"Breath is Spirit."
The word “spirit” derives from the word “breath,” (spiritus in Latin). Literally breath gives life. Figuratively , the word “spiritual” connotes whatever is of central and ultimate importance in all aspects of one's life. - Crossbridge Wellness
The breath is the most important part of practice. If the breath gets cut off in a certain pose or it becomes hard to breathe, it means we've gone too far and need to come out of it a bit. We can give ourselves space to fully connect to the breath: our life force!
Learning how to control the nervous system with the power of the breath is a lifelong tool every single person alive can benefit! Speaking from my own personal experience, my life changed when I began focusing on intentional breathing.
It is important to teach children how to use the breath in order to self-soothe, focus, and express themselves more authentically. Here are some ways I like to plant these seeds of mindfulness in my classes:
Balloon (Hoberman Sphere) Breath - Breathe in on the ball's expansion, breathe out on the ball's contraction. Everybody's favorite!
Lion's Breath - Starting on the knees and sitting back on the heels. Begins with a deep breath through the nose. On the exhale, opening the mouth, stretching the tongue out, opening the eyes wide, and letting the breath out through the mouth with a mighty ROAR!
Snake Breath - Breathing in through the nose, long, smooth breath out making a hissing sound. Often done in cobra pose.
Bunny Breath - Making a bunny nose with three sharp inhales in through the nose and one long exhale through your mouth. Repeat 3 times. May crave carrots!
Bumble Bee Breath - Plugging the ears, humming on the exhale out. This breath creates vibration which is one of the most healing ways to calm the nervous system. May grow wings!
Straw Breath - Curling both sides of the tongue up to create a taco shape, this breath is cooling especially on a hot day.
Flower Breath - Similar to straw breath except no curling of the tongue. To begin, we start by pretending to hold a flower in front of us and smelling its fragrance. Then we gentle blow the petals off with a long exhale out. May produce a sense of calm!
Hope this helps!