Unless otherwise noted, the following exercises can be practiced sitting in Easy Pose or Hero Pose, sitting up in a chair with feet flat on the floor, standing in Mountain Pose, or in some cases, even lying down. The most important consideration is that your child maintains a position where the lungs and diaphragm have space to move and open completely. For easy reference, the breathing exercises presented are categorized as Energizing or Calming. But keep in mind that depending on the intention and situation at hand, many of these exercises can be energizing, empowering, and calming all at the same time. For example, a child who’s had a bad day at school can release his frustrations and be empowered at the same time when practicing Lion’s Breath (categorized as an energizing breath). But, through doing so, he can also calm himself and bring his nervous system back to a more grounded and centered state. Use the benefits of the breath provided to help guide you.
Is your child tired from a long day of school, or a long soccer practice? Does your child need to relieve some tension or frustration? Is he feeling downtrodden? Does he need a confidence boost? Choose to practice breathing exercises from this category any time your child is feeling tired or needs to be empowered. You can incorporate these breathing exercises into your yoga sessions when you notice your child’s energy is waning.
WHAT TO DO
Conductor Breath is a variation of the traditional Breath of Joy, which is fitting, as it’s great fun to practice Conductor Breath! It can provide a quick and easy wa„ to loosen up and gain a new perspective, relieve tension or frustration, and can serve as an energy booster. On the last exhale forward, encourage your child to hang down in Rag Doll Pose for several breaths before inhaling to slowly rise back up to standing.
WHAT TO SAY
Begin in Mountain Pose with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Inhale through your nose slightly while bringing your arms out in front of you. Inhale a little more and swing your arms out to your sides. Now, inhale all the way as you swing your arms way up over your head. Exhale, “Ha!” and let your arms and torso fall forward between your bent legs. Good! Now, pop right back up to inhale your arms forward, then out to the sides, then all the way up “Ha!” Repeat a few times, using the momentum of your forward fall to help propel you back up to the first inhale. When you are done, come to rest in Rag Doll Pose for a few breaths before slowly rising back up to standing.