Kids Yoga Teacher Training
http://www.theyogakids.com/yoga-training/

When I was a child in India, my father and I practiced yoga together almost every day. Some days were short sessions to start a busy day of school and appointments. Other days we had long sessions with advanced poses and meditations. But controlled, deep breathing – Pranayama — was central to every practice. I remember when I discovered how controlling my breath helped me to visualize good coming in to me, and bad flowing out. I could even feel it! Controlled breathing was easy to learn and it helped me to focus on my day, my studies, and my relationships.

I was lucky to learn early on that controlled breathing helped me not only to celebrate my life, but to face my responsibilities and hurdles with better concentration and a positive outlook.


Children´s Yoga Teacher Trainig
http://www.theyogakids.com/yoga-training/

Children thrive through deep breathing

Healthy breathing improves brain development, focus, and overall productivity. To demonstrate the benefits of breathing in my children’s yoga classes, I first ask them to run or jog for a few minutes while I set up a lacing activity on their mats. I then ring a bell for them to stop jogging and to do the lacing activity, while I time them to see how long it takes. Naturally, their heart rates are elevated and their breathing is shallow while they complete their lacing task.
Next, we practice the deep breathing exercise outlined below, followed by the same lacing activity while I again time them. Invariably the children complete the task faster and more accurately than they did after running — because now they can focus better. It’s easy for them to now see that when their breath is not steady, their minds wander and can’t focus as well.

Breathing Exercise: Balloon Breath

Kids are great visualizers, so I often use a balloon to illustrate how our lungs work, and how lungs are affected by the WAY we breathe. I blow a balloon up, then release the air, and ask the children if they think there is any air left. They can see that even though the balloon is mostly deflated, there is still some air remaining.

Now I blow it up again, this time pressing on the balloon with my hand to deflate it. This demonstrates how they can exhale all the “stale” air out of their lungs completely.


Kids Yoga Teacher Training
http://www.theyogakids.com/yoga-training/

For children age 3 to 6, we sit on our mats. As I slowly count to five, we inhale while our outstretched arms go slowly up from our sides, creating an invisible balloon around us, fingers touching when we reach 5. To exhale we count slowly to 5 again, arms coming down and touching the mat again when we reach 5.
Children age 6 to 9 can do the same exercise, or they can place their hands on their bellies with their eyes closed so as to feel the rise and fall of the complete filling or emptying of their lungs.

Children 9 and older sit with their hands on their knees, eyes closed. Again they inhale for 5 seconds but instead of releasing the air immediately, they are instructed to hold the air in their lungs for 5 seconds (or as long as they can), and then slowly exhale for 5 seconds, completely emptying their lungs of all “stale” air.

It sometimes helps to give the kids my dog analogy: Our mind is like a dog, and our breath is like a leash. In order to use our mind best, we need to leash it with controlled, deep breathing.

Parents and teachers of my students see better behavior and grades, calmer moods and a better ability to deal with the obstacles and anxieties that come with growing up. I’ve also gotten reports of actual physical health benefits, and this makes sense to me knowing that controlled breathing improves the body’s oxygen supply and distribution: Kids get sick less often, sleep better, and yes, even asthma sufferers have said they breathe better!

The way we breathe affects the way we act, feel, and learn. Give it a try and let me know how it made you and your child feel.
Together now…. Inhale deeply with a slow count to 5…………………………… and exhale slowly to 5 again.


Kids Yoga Teacher Training
http://www.theyogakids.com/yoga-training/