Calming Breathing Exercises for Kids (and You)

by , posted on September 29th, 2015 in Bold Brilliant Beautiful You, It's a Process

breathing techniques to help calm and center

Recently I wrote about something that’s helped me through some rough times. Today, I wanted to share something that has also helped immensely: a few calming breathing exercises.

The first is disguised as a kids’ post, and while I have taught it to my kids and have them practice it frequently, I use the technique far more than they do. Or at least, than I think they do.

It’s called Diaphragmatic Breathing. Basically, it’s taking big deep breaths. I explain it more in depth over on PBS Parents. There you’ll learn both the science behind it and the technique. Click here to check it out.

The second breathing technique I wanted to share is called Alternate Nostril Breathing. I love it. It’s been around a very long time and it’s roots are in India. It’s supposed to align the brain hemispheres so we think more holistically, and there is some research to support its effect. Alternate Nostril Breathing has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve focus.

Ready? Let’s give it a try. Here’s what you do:

1. Hold the right nostril closed, and breath in deeply and evenly through your left nostril.
2. Now close the left nostril and exhale evenly through the right.
3. Continue to close the left nostril and inhale through the right.
4. Then close the right and exhale through the left.
5. Repeat step one. Continue for at least four rounds.

Feel better, right? Calmer, more centered?

I love that you can do it anywhere whenever you need “a moment”: at your desk, in your room, as you’re gearing up for something you’d rather not do. I’ve found it incredibly helpful. So give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

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