Saturday, March 4, 2017

5 Minute Yoga Breath Breaks

Mel and I had the privilege of empowering 30 teachers from Breaux Bridge Elementary School during a Professional Development workshop. We were asked to put together a presentation of yoga and breathwork the teachers could learn and take back to their students. 

Research suggests that yoga and breathwork cultivate mind-body awareness, self-regulation and physical fitness. All leading to greater health and well being. Numerous studies have proven that teaching kids stress relieving exercises such as yoga greatly improves test scores as well as classroom conduct.

Since testing was soon to begin, we came up with several 5 Minute Yoga Breath Break exercises. The aim of which is to empower teachers by recharging and refocusing young minds, these stretching and breathing exercises soothe the nervous system, allowing the muscles to relax, enriching the blood supply and feeding the brain, as well as develop focus and calmness. Exercises that will benefit the teachers too, making it a win win for sure. They can be done before testing, between testing and anytime students or teachers need a 5 Minute Yoga Breath Break.

Breath awareness connects us to our bodies and our minds. The breath can calm us or energize us. The following exercises contain an energizing and a calming aspect. Each exercise takes about 2 minutes; combined they create a 5 Minute Yoga Breath Break that will help to bring the body and mind into balance.

You too can take a 5 Minute Yoga Breath Break!  Below are a couple of exercises for you to try. 

All exercises begin with Standing or Sitting Mountain pose. Feel the feet or seat firmly rooted to the ground; the body is stable, steady and secure. The back is straight, spine is tall, head lifted high. The belly and chest expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. 

Energizing Breath of Joy

Begin standing in mountain pose with a gentle bend in the knees, arms are alongside the body. Inhale through the nose and swing your arms up in front of you in line with the shoulders. Exhale through the nose opening the arms out in a "T" feel the shoulder blades coming together in the back as the chest opens to the front. Inhale and swing the arms overhead, fingers to the sky. Exhale with an open mouth "ha" and swing the arms down towards the ground letting the torso fold forward. Slowly round up to standing. Repeat 7 times. 

Calming Peace Breath

Begin in sitting mountain pose. Bring one hand to the belly and the other hand to the heart, close the eyes. Sit tall but relax the body. The breath is slow, in and out through the nose. Breathe in and feel the peace inside you, notice the belly and chest expand. Exhale and send peace out into the world, notice the belly and chest contract. Repeat 7 times. 

Mahalo, we serve. 

No comments:

Post a Comment