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Breathe easy with Yoga and mindfulness

Posted: 1pm 22 Apr 2020

Stress management, increased confidence, body awareness, and better concentration are just some of the ongoing benefits of yoga – for both adults and kids alike.

As parents juggle careers, homeschooling and family life from this week, Breathe and Flow Yoga at Murrumba Downs is now offering free digital Zoom classes and handy tips to try.

Owner and founder, Sam Isitt, has taken his fun and playful program online, with accessible classes for toddlers through to 12-year-olds.

Having worked as a qualified early childhood educator for almost a decade, Sam usually visits primary schools, vacation care, early learning centres, and even individual clients.

Like other Moreton Bay Region businesses, he decided to get creative in the face of adversity and create a series of online sessions so kids can continue to get the benefits of Yoga from home.

Let’s face it – if there was ever a time to seek balance, slow down, and focus on the senses, this is it!

Sign me up – roll out a mat and try Yoga at home

Getting involved is easy. Parents can register for the free online kids yoga classes by ‘liking’ the Breathe and Flow Yoga Facebook Page. There are separate events for each 30-minute class.

Live streaming schedule:

Mondays: 10am, 3-5 years

Tuesdays: 10am, 6-12 years

Wednesdays: 10am, 3-5 years & 2pm, 6-12 years.

Simply click ‘tickets’, fill out your details, and you will be sent the Zoom link to participate. You will also need to download the Zoom App to your laptop or iPad.

These special, online sessions are currently offered on a free or donation basis.

Healthy & happy minds

So, what can kids and parents expect from the online yoga classes?

“Lots of fun!” says Sam, who is a qualified Rainbow Kids Yoga teacher.

“We play lots of games, we do yoga poses, and breathing activities.”

With widespread disruptions to jobs and school schedules as a result of COVID-19 and social distancing, this is the perfect way to take a step back, and look after your physical and mental wellbeing.

Top six benefits of Yoga

There’s plenty of ways kids (and adults) can benefit from yoga, which blends gentle exercise with breathing techniques. These include:

  • Developing body awareness
  • Learning how to use your body in a healthy way
  • Managing stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement
  • Improving concentration
  • Increasing confidence and positive self-image

Breathing exercises to reduce stress and anxiety

Take a deep breath, and relax. The reality is, it’s not always that simple.

As Sam explains, breathing is frequently used in health settings to reduce stress and anxiety. However, telling your child to ‘take a deep breath’ during a meltdown is unlikely to help them, as they may not know how to take a deep breath.

Sam says that teaching kids to use visual breathing exercises can help them learn to use breath effectively.

As we enter another school term in Queensland with COVID-19 restrictions, here’s a quick how-to guide for belly breathing you can try at home:

Belly breathing

Belly breathing (also known as deep breathing, abdominal breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing) has been proven to be highly effective both as a calm-down strategy and for health reasons.

Belly breathing is a way of interrupting the ‘fight or flight’ response and triggering the body’s normal relaxation response.

How to make belly breathing work with your child:

  1. Ask your child to lie on their back
  2. Ask him/her to close their eyes and breathe normally while paying attention to all the parts of their body that move when they breathe
  3. Ask him/her to place one hand on their upper chest and the other on their stomach
  4. Tell your child to inhale through the nose and into their abdomen. The hand on their stomach should move upwards and the one on their chest should remain still
  5. Tell him/her to inhale for a count of four, then hold it in for a count of four
  6. Ask your child to exhale. Tell them to push out the air from their stomach. The hand placed on their stomach will move downwards
  7. Repeat the exercise for five to 10 minutes or until your child feels relaxed

Why not incorporate these steps into your new daily homeschooling schedule, or give belly breathing a try when trying to wind down after work?

Tune in and chill out

With gyms, pools and sporting centres temporarily closing their doors, people are increasingly turning to online health-related activities and resources.

Here are some other groups and pages to explore when looking for a little zen at home:

If throwing a footy is more your child’s style, check out Image Property Academy with the Dolphins' Cameron Cullen

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