Five Breathe tools to try at home

The breath is important in mindfulness because we can use it as an anchor to bring ourselves back to the present. We can focus on it to ground ourselves in the moment that's happening right here and right now (rather than what might be going on in our head). It's rare that we focus on such a basic, fundamental function of our bodies.

So, the very first thing we pay attention to in Mindful Magic sessions is the breath. And we introduce children to different fun ways of focusing on the breath. There are loads of possibilities and thanks goes to my nephews, Aaron and Matti, for their brilliant ideas too!

1. Hot Air Balloon

As you breathe in, make a hot air balloon shape with your arms, reaching up and out in a big circle. As you breathe out, bring the arms back down and then quickly upwards to push the balloon away.

2. Hi-5

A classic mindful breathing tool is to hold one hand in the air and trace up and down each finger. As you trace upwards, breathe in, as you trace down, breathe out. Repeat for five breaths.

3. Tree Breath

Curl up in a ball on the floor like a little seed. Breathe in and reach up as high as you can like a tree growing tall into the sky. Breathe out and curl back up into a ball.

4. Star Breath

Bringing hands to your side in fists. With each breath in, reach the hands and arms into the sky, spreading arms and fingers wide like stars. Bring hands back down to the side with the breath out

5. Belly and chest

A super simple breathing tool to really notice the breath as it flows all the way down to the belly. Placing one hand on the chest and one on the belly. Breathing in and feeling the breath fill your chest and then your belly. Breathing out and letting the breath flow all the way out again.

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