really desire that calmness and that connection that you get during meditation and they mirror each other they wanna do at other kids are doing they want to do at their parents are doing. They wanted to what their grandparents are doing. And i was such a young mom. When in my twenties we had four kids that i didn't raise my children with the same Tools so wanted to help you know my grandkids and It's been beautiful absolutely beautiful. So i encourage anybody to pop onto your website and really look into it deeper because it is truly helped connection. I have with my grandchildren and my grandchildren have with each other and their parents. And it's it's beautiful amazing. That is so magical when you see parents and grandparents coming together with their child and having that the increases the moment so beautiful. Thanks for coming on appreciate it. Thank you thank you bye-bye happy.

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