Calming

 

Is your child overstimulated, anxious, or upset? Does your child need to dispel some excess energy? These calming, integrating breath exercises are perfect tor opening 0r closing the yoga sessions with your child, before nap or bedtime, when your child is feeling frustrated, or before starting homework.

 

COUNT DOWN TO CALM
Benefits

Relieves frustration
Alleviates anxiety

Calms

 

Encourages focus
WHAT TO DO

 

Slowing and deepening our breath can help us slow down and relax our bodies and minds. Encourage your child to think of times when she could benefit from practicing Count Down to Calm breath. If your younger child has trouble counting with her fingers, have her watch you as you use your own fingers to count. An older child may opt not to use her fingers at all, choosing instead to close her eyes and count silently to herself.
WHAT TO SAY

 

Sit or stand up tall. Holding up one hand, lift one finger at a time, counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, as you inhale. Pause. Exhale and count down backward, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, as you pull one finger in at a time. Repeat 3 to 5 times or until you feel relaxed and calm.

 

Start a Breath Log

 

Count Down to Calm and other breath work can serve as wonderful self-regulation tools that your child can use as needed when  she is on her own. Ask your child to think of times it would be good to use and other types of breathing exercises. Encourage her to start a breath log  (maybe you can start one, too!), jotting down when and v:here she practiced a particular breath and how she felt before am:. Obviously, your prewriting child may need some writing ass.stance with this exercise. You might even start a sticker chart for the purpose of encouraging the use of these valuable tools.

 

EXTENDED EXHALE BREATH

 

Benefits

Clams

Allevites anxiety

Encourages focus and concetration

 

WHAT TO DO

With thid breath the exhale is twice as long as the inhale. Count up to 5 as your child inhdle!, up her lungs. Count up to 10 as you encourage her If.) exhale It may take a few attempts for your child to judge how slowly exhale to get to 10 without feeling as if she ends up holding her breath. Part (A this exercise is practice! Don’t worry if she doesn’t understand it the first fei; times. She will, as long as you continue to guide her over time.
WHAT TO SAY

Sit or stand up tall. Breathe in through your nose, filling up your belly, 1, 2, 3, 4. 5. Pause. Now exhale slowly to 10: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Good. Let’s try tha: again. (Repeat 3 to 5 times or more.)

 

OCEAN BREATH

 

Calms

Promotes focus and concentrati

Grounds and centers

 

WHAT TO DO

This breath is called Ocean Breath because you make the sound of ocean waves by contracting the back of the throat (the glottis) with the inhalation and exhalation. This breath is done through the nose, but it is helpful to introduce it by first practicing breathing through the mouth. If your child is having trouble “hearing” his ocean waves, have him cover his ears while Closing his eyes. Is your child a Star Wars fan? He might be interested to know that Ocean Breath is alsc known as “Darth Vader Breath!”

 

WHAT TO SAY

Sit or stand up tall. First, take a deep breath in through your nose. Exhale and whisper out the sound “hhhh” through your mouth, as if you were fogging up a mirror. inhale again through your nose. When you exhale this time, keep your mouth closed as you make the “hhhh” sound. Slowly breathe back in through your nose, keeping the back of your throat slightly constricted. Good! Can you hear the sound of the ocean waves crashing in and flowing out? Continue this breath for 1 minute. In … and … out.
CRASHING WAVE BREATH
Benefits

Calms

Encourages grace and finesse

Connects and builds community

 

WHAT TO DO

For extra fun use a scarf for this exercise, but it’s not required. Crashing Wave Breath can be practiced alone, together (standing across from one another), or as a family (in a circle) with each person holding a separate scarf. It serves as a wonderful centering exercise to start a yoga session or as a transition to relaxation activities.
WHAT TO SAY

Imagine an ocean wave coming into shore, then crashing and flowing back out to sea. Breathe in slowly and deeply while walking forward like a wave coming into shore. Holding your scarf with both hands, raise your arms up like a growing wave. Now, lower your scarf down as you walk backward. Exhale to make a crashing wave sound, “Psshhhhhhhhh.” (Repeat at least five times.)

 

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