Kids Yoga Breathing - Calm, collected, organized moments with the kids you love!
Contents of the article
Information about the kids yoga breathing activity
Context for why and how we do it
The Benefits of this breath
A Poster (free download) of the activity (you can print it!)
The Benefits of the activity
How to do the activity (Instructions)
A video of me teaching this activity for the #selfcaresaturday initiative we did as a community service in 2020.
An all-time favorite yoga breathing activity for kids 2023 edition
Follow the steps of the poster and video to get the benefits of yoga breathing and mindfulness with the kids you love.
How it came to be
The 5-Breath Space Maker was named as such because I used to feel that a little bit of space between activities to clear the physical and mental spaces would reduce anxiety for children.
As a former educator, I witnessed the pressures teachers are under to rush kids to start quickly and transition quickly, often times short-cutting the need to mindfully close out one activity, putting the items away first and then mentally clearing the mind, acknowledging that the activity is over and perhaps what you learned. Being mindful of beginnings, middles, and ends gives up ample opportunity as parents, educators, clinicians, and others that love kids to slow down and tap in.
Mindful Practices for Kids - Presence, not urgency.
The chaos of children smashing papers into their backpacks and running down the hall just not to be late is not a way to send children off into the world. We need to make time and space for ceremony and meditation.
A Rite of passage such as a dance recital is an example of a ceremony, or a culmination event that acknowledges the end of something or an accomplishment. Whereas daily rituals, such as mindful breaks, provide the opportunity for presence, gratitude, and awe in a similar fashion to a ceremony, just on a smaller scale.
The similarity between ceremony and a meditation session lies in the presence, intention, and awareness involved.
Breathing Activity for Kids - Benefits
The benefits of this activity are plentiful.
Appreciation for the activity ending
Non-urgency / not rushing from one things chaotically to the next
Calm, alert, and gratitude inducing activity
Good modeling of mindful presence
Ensures activities are cleaned up before moving onto the next thing
Not passing anxious behaviors and rushing onto our children
Calmer, more organized classrooms
Calmer, more organized homes
Helps teach separation of concerns - doing one thing at a time with awareness
How to do this kids yoga and mindfulness activity
In this example, imagine you are completing an art project at home.
First, say out loud that you are about to finish art.
As the activity is ending, say aloud or in your mind, "this art projects is ending."
Put away all the art supplies, making sure everything goes back in its place.
Take a moment to slowing inhale and exhale through the nose 5 times. Go slow and pay attention to what it feels and sounds like to breathe in this way.
Once you finish, consider something you appreciate about the activity. (For a small child you can simply say, "What did you like about that art project")
Now, think about where and what you are going to do next.
Mentally prepare, for example say aloud or in your mind, "I am going to read a book next."
Then mindfully go to where you will lead.
Notice how you are feeling from the calm, smooth transition.
Products that teach breathing:
I have been teaching children for more than 20 years as children's yoga and mindfulness programming for more than 10!
One of my main objectives has been to create child-specific content that supports adults introducing or deepening a yoga and mindfulness product for children.
These printable lesson plans, cards, coloring sheets, and games are made from my heart and illustrated by the talented Nafeeza Hassan, who is also an expert video game designer!
This week, we go over the Turtle Pose. Inspired by the patient turtle, this pose increases mental focus and stretches the arms, back, and legs. This pose looks like a turtle withdrawing into its shell!