Teaching and exploring new breathing techniques is a fun way to try out mindfulness with kids, as well as to teach or reinforce other concepts. In an online mindfulness course I’ve been taking, psychologist Dr. Chris Willard shared his idea for Alphabreaths. Each letter of the alphabet stands for a particular breath! This is a great way to teach the alphabet to younger children, and it also features different animals, natural elements, and visualizations that bring it alive for the kids. This week, I’ll be highlighting the various breaths over the course of the next four days.
Today is A through F--
A: Alligator Breath
Open your arms wide like alligator jaws while you breathe in, and let them shut as you breathe out.
B: Butterfly Breath
Spread your arm wide and up to your sides like butterfly wings as you breathe in, and let them flap in to your chest as you breathe out.
C: Cake Breath
As you breathe in, imagine a birthday cake with candles. As you breathe out, pretend you are blowing out the candles and making a wish.
D: Dolphin Breath (or Diving Breath)
Raise your arms together above your head as you breathe in, and as you breathe out, pretend you are diving through the waves of the ocean.
E: Elevator Breath
Touch your fingertips together. Breathing in, raise your hands like an elevator going up and breathing out, bring them back down. You can even count the “floors” in your head as you go.
F: Flower Breath
Breathing in, pretend you are sniffing a beautiful flower, breathing out, pretend you are blowing a dandelion.
Check back in tomorrow for the next set of breathing exercises!