Heart to Heart Breathing
- Gently Hold hands with your child (or partner) and make soft eye contact. Right hand (giving) facing down into child’s left hand (receiving) and child’s right hand facing down into partners left hand.
- As you start to exhale you gently squeeze the child’s left hand with your right.
- Share with your child that you are sending love to him/her on your breath, and ask your child to begin to inhale as you exhale.
- Then ask your child to gently squeeze your left hand as he/she begins to breathe out, sending you his/her love, and you will fully breathe in their love.
- Keep alternating this sequence; your right hand gently squeezes as you exhale and send love as your child inhales receiving love, and child squeezes your left hand as he/she exhales giving love to you as you inhale to receive it.
- Keep going until you feel that you and your child have entrained, connected, from the heart. This has a deep calming effect on both parent and child.
- Once connection has been made, engaging Empathy for the others feelings and needs could feel more authentic and accessible.
- Your heart’s energy system reaches 10 feel outside of your body and communicates your emotional state to your child (partner).
- You can let the child set the pace of the inhale/exhale.
- You can request that they help you come back to calm alert.
- Often if a child is upset to start, they may breathe very quickly. Meet them where they are and then gradually begin to deepen your breathing to entrain the child to a slower rhythm. This deep rhythmic breath carries love and affection (Even to colicky babies).
- You can also hold an upset child with one hand over the front and one hand over the back of their heart and ask them to breathe in rhythm with you (as you make your inhales and exhales loud enough for them to hear and follow).
” Only from an open heart can you reach the sky” ~ Rumi
With gratitude to Daniel McMannis, M.Ed. at www.heartmentors.com for sharing this breathing technique in his Parenting Form The Heart workshop.