Taking time to Breath
Posted on July 14 2018
Following on from the previous animal exercises these yoga breathing exercises allow children to feel empowered and in control. These exercises are intended to help children understand that they are in control whatever is happening. They enable children to bring calm into themselves in the face of any situation. It is so comforting for them to feel this control when they are away from a parent, for example at school or in hospital.
First we must introduce the idea to a child that they can control their breathing. This may be something they hadn’t yet thought of or understood.
Following a parents gives confidence. So lie down flat on your back and then fold your hands on to your tummy with fingers spread wide apart. When they do the same and breath they will be able to feel their body moving in line with their breathing.
It is at this stage they will understand they can change the level of their breathing and can begin to understand the effect it can have upon them. Ask them to relax and close their eyes. Once they have achieved this the following exercises will flow.
The breathing exercises are best introduced at toward the end of a Yoga session as they are intended to help relax and calm them. Some are ideal before bedtime.
First they should sit crossed legged and close their eyes and breath normally.
Here are 4 breathing exercises which can be used in any situation by the child outside of a their yoga class.
Ask them imagine they are a Bumble Bee in a gentle breeze. They are floating over the flowers in a garden. Breathing in and out normally still. They Imagine they are floating along blowing bubbles. They Imagine the bubbles are full of love and friendship. As they float along in the gentle breeze their body relaxes their mind is concentrating on the bubbles full of love and friendship they are spreading.
A simple exercise to connect children to their breathing is to ask them to imagine they are smelling flowers. As they breath in through the nose and out through the mouth they stop and smell the roses and the daisies as they are breathing.
This one is more advanced but achievable once they have connected with their breathing. So they breath in through the nose ( counting 1and 2 ) and then out through the mouth counting ( 3 and
4 ). This exercise helps settle them and is restful. They can imagine a bear in their cosy den going into hibernation.
This exercise is aimed at helping a child who is upset. One to give them confidence that they are in control.
They close their eyes and take in 3 quick breaths like a bunny sniffing the air for carrots. Then one long exhale. It is a lovely crisp and cleansing exercise.
It is so comforting for parent to feel that they have given their children such power to help them stay in control in difficult situations when they are away from home.