My son started kindergarten this year, and I was THRILLED (to say the least) to learn that his teacher is introducing the kids to a different mindful breathing practice each week. (The breathing strategies are from the Conscious Discipline model developed by Dr. Becky Bailey).
For a while now, my son and I have ended our nightly bedtime routine with a minute of mindful breathing (he sits on my lap and we breathe together. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day).
But now that he is in school, he is teaching his mindful mama a thing or two about breathing.
I asked him if he’d be willing to teach the parents who read my blog about the new practices he’s learned. He agreed — on one condition. There can be NO GIGGLING while you watch the video. (“Because Mom, you know how when adults watch videos of cute kids they sometimes giggle? Well, I don’t want them giggling at me.”)So with that instruction in mind, watch the one-minute video below with my son’s instructions for three different types of mindful breathing you can do with your children. After the video, scroll down for some “mindfulness teacher” comments on why these practices are perfect for little people (and big people, too!)
Pretzel Breathing (a.k.a. “Prentzel Breathing”)
This type of twisted-up breathing is powerfully soothing. It’s basically giving yourself a big hug!
We know this type of touch is calming and reassuring — think of how we swaddle our babies or hold someone in a tight hug when they are upset. When we feel physically or emotionally out of sorts, this type of holding literally prevents us from spinning out of control. The gentle pressure, the turning inward, and the sense of becoming a bit smaller can help children soothe themselves when they are angry or scared.