by Deepika, Tournesol Kids volunteer

We are all aware of IQ (Intelligence quotient) and EQ (Emotional quotient) and their importance in our day to day lives. However there is BQ (Body quotient) which plays an important role. Body Intelligence means being attuned to and living within the rhythms of life around you (living in context). It is being present, being able to show up and having a deep sense of wellbeing. Our bodies are constantly communicating with us. Research has shown that this is critical to developing a healthy immune & nervous system.

Eating, sleeping, moving, playing, and breathing are all basic functions that we need to be healthy. The Tournesol program encourages teachers and parents to practice body intelligence exercises with their children so that it can be incorporated to become a natural part of their daily lives.

There are various exercises for children based on their secret power. The exercises address the most essential needs for growth and help manage body rhythms that connect the child to their surroundings.

Few of the exercises are:

  1. Mindful eating: Eating is one of the basic ways we stay connected to our context. It’s not just what you eat, but when, where, how, and why you eat that empowers growth and learning. Practicing with children to read labels before preparing/eating food allows them to appreciate, learn and understand healthy eating habits.
  2. Belly breathing: Breathing is the most fundamental rhythm we need for growth. In each moment you are taking in your context and giving back what you don’t need. Belly breathing helps to clear the mind of stubborn thoughts and relax the body. This is a simple mindfulness breathing exercise to practice with children when they are stressed and before bed to help them fall asleep more easily.
  3. Jam Jong (Standing like a Tree): Found in almost every tai chi class. It involves standing still like a tree for a certain period of time. You should concentrate on relaxing the body and mind while maintaining correct body structure while taking slow calm breaths. This exercise has been known to help the sick recover their health and make them strong.
  4. Play Catch: Play a game of catch helps in developing significant hand-eye coordination.
  5. Dancing: Dancing along with the music in a fun and silly way helps build the movement as well as improve the sensory connections of the child.
  6. Interactive free play: Allows the child to develop their curiosity & explore their sense of adventure. It also promotes learning through hands-on trial and error.