The Mindfulness Event
On Sunday, May 7, 2023, Taarika Foundation’s Five Senses Art Team led a Clay Mindfulness Art Event. Taarika Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on spreading awareness about mental health in children and teens.
As summer was approaching and spring was coming to an end, there was lots of pressure from school. To help students and adults cope with their stress, Taarika Foundation invited children and adults to participate in a relaxing art activity, creating clay flowers. Cupertino art teacher Divya Eby, from Colorful Moments Art School, and Taarika’s own youth ambassadors were there to help and guide the children and adults with their pieces of art.
The goal of the event was to learn about mindfulness through the art of making clay flowers. The setting of the event was a positive and relaxed space, so people could really focus on being mindful while they were making the flowers.
Performing the Mindfulness Exercise
When the clay was drying, Dr. Leena Khanzode, Taarika Foundation founder and child and adolescent psychiatrist, led the children and adults in a Flower Petal mindfulness breathing exercise where everyone learned about practicing rhythmic breathing using their hands — imagining that their hands are flowers. When they breathe in, the flower opens, and when they breathe out, the flower closes. Following this, when they breathe in, they feel more happy, excited, and hopeful; when they breathe out, they let go of anger, sadness, and jealousy.
This exercise helped the children identify and let go of feelings that would not benefit such as frustration. According to myhealth.alberta.ca, keeping negative emotions in your body can affect your life in the long-term.
The Connection of Art and Mindfulness
When we learn about mindfulness through an activity such as art, it can help us understand it better than learning about mindfulness by itself.
Taarika Foundation does lots of local workshops and helps teens build their social-emotional skills through different activities. Taarika’s Five Senses Art Team teaches kids to manage school work as well as learning to take care of the mind through relaxing and calming exercises, using art as a medium.
In past events, such as the Gratitude Painting Workshop, or the Valentine’s Day Baking Event, the youth ambassadors of Taarika Foundation have introduced mindfulness exercises and helped kids appreciate and become mindful about their surroundings. In the future, Taarika Foundation will be hosting more events such as these ones, to help tweens and teens improve their mental health.
Story by Ishanvi Deodhar and Seerat Dang
For more information about the foundation and upcoming events, visit taarika.foundation.