#Heartfulness and Children: An Interview with Dr. Veronique Nicolai (Part – 1)

#Heartfulness and Children: An Interview with Dr. Veronique Nicolai (Part – 1)

“Please join us in the 2016 #Heartfulness Meditation Conference in the USA. If you are a World Moms Blog contributor, or reader, or  fan, please contact us (worldmomsblog@gmail.com) for a free pass.”

Our Senior Editor, Purnima Ramakrishnan in India recently interviewed Dr. Veronique Nicolai for World Moms Blog.

Part – 1 of Dr. Veronique Nicolai’s (Pediatrician and Trainer of Heartfulness Meditation) interview is published below. Part – 2 will be published on Friday.

Dr. Veronique Nicolai and Daughter

Dr. Veronique Nicolai and Daughter

Dr. Veronique Nicolai is a pediatrician from France. In 1997, she spent six months of studies in Medical Universities in Chennai, getting to know more about India from a medical perspective. She moved permanently to India in 1999 and has been living in Kodaikanal, Bangalore and Chennai.

She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness meditation. Since 2002 till date, she has contributed towards the development of an international training program that teaches Heartfulness meditation and the philosophy of Raja Yoga to practicants from all over the world.

Veronique has a strong interest in children. She compiled and illustrated two books for children to sensitize them to holistic living. As a pediatrician, she is involved as a school doctor in Chennai.

She has a daughter Shraddha (16 y.o), and a son Anand (13 y.o). Settled in Chennai, along with her husband, she calls this city as home. This pediatrician dons many hats, with interests in yoga, teaching, arts, baking and piano.

Purnima Ramakrishnan: How long have you been practicing Heartfulness Meditation?

Dr. Veronique Nicolai: I got to know about Heartfulness meditation when I was still at school, in the 12th grade. I had moved to a new city in the South of France, and my new best girl friend’s parents were meditating. We used to spend a lot of time at her house. I liked the atmosphere there and the profound conversations that we had with her parents. I found them wise and happy in their life. They were a great inspiration. Then my friend also started. By that time we both had started our medical studies and I thought she was crazy, as medical studies are very difficult. I observed her and she was doing great in her studies and in her life. It was the 90s and France was not at all opened to the idea of meditation. It was also a big step for me to take, to try something different.  I read also about meditation on the heart and in 1993, I started, just like that, almost without warning. Meditation has been my companion since, and it’s been the most amazing inner journey. I had gone into the medical field to make sure I will never cease to learn new things, all my life. With meditation, I opened an entire new field of wonder and discovery.

If the practical and immediate benefits of meditation hooked me at the beginning, it is the beauty of the inner journey that has kept me doing it.

PR: How do you think the Heartfulness Relaxation technique helps children?

VN: I don’t think it helps, I have seen it help. I like to try things first on myself, and then on my children, before I actually recommend it. We have a big rule, we paediatricians; never advise something new (I am talking mainly about new treatments), unless it’s been used on the market for many years. We have to be very careful because we deal with delicate and growing beings. So we often wait and observe before acting. In the same way, I observed how meditation works on adults. Then my kids tried relaxation. My son who is 13 is so positive about its effect. A boy of this age is not that easy to convince.

The first time he tried it, he said he felt something like a cool shower relaxing him and he felt so good. I did not have to ask him to do it. He started doing it on his own, in class, before exams and especially at night. That’s how I know it works. Because they choose to practise it, I did not have to give it to them.

In my understanding, Heartfulness has something unique. It helps children first relax their body.

There is so much stimulation all around, that some kids have trouble just sitting on a chair, and some are either impatient or fear to even keep their eyes closed for just a couple of minutes. Slowly with relaxation, they learn to let go of their fear, their anxiety.

Obviously their sleep is also improved immediately. But it goes further. We give too much importance to the body and the mind. Nutrition and health is also about the balance of the body and mind.

What about the soul? One’s deeper self?

I remember when I was a kid, I was very anxious about the purpose of life; I had a lot of questions about death. The uniqueness of Heartfulness relaxation is that, it takes the child to his heart. And there, by staying in the heart for some time and with eyes closed, the child is able to tune with his heart and get familiar with what defines him, at the core.

So with a very simple exercise, we teach the child to recognise that (s)he is not defined by what (s)he looks like, or what is outside, or her/his intelligence, but by the heart. This is for me the most important gift that we can teach a child: to find her/his inner self, make it strong and teach her/him to listen to it and have a life guided by the heart.

PR: How does the Heartfulness Relaxation and meditation help a woman be an effective and better mother?

VN: I really wish all mothers would learn this wonderful method. I loved it when I was not yet a mother, but its importance in keeping my balance has only increased when I became a mother. A woman’s well-being reflects on the entire family. So when I come home, in the evening, tired, exhausted by the day, and I know I have to cook, and two grumpy kids because it’s late, or they are just tired too, I find 20 minutes for myself to meditate. I call it my heart-spa. I come out fresh. After 20 years of practice, I am still astonished at the new energy it gives me. So I can handle dinner, grumpiness, you name it. You will see that actually, the grumpiness of your kids disappears when you yourself are fresh!

It is also a great experience to have your children wake up in the morning, when you are already fresh from your own morning meditation. It changes the way you send them to school. That’s the immediate, practical effect in a day-to-day life.

But deeper than this, there are questions about you as a woman, as a mother, that need you to pause and introspect about. And, well, I am still learning, as I experience it more and more. Meditation has been a great life companion to me! It gave me insights that no medical book or journal could have given me. I suddenly could understand, get answers, things became clear. That is the result of a deeper change, very much linked to a regular practice.

Part – 2 of Dr. veronique Nicolai’s interview will be published on Friday.

World Moms Network has teamed up with the Heartfulness Institute as a media partner for their three upcoming U.S. meditation conferences. This interview post is part of the conference promotional, by Senior Editor, Purnima Ramakrishnan in India.

A limited number of free seats to the Heartfulness conferences are available to contributors and fans of World Moms Blog. You can register here!http://conference.heartfulnessinstitute.org/register

Please contact us (worldmomsblog@gmail.com) for a free pass.

Register for the Heartfulness Conferences

Register for the Heartfulness Conferences

Photo credit to Dr. Nicolai and Heartfulness Institute.

Purnima Ramakrishnan

Purnima Ramakrishnan is an UNCA award winning journalist and the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her International reports from Brazil are found here . She is also the recipient of the BlogHer '13 International Activist Scholarship Award . She is a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog who writes passionately about social and other causes in India. Her parental journey is documented both here at World Moms Blog and also at her personal Blog, The Alchemist's Blog. She can be reached through this page . She also contributes to Huffington Post . Purnima was once a tech-savvy gal who lived in the corporate world of sleek vehicles and their electronics. She has a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering, but after working for 6 years as a Design Engineer, she decided to quit it all to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom to be with her son!   This smart mom was born and raised in India, and she has moved to live in coastal India with her husband, who is a physician, and her son who is in primary grade school.   She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness Meditation.

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Singapore: Meditation in the Life of a Coach-Mom

Singapore: Meditation in the Life of a Coach-Mom

“Please join us in the 2016 #Heartfulness Meditation Conference in the USA. If you are a World Moms Blog contributor, or reader, or  fan, please contact us (info@worldmomsblog.com) for a free pass.”470x246_fb********************************************************************************************************************

Below is the experiential journey of our #WorldMom, Ruth Wong from Singapore, where she talks about the benefits of trying meditation as a tool to improve the mental and holistic aspects of her life. Her earlier experiences led her to #Heartfulness meditation on the Webinar workshops conducted by #WorldMomsBlog


Before I started my training to become a life-coach, words like “Mindfulness” and “meditation” were just the latest buzzwords on the internet and social media. Little did I know that they would soon become an integral part of my life.


During my training to become a coach, I was taught how to use conscious breathing, guided meditations and visualizations as powerful tools to facilitate my client’s transformation with more ease and readiness. Of course, before we can become the teachers, we are first the students, and that’s how my meditation journey began.

In the beginning, all I did was to sit by myself and do deep breathing exercises. I began to research and learn about different breathing techniques and meditation.


Then over time, I listened to my heart and allowed myself to be guided by my intuition. Some days, I would do affirmations during my meditation session, other days I would be contemplating an issue and seeking answers to it, from within my own heart.

A journal would be by my side so that I can jot down the insights and ideas received during meditation.

Then there are days where I would do guided meditations by listening to recordings by my coaching mentor. What is meaningful to me is the fact that I’ve found my way to calm, and created a special, sacred space for myself where I can go inward into my heart, to find balance, get grounded and discover answers to whatever is going on in my life. And I’m thankful for this.

So I was delighted when I found out that this beautiful #WorldMoms community has started on its meditation journey too.

We have two heartfulness meditation trainers among us who have come together to facilitate meditation sessions for our world moms. I had the chance to join the session quite recently and enjoyed the experience.

It felt good to be meditating together, all of us from different parts of the world connecting online and in spirit. I appreciate the opportunity to try a new way of meditating and continue learning more about this ancient practice.

Our founder, Jennifer Burden, wanted to use the meditation session to focus on world peace; I thought that was such a wonderful idea! If you would like to try out Heartfulness meditations, begin with this relaxation video. If you would like to go to an advanced stage, drop up us an email or mention in the comments of this article.


If you’ve not tried meditation, I would say, go try it! There’s really nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I am no meditation expert and won’t say one is better than another. In my own meditation journey, I’ve done different things at different moments, and found that my changing needs has taken me across the spiritual path, as I tread it.

Are you interested to try out Heartfulness meditation? Or if you have already been meditating, what type of meditation do you do?

Picture/Infographics Credit: Author/www.Heartfulness.org


Ruth lives in Singapore, a tiny island 137 kilometres north of the equator. After graduating from university, she worked as a medical social worker for a few years before making a switch to HR and worked in various industries such as retail, banking and manufacturing. In spite of the invaluable skills and experiences she had gained during those years, she never felt truly happy or satisfied. It was only when she embarked on a journey to rediscover her strengths and passion that this part of her life was transformed. Today, Ruth is living her dreams as a writer. Ironically, she loves what she does so much that at one point, she even thought that becoming a mom would hinder her career. Thanks to her husband’s gentle persuasions, she now realises what joy she would have missed out had she not changed her mind. She is now a happy WAHM. Ruth launched MomME Circle, a resource site to support and inspire moms to create a life and business they love. She has a personal blog Mommy Café where she writes about her son's growing up and shares her interests such as food and photography.

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