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 a naturally full, even, rhythmic breath. While us adults, for the most part, breathe more carelessly, with swallow and sporadic 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 home, school and peer pressures. Sensory overload detaches our youth 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.
As caring and nurturing of a Mother as I might be, I won’t be able to protect my daughter against the myriad sufferings of life. However, I can offer her the awareness of something she already has within her…her precious, giving breath.
When children take in well rounded, nourishing breaths, the “Fight or Flight” response begins to slow down. This slowing down process gives children the opportunity to self-regulate whatever ‘sensations’ that may be present. Physically, children begin to learn more about their bodies and honor the natural rhythms and functions within it. Mentally, children become calmer, focused and confident. Emotionally, they can learn to embrace their feelings and find constructive ways to release their intense experience. 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® (YogaKids.com) with the children in your life and enjoy the benefits! For added affect, try some Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils known to reduce stress and promote more serenity. A diffuser can be used in your home. Or place a drop onto your child’s wrist or rub onto the bottom of their feet. It will smell good and create an infusion of oxygen. Please note: there are some individuals that might be highly sensitive to Essential Oils. Use with caution and keep out of the reach of children.
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. (I like to use this breath when we need to “Take Five”. So, take 5 Balloon Breaths).
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. (Great for mental clarity and clearing the sinuses.) 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 (for as long as it feels comfortable and peaceful).
• My above article was published by E.P.I.C magazine January -February 2014 issue (Pg. 9)