Here are two easy breathing practices or pranayamas to practice with your children.
If your children are students at either of the Precious Seeds Montessori Preschools, they will already be practiced in both of these techniques. And if not, hopefully these handouts will make the practices very explicit so that you can try them on your own. They are related, in so far as both use 5 deep, slow breaths, which help children to calm their central nervous systems, aids in developing the crucial skills of focusing and centering, and contributes to their ability to self-regulate through regular breathing practice. Skill building also promotes a sense of confidence and accomplishment which are also great to foster in children.
The more you do these breathing practices with your children, the more profound the effects. But it doesn’t take much. Think about finding a time of day that works best for your family, and then commit to incorporating one or both of these techniques and see what a difference it makes in your child’s life. 2 or 3 minutes a day could make the world of difference. It would also be a great benefit to your family to practice these when your children really need them too. If you encounter your child in frustration or some other uncalm state, try practicing these with them to help them reset and resolve. Over time, they may become habitual and healthful ways of dealing with stress. You may even find yourself doing them because they are so easy and so effective!
The first one is called “Star Breathing”. This graphic should make it very clear.
Simply begin at any dip in the star shape where you are breathing in. Then trace the star, pausing at the points to hold the breath briefly, then exhale slowly. Repeat until you’ve completed the star, Repeat as many times as is pleasant and/or necessary!
The second breathing practice is very similar. The second practice simply uses your hand as a five-pathed tool to focus the mind as your breathe.
Here is another graphic:
This breathing practice is often referred to as the “Take 5”, which has its suggested use built right into its name! Think of the number of times you yourself could use a ‘take 5’ to deal with the little and big frustrations of life. This practice is super easy, and you’ll always have your hands available as a focus tool.
I hope you enjoy using these easy and fun breathing resources with your children.
And by all means, keep in touch! Let me know how it works for your family. And of course, as always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. I’m here/hear for you.
In service and joy,
May all your breaths be peaceful.