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Breathing - so simple, so powerful

Do you ever just pause and notice your breathing? Try it. Are your breaths short and fast, long and slow, or somewhere in between? Breathing is something we often take for granted. Of course, we’re all breathing - that’s how we stay alive! How we breathe though, and how intentional we are with our breathing can make a huge difference in our health and overall well-being.

In Pursuit of Balance, one of the first POB Practices we introduce is Focused Breathing. It is a simple, yet so powerful practice that you can do at any moment to help bring peace into your mind and body. So often, for whatever the reason may be, we hold our breath - while we’re talking, while we’re working, etc. The eb and flows of the inhales and exhales (the release) are essential.

This is also one of the first Pursuit of Balance lessons that is taught to children as well. A young child experiences the same emotions we do as adults, but they don’t always have the language to express what it is they are feeling. Therefore, Focused Breathing is something that is essential for them to learn at a young age, in order to bring them back to a peaceful state. I teach children by connecting to language that is fun and relatable to them. For example, I may say, “Do you ever feel like there is a volcano in your tummy? A rock in your throat? Are butterflies flying around your heart? Tingling in your hands? Or maybe you feel something that you can’t describe, but it doesn’t feel good?” By first teaching them to connect to their body and recognize when they are feeling “animations” - they don’t need to know why they feel it or even be able to label the emotion yet - they begin to recognize “I feel xyz, so I’m going to do my Focused Breathing to feel better.” 

With children, there are many fun and tangible ways to teach Focused Breathing. I encourage you to share this essential practice with children you know, and make it personal to them! Maybe they love flowers so it’s pretending to smell a flower (breathe in) and blow on the leaves (blow out). Maybe they love animals and it’s related to breathing out like a lion’s or horse’s breath. Maybe they’re older or interested in numbers and you bring in counting - breathe in for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 4. Lastly, you can connect them to their body with a hand on the heart and a hand on the belly (to feel it expand when you breathe in).

With love & light,

Rachael Walston

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