This hand based mindful breathing technique is good for both children & adults alike. Sometimes the thought of mindfulness or yoga is enough to put us off - but this 'handy' technique breaks mindfulness breathing down to a simple awareness with a solid simple action easy for children to follow & learn to complete on their own. By using our hands & fingers as the measure we can learn a lot about our breathing patterns, its speed & what affects it. Over time (sometimes in as little as a week of practicing regularly) we can build a picture of our own breathing norm and any stressors. Where possible breathing is done in & out through the nose, but if you have a cold or this is not possible for you the adjust as required. Remember that you can return to your usual pattern of breathing at ANY time throughout the activity, follow your own needs. Whilst using this yoga resource to inspire learning, know you are helping you and your family's wellbeing:
1) Get Active - although this technique is available to you at any time in your day, why not take a walk out to a sit spot somewhere and try it outdoors.
2) Keep Learning - Use this session to help your body and mind learn a new way of breathing to promote calm and wellbeing. Over time, your breathing pattern may lengthen, become deeper and calmer.
3) Be Mindful- Noticing our breath and how it affects us mentally and physically when it is either heavy, struggling and laboured, or deep and calm is central to understanding the power of breath. The hand breathing technique lets us become aware of our breath. Remember that a child's pace of breath can be vastly different to your own and therefore it is important to let them guide their OWN breath.
4) Practice Kindness- In yoga only ever practice with kindness to yourself - EVERY practice is different every time. Yoga should never hurt. Look after yourself - there is only one of you.
5) Think Community - Practice this session with your community - eg your family if you feel that this is useful & appropriate for them.