Breathe in, breathe out! Inhale and enjoy the moment through conscious breathing. 

Breathwork Africa helps you build an awareness of how you breathe, to be present and then how to use it to support you in various situations. Breathwork Africa  believes that conscious breathing should serve as a support for our children, not another ‘to do’. If this skill can be  developed as a neural pathway at a young age, it will change the way people live, act, and interact.

Breathing Buddies Workshop

If you are a parent, teacher, caregiver, coach, psychologist, OT  or anyone who works with kids  from 3-13 years, book now for the Breathing Buddies workshop. This 1 day workshop will teach you how to work with your little ones. 

conscious breathing

Why are kids struggling with emotional balance and attention?

Today’s young people are learning and growing in a world which is very different than the one in which their parents grew up. While there are a range of new opportunities, they also bear the weight of modern worries, distractions, social media, stressors, and fears:

  • Home life may be lived in two households, in poverty, with working parents, single parents, helicopter parents, often without multi-generational support.
  • Like many of us, today’s children are surrounded by the distractions from digital technology overload, violence, abuse, and pressure to perform in both academic and sporting environments.
  • Children have less patience to listen and pay attention in class, battle to form personal relationships, and have generally disconnected from themselves, their bodies and those around them.
  • Children worry about environmental problems like global warming, violence, and hunger. These factors can impair the learner’s emotional balance and attention.

How can we help kids develop better attention span?

The beautiful thing is that children and young adults are resilient. They are born with optimal breathing patterns, have wonderful imaginations, live in the moment, and spend much time in awe. They are keen to learn new things and love to play:

  • When given healthy practices to cultivate they can learn to be rooted in well-being amidst chaos, connect with themselves and others, and feel safe in a variety environments.
  • They can tap into their joy more often and fully, be solid within themselves, and make a difference to those around them.

Conscious Breathing can help give them that.

breathing

What is conscious breathing

Wake up and smell the coffee! By being aware of the moment we are living in, we have the power to change how we feel or react.

So, if we are feeling anxious, we can breathe in a certain way to calm ourselves; if we are struggling to sleep, we can change our breathing pattern to support better sleep; if we need energy, we can use a technique that boosts us. By changing how we breathe, we can change how we feel both physically and mentally.

Increasing research is showing the immediate and long-term impact that optimal breathing has on the mind-body system. Conscious breathing – as opposed to inhaling and exhaling 22 000 times a day without taking much notice – has a direct impact on the autonomic nervous system. It supports balancing the parasympathetic system (rest and relax) with the sympathetic system (fight and flight). We now have scientifically based evidence on the effectiveness of breathwork on blood pressure, anxiety levels, depression, compassion, creativity, productivity, joy, kindness, social bonding and overall health and wellbeing.

With Covid-19 being uppermost in everyone’s mind, the importance of optimal breathing has also been highlighted. We are lucky that breathing is an automatic function – so we don’t have to think about it; but the interesting thing is that breathing is also the only autonomic function that we can override.

The benefits of conscious breathing

Overall:

  • Decreases stress.
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Helps you to remain calm.
  • Sharpens the ability to focus and learn.
  • Slows the heart rate.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Helps to manage emotions.
  • Promotes appropriate social behaviours.
  • Encourages happiness

Reduces:

  • Bullying
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Stress and worry
  • Pain

Improves:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate and rhythm
  • Coordination, concentration, teamwork, and cooperation
  • Restful sleep
  • Relaxation
  • Self-esteem
  • Team cohesion
  • Reading and performance scores
  • Patience, confidence, and independence
  • Endorphin levels

Conclusion

One of the most overlooked aspects of daily life is how we breathe and yet, bringing awareness to our breathing can profoundly change our lives and the lives of our children for the better. It is easy. It is accessible in every moment. Best of all: it’s free. Our breath belongs to each of us. Let us support our children with this life-long and fun skill to support them as they go about their lives.

 

Article written by Marj Murray Managing Director of Breathwork Africa and a Certified Breathwork Practitioner. Breathwork Africa supports children, students, business leaders, entrepreneurs, NGO’s, creatives, activists, educators, athletes – anyone who is committed to physical and mental health, personal growth, and greater self-awareness

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