3 Breath Techniques That Can Help Parents Stay Calm

yoga-teacher-WindsorMost parents will agree…Our children teach us. They show us our stuff. You know, all those foibles we like to hide from ourselves? Yes…those.

Lately my daughter has been teaching me a lot about patience…and my lack thereof. As a family photographer, I have infinite patience with other people’s kids. It’s my own child that pushes my buttons.

I’ve turned to my yoga practice for ways to help keep my cool. These 3 breath techniques are working for me. They take seconds to do and they give me space and time to pause. They help me modulate my response or at least make it an appropriate one. Whether you are a yogi or not, the next time you feel your temperature rising, try this:

1. 3 Deep Breaths: I do this at the start of my practice and at the beginning of every class. Pause. Take 3 deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose…or sigh the breath out through your mouth. (whichever feels right for you.) These 3 breaths are often enough to cool things down.

2. Ground Yourself:  Take a deep breath. Breathe out and imagine that your breath goes down into the earth through your feet. Imagine sending roots down into the earth with your breath. Repeat as many times as you need, then respond to your child.

3. 3-Count Breath: Take a deep breath in, counting slowly to 3. Exhale to 3, trying to make your exhale just as long as your inhale. Repeat two or three times. Then respond.

I hope these breath techniques help you as much as they have me. Do you have any other helpful ideas? Please share in the comments below.

If you are interested in learning more about yoga and/or breath & meditation, I’m now booking for the next term beginning 20 April. All classes are small group of less than 5 students and taught in a private studio in Windsor. The schedule includes Hatha yoga classes for different abilities (some very athletic, some more restorative) and also Mindfulness classes that combine yoga stretching, breath and relaxation/meditation. Perfect for reducing stress and becoming more present.  Please email me on: dbalyoz[at]mac[dot]com or find me on Facebook: Denise Balyoz Yoga.

Swing Yoga

Denise flying high.Today, I’d like to talk about yoga. As some of you know, I teach Hatha yoga with a focus on vinyasa flow, but my personal practice is Ashtanga.

In Ashtanga yoga, the poses and their order are the same. Every time. Every movement is linked with the breath and every breath is counted. At least…this is the goal.

And while this might sound boring to those of you who like creative and different classes, I have found that this breath-link and the asana repetition have massive benefits for both my body and my mind. The only thing that changes in my practice is me….and thus my practice becomes a meditative experience – something that doesn’t happen if I take a class or follow a video.

Last week, when I arrived for my class (I take private classess to finesse my technique and work deeply and specifically with the needs of my body.) my teacher suggested that I try Swing yoga in the garden. I hesitated for just a moment. But the sun was shining. The birds were singing. Yoga outside? Yes please!

I loved it. Especially the meditation at the end…The sounds of nature were around me. The breeze was blowing gently. I felt like a marsupial in a pouch rocking ever so slightly.  Relaxing? Oh yes.

I’m back to my indoor evening Ashtanga practice. I love the consistency. But every now and then, I might just change things up with the swing.

Garden swing yoga with a twist to it... Denise in Warrior 3