Balloon Breathing

Now that you have created your yoga space and are eager to begin a yoga practice with your child from last week’s post “Bringing the OM into your Child’s Life” I will continue to sprinkle your life with all things YOGA!

This week we will look at a breathing technique (pranayama) that will assist in calming, rejuvenating and relaxing your child (and yourself!) and can be used sitting at a desk at school, while trying to fall asleep at night in bed, or before an event that may bring feelings of anticipation or nervousness.  Prana= life force or energy and yama= control / restraint. Therefore when practicing pranayama with your child you are both able to gain control over your breath and the energy directed within the body.

Get comfy with your child by lying on the floor, sitting tall in a chair with both feet on the floor or any comfortable position you may be able to find with your little yogi.

Place both of your hands on your belly, spreading your fingers fully to cover as much surface area as possible.  Relax your arms and gently close your eyes.   Inhale deeply through your nose and visualize the breath travelling deep down to your belly. Feel your belly begin to expand and grow, like a balloon, and let your hands experience the belly moving as it fills with fresh oxygen.  Slowly begin to exhale and visualize the breath leaving the belly, travelling up to the ribs, then the chest and slowly leaving through the nose.  Continue breathing deeply, fully and completely in and out of the nose as your belly fills like a balloon, then let all the air slowly leave the body.  Don’t force the breath, but invite it to flow naturally in and out of the body.

Have a toddler or preschooler you want to try it out with? You may place a toy on top of their belly and watch as the toy rises up with their belly and then travels back down. Instead of asking them to “exhale through their nose” they may wish to “make wind” with their nose as they gently blow out.  Toddler & preschool yogis also enjoy holding a balloon on top of their belly and watching it dance up and down as their belly moves with the breath.

Take time out as a family to enjoy each other’s company, relax the mind and body and practice some balloon breathing!

Amanda DeGrace

Accelerate your career and be empowered by Amanda DeGrace, respected fitness professional & yoga teacher. Energy, charisma and an amazing passion for life are qualities displayed by Amanda in both her everyday life and her yoga and wellness classes. Amanda is CEO of DeGrace Energetics, and creator of the innovative Little Lotus Yoga program. Amanda currently teaches in the Ottawa area and presents at educational events and trainings across Canada.  Be inspired and empowered as Amanda shares her enthusiasm to keep moving, keep fit and keep it fun!

DeGrace Energetics & Little Lotus Yoga programs may be found at www.amandadegrace.ca

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