Many of us reminisce to those simple days of being a kid.....there were no worries of bills, traffic, and work. A kid's biggest worries are compromised of lunch, friends, and whether the class stays inside or out for recess. Big deal right?
But if you really, really think back to childhood, it was a big deal and still is for kids! Childhood can be overwhelming and stressful, as kids are growing, changing, and learning about the world around them. Going back to school with new teachers, new faces, and new rules can seem daunting and stressful for kids as well. So, just like us, kids need a way to decompress and release this tension. Fortunately meditation and breathwork, works for kids in similar ways that it works for adults.
Here are five breathing techniques and meditations for kids, they can use for stress management from returning to school:
1. Color Breath: Kids love to discuss their favorite colors, food, movies, you name it, right? Color breath is a nice way for them to focus on breath imagining that they breathe all the way in with their favorite color. They then empty it all the way out with a 2nd favorite color such as their favorite animal in that color or a rainbow.
2. Belly Breath: Have them lie flat on the floor and place a pillow or stuffed animal on their belly. As they breathe in, the object grows with deeper and deeper breaths. As they breathe out the objects goes back down. They can play around with trying to knock that object over from breathing so deeply.
3. Emptying the brain "garbage can": My 7 year old gave me this analogy the other day (and I use it for myself sometimes at the end of a long day!). Lying in bed or winding down at the end of the day, think of any unpleasant thoughts, worries, or occurrences to the day. Then imagine putting those in the trash can & throwing them away.
4. Sound breaths: There are various types of breaths available but the main purpose here is to ensure the focus is brought inward and deeper breaths are taken. Some of my favorites are horse breath in which you breathe in and exhale like a horse moving the lips. Another one would be lion's breath in which you inhale, then exhale sticking out the tongue & taking gaze up towards the sky. At the least these will produce giggles which usually decrease the stress immediately!
5. Any other "un-plugged" time: Bottom line here is, as long as they are engaged and bringing awareness to how they feel, it is helping to cope with those stressors. Less TV, iPad, and game time. More thinking, imagining, feeling.
By Stefanie Ezratty
Hi! My name is Stefanie Ezratty! I am a mom, wife, and yes yogi! I dabbled in yoga for years deepening my practice through prenatal yoga while pregnant with my daughter. It was after that time that yoga had a lasting impression on my life. I then went on to complete my 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training Certification. In addition, I completed my 85 hr Prenatal Yoga certification, and have trained in Kids Yoga. Though a sanctuary, I did find some areas and aspects of modern yoga culture to be intimidating. For that reason I am passionate about making yoga truly for everyone-young, seasoned, newbies, and everyone in between.
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