māndāra for children is to show how to become aware of the sensibilities they already have, to teach movement meditation in a playful way, to discover with them that they hold all the skills within their body for learning basically anything.
Let me tell you a story. The first time I remember it happened was when I was dancing to Lambada at the age of 3 or 4, sensing the movement from within and not thinking for a second if its correct. Ideally when you see a child dancing you never question if its indeed a dance, nor you doubt the feeling that moved the child into a dance. The fascinating thing is that the feeling that move the child into dance that very sense to be able to empathize with a certain rhythm and allow to be moved by it, is a sense pointing into two directions.
The kinaesthetic sense, the sense of movement is both me, and both the other. In the case of a rhythm that takes you, it is almost impossible to discern who is moving who. And the same is true for any rhythm that enters the body. We live our lives in diverse vibrational environments, let it be the individual body, the room we go to sleep or the urban landscape. The body is inseparable from the environment and so is the mind.
We are all born with a very strong kinaesthetic sense that gives a sense of “I”. Unfortunately, most of our culture today mask this “I” with perceptual patterns of other senses, mostly vision and thinking.
I believe it is vital for a child to hold on to the kinaesthetic self as the centre, to learn through movement, attention and creativity. Because, the sensibility that is given by movement awareness is a way of relating, relating to oneself, to others, to the environment, relating to tasks, to difficulties, to desires, to dreams.