The breath is a bridge between the mind and body. When we control our breath, in a certain way, to produce a specific feeling, we are practicing pranayama. Pranayama is the term given to breathing practice in yoga and mindfulness. There are many different types of pranayama in children’s aerial yoga. Some mindful breathing practices help children focus and be more energized, while others help children quiet their minds.
Here’s a few ways you can introduce breathing activities in the aerial hammock:
- Elevator Breath. This breathing technique is referred to as “three-part breath” because of how the breath enters the abdomen, diaphragm, and chest. Breathing in and out at full capacity provides a sense of balance and calm. In aerial yoga, Elevator Breath pairs well with Fish Pose and Mermaid Pose in the aerial hammock. However, it can be done in a seated position such as Bucket Seat Pose as well. Put one hand on your heart and one hand on your stomach while breathing in and out through your nose.
- Lion’s Breath. Lion’s Breath is a breathing technique that goes with Lion’s Pose in aerial yoga. It is a breathing method that links movement to breath and uses a powerful exhale that is audible to others. With an ankle in the hammock, come down on your forearms. Breathe in. As you rise to your hands, breath out through your mouth.
- Butterfly Breath. Butterfly Pose is a great pose to relax, meditate, and stretch out your hips. Did you know that flapping your arm wings takes coordination, core strength and communication between the brain and body? Bring your hands to Namaste. Take a breath in as you raise your hands overhead. Breathe out as your arms slowly float down.
- Balloon Breath. Balloon Breath is a great way to introduce kids to deep breathing. It is a slow-paced breath that produces a state of calm. Balloon Breath can be done in the hammock, sitting, laying down or even standing, making it a very versatile breathing method. Breathe in through your nose as you sweep your hands wide, making a big balloon. Lower them to Namaste as you breathe out.
Want to learn more ways to incorporate breathing activities into the aerial hammock? Join us for our Mindful Child Aerial Yoga Training this summer.