“mini yogis minute” tip of the week
Pranayama is one of the foundations of yoga. Learning to control your breath–particularly by deepening, lengthening, and slowing it down–benefits your cardiovascular system and calms the nervous system.
And did you know that it also strengthens the lungs and can be an effective way to fight asthma?
When a child is struggling with asthma, s/he is unable to take deep, fulfilling breaths, but by learning how to breathe not only deeper, but more efficiently, one can help to shorten asthma attacks and hopefully, one day overcome them all together.
Many yoga movements challenge the breath in a way that can be uncomfortable even for those of us without asthma. Take, for example, in Sun Salutation A, stepping back and lowering in the same long exhale. Or in Salutation B, to Down Dog and forward lunge in the same exhale. But it is worth it to train your students to try to work through the initial discomfort of these long breaths so that, eventually, they are easy, second nature. When your kids can draw the breath into longer, deeper patterns, eventually, they can start to use the same technique deliberately in times when asthma attacks and breathing is a real challenge.
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