Every parent can attest to the sometimes enormous challenges that come with managing children who are unsettled, tantruming, restless or anxious but often are not sure what to do.
As any a child parenting expert will tell you it’s about how you the parent manages the moment with your child, they rely on you to be calm and connected as little children are still learning to manage difficult emotions.
Local eastern suburbs mum and yoga teacher Katie Briance offers some effective strategies for parents using the ancient wisdom of yoga.
“The breath is the Guru. It’s as simple as that. Check-in with yourself in this very moment,”explains Katie.
How are you feeling right now? Take a minute to watch what your breath is doing. If you are relaxed and calm you will find that your breath is slow and full. If you are having a difficult day you may find that your breath in short and shallow. Our breath centres how we feel and it influences how we respond to what is happening around us.
Teaching our kids conscious breathing can help them learn to regulate their emotions.
It can be the difference that stops a full-scale meltdown in the middle of the supermarket, for both you and your child. Here are a few techniques that can be done anywhere at any time.
1. Finger breathing – Ask your child to hold their right hand up and spread their fingers wide. Take the index finger of the left hand and put it on the side of the right hand thumb. As your child breathes in, run the left hand index finger up the edge of the right hand thumb. As your child breathes out, run the index finger down the inside edge of the thumb. With each breath continue up and down the fingers until they reach the bottom of the little finger. 5 long full breaths will clear most emotions. If it doesn’t, you can always do the same on the other hand.
2. Candle breathing – Your child holds up their finger pretending it is a candle on their birthday cake. Ask your child to slowly blow the candle out using the number of breaths that is their age.
3. Hand breathing – Ask your child to rub their hands together vigorously until they feel heat between them. As they breathe in and fill their bellies with air, ask your child to widen the space between their hands. The space between their hands may become as wide as their shoulders. As they breathe in, ask your child to bring their hands back together. Repeat this 4-5 times or until your child is calm again
Conscious breathing is a part of yoga. Children’s yoga is becoming more popular as parents, carers and teachers recognise the physical, emotional and mental benefits it brings.
Our children are growing up in an ever changing fast paced world that will challenge them in every way. It will be tough for them, but they are fortunate because we can share a most valuable gift, one that will give them the tools not just to survive but to thrive – the practice of yoga.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
For more info on yoga classes in Sydney’s east for kids contact Inner Child Yoga http://www.innerchildyoga.com.au