As a Mother, the sound of my daughter’s first cry brought mixed emotions. “She is alive” was the most prominent feeling. Followed by, ” how will i be able to protect her from life’s suffering?”
Watching a baby breathe is one of the most awe invoking experiences. This bundle of energy, whose developing brain needs copious amounts of oxygen in order to grow, breathes such a naturally full, even, rhythmic breath. While us adults for the most part breathe dysfunctionally with swallow, sporadic and unconscious breaths.
When does this shift of breath occur from one st(age) to another? Well, American New Thought minister Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith would counsel, ” don’t look at the problem, look at the answer.” One answer may be to teach our children simple, fun and effective ways to connect with their own natural breath. In doing so, it may preserve their organic baby breath into adulthood.
Children live in such a bustling pace world these days. Even if we do our best to create rhythm and support to their day, it is still filled with school and peer pressures. Sensory overload from outer stimuli which detaches them from their inner imaginative world filled with play, joy and possibility. Breathing exercises are a very powerful tool to handle, manage and celebrate life’s physical, mental and emotional ups and downs.
Though i won’t be able to protect my daughter from life’s sufferings, i can offer her the awareness of something she already has within her. Her breath. As children draw in a nice nourishing breath, the gift of oxygen helps their cells multiply and their bodies and brains grow, grow, GROW. Physically, children begin to learn more about their bodies and honor the natural rhythms and functions within it. Mentally, children become more calm, focused and confident while emotionally they can learn to embrace their feelings without judgement or attachment. Maybe just maybe that is enough to help our children on their sacred journey.
Children learn best by parental or adult modeling. So don’t be shy to admit this is something that you will all be learning together. Try the below breathing exercises from YogaKids with the children in your life and enjoy the benefits!
Close your eyes & imagine holding a balloon in your lap. Breathe in and let your hands move apart as the balloon gets bigger. Then let your breath out, and your hands come back together as the balloon gets smaller. This is how the breath moves inside of you. Repeat.
Sit comfortably with your spine long. Twitch your nose like a bunny as you take 3 – 4 quick breaths in through your nose. Then breathe out through your mouth slowly with a sigh. Repeat 3 – 4 times to feel energized.
Sit comfortably. Place your hands on your belly. Breathe out through your nose with a strong snort, as you pull your belly in toward your spine. Air will naturally come back in, so focus on the out breaths. Repeat 3 – 6 times, then breathe normally.
Sit quietly with your legs crossed. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose. As you breathe out, whisper or think the word PEACE. Feel peace inside you and around you. Repeat.