Just breath

How to make children's lives easier with
accumulated knowledge of humanity

Purpose of the Book

       We as adults have begun to realize that the ecological and free tool for conscious breathing should be used by everyone, anytime and anywhere, throughout life. That optimal breathing can solve the already existing enormous problem of human attention span. And that this regular practice brings health, inner mental and physical balance, thus the simplicity of joy in life. How can we truly help the new generation enter our adult world with endless excitement? For example, through the topic of breathing, which can bring parents and children together, and introduce them to the technique of conscious breathing described in the book within school curricula. This means continuing to play with them as they know how, not burdening them with endless rules, enjoying every moment of life while expanding the scope of knowledge of their body and spirit with the strongest human resources. The book also raises questions and at the same time allows readers to contemplate answers on the topic of existence and self-awareness and brings adults and children together through the theme of breathing.

Annotation

       The meeting of both authors led to the idea of bringing adults and children together through the theme of breathing. The book serves as the basis for a methodology to introduce children within the general curriculum of elementary schools to conscious breathing, leading to a fulfilling, healthy, and joyful life in the modern world.

How to teach a child to manage difficult emotions, release tension, or focus depending on the situation? Through practical breathing exercises, young children will acquire skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. The first part of the book talks about the healthy use of breathing from childhood, so that we feel part of our world and do not lose touch with the reality of the present day in adulthood. In the children’s section, fantastic characters appear to help them discover a new universe.

Notes about the authors

Natalie K. Skotorenko – Designer. Inner transformation led to a complete change in life, which was also contributed to by practicing yoga and breathing exercises. Realizing that only the path of self-discovery brings healthy and fulfilling joy, and the desire to share it enabled the decision about what she wants to focus on now.

Laco Vencel – Entrepreneur. He has been active in India, Africa, Kazakhstan, and the Czech Republic for a long time. He first encountered meditation practice in India. The Academy of Prosperity and Mental Health project guides people through awareness and inner perspective on the world to engage in civil society and support a culture of peace.

The meeting of these two personalities led to the idea of creating a Methodology within the primary school curriculum for introducing children to a new culture of healthy breathing that leads to a harmonious life in today’s world.

The importance of the topic

    In the past few decades, most of us have been dominated by the desire to spend our precious lives solely on physical exertion: work, career, fitness, travel. However, such an approach certainly does not add to the fullness of self-acceptance resources, which today’s ordinary person has very little of. Yes, constant tension has become the reality of our lives, from which we cannot escape. One day, everyone will have to find their inner balance in this world. Its source is surprisingly very close to us, or rather within us. Breathing is what allows us to enjoy a fulfilling life and at the same time cope with “a lot of problems,” helps us understand ourselves, open our inner world, and find harmony in everything that surrounds us. Although regardless of age, a person usually has already lost some of their potential, which nature gave them at birth.

Thanks to the availability of information from many global sources, it is now possible to practice various breathing, health, and meditation practices anywhere. There are many quality books with author techniques on the topic of breathing. For adult enthusiasts, exercises and ways to deal with stress and return to a healthy lifestyle through conscious breathing are well mapped out. Many books are intended for doctors, pulmonologists, allergists, and specialists in functional diagnostics and sports medicine and often have an age limit of 16+. However, there is a lack of books for young schoolchildren on the market. At this age, children are given a new life burden for themselves, so they need something in return to help them develop their mental and physical health. Therefore, the idea arose to create a methodology that would introduce children to conscious breathing and lead to a balanced existence in the modern world. By the way, we are writing a book that I didn’t have when I was a child, or a quarter of a century ago when I became a mother myself. But I want to give this gift to my grandchildren!

Who is our reader?

      All those who care about the topic of self-discovery through the resources of their own body and who want to contribute to supporting the development of a new culture of health for humanity. Parents who are not afraid to open up their children to the external and internal world, as well as elementary school teachers who want to help children discover themselves and the world around them without setting boundaries.

This also applies to all adults who feel suffocated due to the complexity of the educational system and who support a new approach to more effective and harmonious upbringing of the new generation.

How is it different?

      Throughout life, we acquire knowledge from external sources, such as our immediate environment, books, and schools. However, in today’s world, the educational system is overly academic, lacking easy, natural immersion into the essence of learning. Simply put, everyone is tired of dogmas and wants to play, relax, and have the freedom to think and contemplate freely. This book provides a methodology for introducing children to mindful breathing at the beginning of their school attendance. A successful way to introduce them to this incredibly important topic is to show it through a fantastic story, where children, along with the characters, acquire new information and learn to breathe. The breathing exercises are simple and easily memorable, allowing children to quickly relax and become aware of their own breathing. These acquired breathing skills help expand the perception horizon of a growing individual and lay the right foundations for self-discovery, ultimately leading to a full, healthy, and joyful life.

Presentation of two parts

In the first part of the book “Learning to Breathe and Open the Whole World Through Oneself,” we will discuss what breathing is, how it affects life, and what benefits it brings to those who can utilize this unique natural resource, gifted by nature at birth. We aim to open the topic of how we actually breathe and how we should breathe in families, schools, and society. We try not to use complicated scientific and medical terminology to make the perception of important information as interesting and understandable as possible for parents, the older generation, and all interested parties without exception. Most chapters include breathing and relaxation exercises for children in the first stage of elementary school.

The second part of the book, “Stories for Children: Amazing Adventures of Kartoška and Myšík,” introduces children to serious topics such as the universe, natural elements, and the inner and outer world of humans through fantastic stories of two children and their friends, including fairytale characters. These stories are intended to be read aloud by parents or teachers just before breathing exercises. Exploring new things through play and engaging stories helps children easily and with interest absorb new information. The book and cover include illustrations of story drawings.

Authorship of illustrations

      The book, including the cover, is illustrated by an artist who drew it according to the authors’ ideas. Copyright of the book’s authors’ illustrations is available.

Potential reviewers

       Negotiations are currently underway with those interested in writing a review. Among them are a pediatrician, a psychologist, a teacher of breathing exercise courses and a professional dancer from the Ballet Theatre. Specific names will be added during the expression of interest in publishing the book.

Just breathe.

A sample of the author's text

Introduction

Our book serves as a methodology for easily using the source of breathing in our lives, starting from childhood. That is, how to guide our children to delve deeper into this incredibly fascinating topic and learn to enjoy it with little explorers. This book allows us to recall a familiar, conscious, but forgotten truth. All knowledge is within us, but many have lost their way to this deep subconscious knowledge of the World Mind. Finding it and reconnecting with it is very relevant for people all over the world.

 

Throughout life, everyone acquires knowledge from external sources, such as their immediate surroundings, books, and schools. We believe that we learn something new in this way. Let’s not rush for new information, but instead let’s consciously return to the existing information within us, where our inner knowledge is present in the process of perceiving and processing something new. We already have it within us, thanks to millennia of accumulated human knowledge and, above all, thanks to the vast amount of Knowledge of the Universe. They exist for us to draw wisdom from, to develop them, and to recognize them through ourselves.

Suddenly, you will start paying attention to various conversations, situations, movies, and books about the value of the present moment in human life. Unconsciously, you will find yourself thinking that life is a collection of moments, impressions, events where you experience joy and sadness, happiness and pain, love, and much more. Where you are a great friend, student, respected employee, beloved person, simply human… We have plenty of opportunities, one of the valuable ones being to fill our world with meaning. After all, our breath can simply dissipate into the air at any time. So, it all depends on the extent of our willingness to see and realize something that is happening outside or inside us.

Sooner or later, we come to this realization and begin to desire to harness this super source that everyone receives at birth. Our breath. Breathing exercises are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Why? It’s a normal reaction when people realize that it really helps them. They accept it into their lives naturally and with ease, fully utilize it, and enjoy it. And they try to share their new experiences with their loved ones.

Breathing exercises can become a method of transforming the body, mind, and spirit. Our methodology consists of simple exercises that will help start using optimal breathing and simple principles for a happy life. The exercises are simple and easy to remember, so a child can quickly relax and become aware of their own breathing. Breathing, feeling safe, and learning simple principles for a happy life. Allowing children to feel part of our world, and when they grow up, not to lose sight of the reality of the present moment. Let’s call our methodology the most effective way to make our own lives easier thanks to the accumulated knowledge of humanity, or simply a life hack.

Chapter 3: A new vision of health: we learn together with children

      Exercise with breath can be understood as a spiritual journey to awakening. Playing with breath is an interaction with the subtlest form of the World Substance. Breathing connects us with the original energy – the life force that we received at birth; it helps us achieve unity with the Source of life, through which we exist; it supports and rejuvenates our physical body throughout life. Spiritual breathing allows us to understand all of this more deeply. This explains how people who have mastered the skill of spiritual breathing can achieve so much on the level of subtle energies.

“Exercises with the breath can be understood as a spiritual path to awakening… Breathing connects us with the original energy – the life force that we received at birth…”

Breathing is rightly perceived as a bridge between the mind and body, between the visible and invisible, and at the same time, it connects us with each other, with nature, as well as with the entire universe. Each of us lives our own life and walks our own unique path. And that is one of the encouraging aspects of breathwork: no one else can do it for us. If we truly want to touch the deepest aspects of life and reach higher states of consciousness, we must awaken our breath. It is a path, a gateway, and a connection to our heart and soul. Listening to our heart and following our own path requires personal courage or, as it is said, presence of mind. It doesn’t matter how many people believe that this path is right. At some point, each of us will have to walk alone. Our only companion and helper will be our own breath. We will breathe peace and love, freedom and security. We will see how the world within us and around us changes forever! What we see and perceive is ourselves, that is the only thing that can be changed.

Change in the entire Universe and especially within us is constant and continuous. It is important to understand, see, and accept this fact. On an intuitive level, we can feel that we are part of something greater than the actual world around us. However, we can fully enjoy life only when we can detach ourselves from the idea of being tied to everyday worries and look at everything from a distance. It is within our power to understand the goals, relationships, and course of changes that occur throughout life. Our life journey is an awakening from the misunderstanding of our self and what we think we are, to our true self. Every moment of our life is forever connected to the law of cause and effect, according to which everything in the world is interconnected, everything has a certain causality and meaning.

“Each of us is unique and each of us has an enormous amount of ability or talent that we should use to develop our full human potential.”

Each of us is unique, and each of us possesses a vast array of abilities or talents that we should utilize to develop our full human potential. When you look at people who adhere to traditions of strengthening their mind and body, it seems that their culture has preserved knowledge and methods that once allowed them to unleash the full potential of human beings. In many nations, especially in the East, mastering martial arts served to unleash the full potential of the human body and mind. This topic could be discussed endlessly. Monks practicing strict and rigorous discipline combined with asceticism have demonstrated a unique ability to control the entirety of the human body. Or ancient runners who covered extremely long distances with mouths full of small pebbles or water to learn how to breathe through their nose. Such an approach requires concentration and discipline, but the result is worth the effort and hard work. In today’s culture, devoid of any discomfort, everything comes so easily that we rarely have the motivation to do great things. Of course, we can feel a sense of accomplishment from watching an inspirational show or movie. However, that alone is not enough to unleash our personal potential.

“Of all the good things that anyone can do for themselves, the best is probably to learn how to breathe properly and to control their breathing… humanity has not yet found a more perfect tool for developing consciousness, improving health and increasing vitality.”

Regardless of academic achievements, family background, or the first happy years of childhood, what will influence a person’s entire life is their ability to manage their own emotions and to notice the feelings of others. The ability to see the bright and dark sides of life, to manage emotions, and to limit their destructive impact on oneself and others is something that can be taught to children through the ability to relax – simply by listening to their breath. The ability to “insert a pause” into personal routine activities so that it is not forced, but done with ease and joy. Such a pause is like the pause between inhalation and exhalation, during which our lungs are just breathing. Of all the good things that everyone can do for themselves, perhaps the best is to learn to breathe properly and control their breath. With this important practice, it is best to start from childhood. Because over the past millennium, humanity has not found a more perfect tool for developing consciousness, improving health, and increasing vitality.

He who breathes correctly also thinks correctly.

Once a person begins to use breathing exercises, which operate at the level of connecting the mind and body, they gradually come to a deep understanding of basic life principles, relationships, and the possibilities of applying them in everyday life. Perhaps we often fail to realize that health is first born in our minds and then spreads through our bodies. Good, healthy thoughts give birth to good words, which then lead to good deeds. There is a kind of chain reaction of goodness that is transmitted to others. It happens as we wish – that’s how one of the laws of the Universe works – which means that if we wish good to others, we will always be healthy. Wishing good to others comes from inner peace, which helps us find our breath.

“Paradoxically, when changes come from within, we respect the natural order that arises, and we even enjoy it. However, if changes are caused by external circumstances, we tend to identify with them, which leads to greater disagreement, rejection, and ultimately greater suffering from their new presence.”

       A person can feel better if they start taking care of themselves from a young age. When a child feels good, they begin to adopt practices that lead them to take care of themselves. This means that the practice of mindful breathing can be seen as a practice of compassion and kindness towards oneself. When a person discovers themselves, they understand that they want to make more positive decisions in their life. At this point, we are talking about teenagers who have already encountered breathing exercises and regularly use them in their lives. And older children begin to make positive decisions in their lives! Learning to breathe means learning to control one’s thoughts. By acquiring this skill, children can protect themselves from unwanted external influences. In addition, conflicts that may arise within society are addressed. The ability to negotiate with oneself is as important as communication with others. Children learn to perceive themselves and reality more deeply. This one positive effect is very valuable in the process of learning mindfulness. Usually, when dealing with any problem, if we appeal to surface criteria, we can only manipulate the external visible part. Changes, on the other hand, usually occur in the depth, in the invisible part, from where they should come and where they should ultimately lead. Paradoxically, when changes come from within, we respect the natural order that arises, and we even like it. However, if changes are caused by external circumstances, we tend to identify with them, which leads to greater disagreement, rejection, and ultimately greater suffering from their new presence. It’s like the well-known phenomenon that when an egg is broken by external force, life stops. Conversely, if the egg is broken from within, life begins. All great things always start from within…

“Learning to breathe means learning to control one’s thoughts. By acquiring this skill, children can protect themselves from unwanted external influences.”

How we breathe affects how we think, and vice versa. Conscious breathing can significantly change the way we think, feel, understand, and experience life. Every thought we experience during our lives immediately affects every cell in our bodies. It seems that the way to maximize the fusion of mind and body lies in maintaining the unity of the human body. Why and how does breath control the mind? When our mind is in a calm or so-called meditative state, we control it. That’s when we breathe very slowly and calmly. The reverse is also true – by breathing slowly, deliberately, and calmly, we calm our minds. As we change the quality of our breathing, we change the state of our minds.

Learning to manage one’s psychophysical state can be taught from childhood. However, it is evident that a certain degree of objectivity and self-criticism is needed to set a conscious internal goal. These skills, however, combined with insufficient perseverance and the inability to develop long-term willpower, are still lacking in elementary school children. For example, children under the age of 10 are usually unable to master autogenic technique. The ability for focused self-observation develops in the average person until about the age of 12, with a possible two-year deviation. And conscious breathing training can begin with a child as young as 5 years old. Gradually, they become accustomed to using simple breathing exercises in their daily lives. Thus, later on, children will find nothing unfamiliar or difficult about changing the rhythm and depth of their breathing, consciously relaxing their body’s muscles, and being able to influence the physiological processes occurring in their bodies.

It is well known that when emotions are blocked and suppressed, stress is not actively experienced but is held within through breathing. However, the main function of our emotions is adaptive. When we experience emotions, our bodies generate the energy needed for an adequate response to the situation. If we avoid experiencing our feelings, they get stuck in our bodies, consuming much energy to maintain them. So, we don’t have enough energy for life! Restoring optimal breathing is therefore a huge source of health improvement and increased vitality. It is important to realize and tell children that it is possible to restore the spontaneous flow of energy! This is primarily thanks to breathing exercises that actively promote attention and concentration. In this way, not only will we study or work better, but we will also better control unwanted thoughts. The quality of breathing influences how the mind reacts to a situation: either we enter a state of thoughtful activity or a state of calm relaxation. Incidentally, this is the basis of the philosophy of various spiritual practices.

Breathing through the left nostril stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation and calmness, enabling recovery from stress. Breathing through the right nostril stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for concentration, clarity, activity, and willingness to act. Alternating breathing through the left and right nostrils balances the energy of the left and right brain hemispheres and opens the lungs. Breathing through only one nostril stimulates the activity of the opposite brain hemisphere, indicating the possibility of correcting mental and emotional disorders. Alternative breathing techniques are very effective in increasing attention. There are various variations of this technique. It is possible to alternate the nostrils through which we inhale and exhale, from right to left and vice versa. First, we inhale only through the left nostril and exhale through the right, then we inhale only through the right nostril and exhale through the left. To facilitate visualization, it is helpful to imagine that we have our hand wrapped around our nose in the shape of the letter C, and we move our thumb and index finger alternately to the right and left and alternately close and open the nostrils. This breathing technique helps to focus, fill with energy, and increase attention. Therefore, it is not recommended for adults or children to practice before bedtime.

Breathing exercise “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

Helps to focus, energize, and teaches children to use breathing to increase attention.

Instructions:

  • Breathe normally and consistently, take three deep breaths in and out through the nose.
  • Wrap the thumb and index finger of one hand around the nose, with the fingers resting on the nostrils.
  • While inhaling, gently press one nostril closed.
  • While exhaling, open the closed nostril and simultaneously close the other nostril.
  • Continue with calm breathing, alternating breaths through each nostril for 3 minutes.
  • If everything is okay, you can extend the breathing to 5-8 minutes.
  • Try to describe how you feel while doing this.

The correct approach to calming the mind lies in slow, conscious breathing. This is especially true when a child is stressed, scared, angry, or anxious – their breath is spasmodic and shallow. This is because, at this moment, the whole body is filled with negative emotions and experiences, and the breath is simply blocked by them. Only when a person calms down does the breathing become calm and even. This means that with full breathing, excitement disappears, and a state of relaxation sets in. Therefore, every person, from childhood, needs to learn to breathe properly, and in this sense, we pay attention to the word “properly.”

Breathing as a Key to Different States

A person has the potential ability to turn to Mother Nature within themselves. And they can make themselves happy, strong, and healthy by knowing how to use different parts of their body simply through awareness. And this is not one of the fantastic stories. If we believe and breathe correctly, we may be able to regain control of our bodies to be happy, strong, and healthy. Otherwise, ignorance of breathing leads to disruption of the balance of the whole body. Returning to optimal breathing can also cure or alleviate many diseases. Because a person is capable of prevention, treatment, or even alleviation of the course of diseases, both physical and mental.

It is fascinating to start looking at breath as a tool for concentration or connection with oneself and to observe what our body is capable of. How much our mental state and moods play a role, or what our body can do when we use its mechanisms for healing and convalescence. Let’s start breathing correctly together with our children. Together, we will all enjoy more fun!

We adults think we are successful and orderly, but in reality, this is far from true. Often, our attention is controlled by other people, circumstances, or artificial intelligence. We can also suffer from deliberate inattention, which eventually leads to a disturbance of personal perception. In the modern pace of life, attention disorders are caused by external and internal circumstances. These circumstances determine a person’s inner world, which affects their mental and physical health. The behavior of the average person is very often influenced by our momentary feelings. Sometimes we can forget about our real goals. So, when we are angry or upset about something, we unnecessarily argue and often run in circles of problems that we have created ourselves.

“Mindfulness is the ability to experience and manage emotions without feeling that emotions are a heavy burden pushing us into the arms of impulsive, instinctive behavior… Through mindfulness, we can choose our responses.”

Notice that self-awareness and awareness of one’s reactions to life circumstances are not yet the norm for modern humans. Rather, we perceive it as an additional effort by people immersed in various spiritual practices. Or we assume it to be the fate of the wise, those who can combine reason, logic, and emotions. The question of human emotions remains just as important throughout the existence of humanity. However, each of us can demonstrate this through the development of emotional intelligence, which gives us the ability to perceive our own emotions and manage our feelings. Awareness is the ability to experience and manage emotions without feeling that emotions are a heavy burden pushing us into the arms of impulsive, instinctive behavior. By putting ourselves in a position of dependence on momentary emotions and reactions, we literally cease to feel truly alive. We lose the ability to adequately perceive various phenomena and events and become slaves to our emotions and habits. Thanks to awareness, we can choose our responses. The first step in this development is observing our own breath, followed by observing feelings and reactions. Without this, we cannot progress further. And then it is necessary to observe the behavior of other people. This careful observation allows us to understand how our perception differs from reality.

“… it is important to learn to clearly distinguish between conscious and unconscious reactions. This understanding opens access to unlimited internal resources that we may not have even known we had.”

By practicing breathing and relaxation exercises, children can alleviate anxiety and restlessness and subsequently become calmer, happier, and more active when learning new things. It is important to realize that if an unconscious reaction to a stressful event is triggered, it can become a habit from an untrained mind and body, ultimately leading to worsening mental suffering and health damage. Therefore, it is important to learn to clearly distinguish between conscious and unconscious reactions. This understanding opens access to unlimited internal resources that we may not have even known we had. Yes, of course, it is not always possible to reverse the circumstances that expose us to stress. However, every person, and children are no exception, has the ability to restore the chain of reactions and deal constructively with stress. Consciously. By adopting mindfulness skills, children will gradually learn to prevent panic attacks and anxiety. As a result, children themselves can significantly contribute to improving their emotional and physical health.

It is not necessary to use complex rituals or technical devices. The breath, which we constantly carry with us, is enough to achieve the results we need for our body, emotions, mind, and soul. With breath, we can choose our own state! And therefore, we choose our real desires, which we can fulfill with living inner freedom. This freedom can be found and felt through inner silence and space. Controlling the breath helps our natural creative and healing energies flow fully and freely.

“There is a very interesting connection between the way of breathing and traumas and unpleasant, as yet unprocessed emotions that we once experienced, most often in childhood … moving the breath to the chest is an attempt to “escape” from unpleasant sensations that are often located in the abdomen. “

If something troubles us, we must be able to deeply and calmly “breathe out” this pain until we calm down and the tension subsides. In this way, we transform accumulated emotions into energy that helps us act effectively, make mindful decisions, and better cope with ourselves and our emotions. There is a very interesting connection between the way we breathe and traumas and unpleasant, unresolved emotions that we once experienced, most often in childhood… It happens that painful feelings are often localized in the stomach area. In other words, shifting the breath into the chest is an attempt to “escape” from the unpleasant feelings, which are often localized in the abdominal area. The reason many of us breathe shallowly is that this way we simply avoid contact with emotions we don’t want, such as anger, fear, or sadness. This means that rapid and shallow breathing puts us into a state known as fight or flight, and holding our breath into a state of numbness or stupor. This often means that we artificially maintain an intensive regime at maximum level, even when it’s not needed at all. Mental or emotional stress that is not accompanied by physical activity or slow and rhythmic breathing accumulates in our bodies and eventually causes great harm. We can release this type of stress through physical activity, such as laughter, crying, singing, hitting a favorite toy to release anger, or running to reduce anxiety.

Another way to relieve stress is to focus on breathing, which is also physically demanding because our respiratory muscles are active during inhalation, and ensure that your breathing is relaxed and rhythmic. This makes it easier to lose unpleasant feelings. With rhythmic, slow, and quiet breathing, we gain the energy and courage we need to cope with immediate difficulties in the long run. Just allowing ourselves to breathe and listen to our body, our best friend on Earth, is enough.

“Through rhythmic, slow and silent breathing, we gain the energy and courage we need to deal with immediate difficulties in the long term.”

During moments of stress or anxiety, a person is often inclined to hold their breath and tense their body without realizing it. Getting acquainted with a stress test demonstrates this state in practice. By practicing stress awareness exercises, we learn to recognize this reaction and learn how to change it. Simply consciously relaxing the body and taking control of our breathing is enough. This exercise helps convey an important message to our children: everyone is the master of their breath! Whatever happens, every child and adult has the ability to intervene and take control of their state. When a child tenses up but at the same time breathes deeply and consciously relaxes the rest of their body – even if it requires some effort – they can feel physically and internally strong. If we already have rubber or fabric stress balls, we can use them right away. Let’s try to learn this together with our children!

Breathing Exercise for Stress Awareness

This exercise helps control breathing and consciously relax, focus on the present moment, and leads to self-awareness. Useful for reducing stress.

Instructions:

  • Stand upright, with your back straight, shoulders, arms, and legs relaxed.
  • Squeeze a stress ball in your fist. If you don’t have a stress ball, that’s okay, just squeeze your fists very tightly and hold for 10 seconds.
  • Exhale calmly.
  • Pay close attention to what happens with your breath, your body, and all parts of your body.
  • Again, squeeze your fists or the ball for another 10 seconds, but this time, consciously breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Pay close attention to what happens with your body, noticing the difference between being completely relaxed and holding tightly to your fists.
  • Notice the difference between holding your breath and tensing your body versus using conscious breathing.
  • Try to describe how you feel during this process.

“Our breath is like our best friend, it is always with us and gives us a sense of security in the midst of all difficulties.”

Let’s pay attention to how we breathe when experiencing difficult moments. Our breath is like our best friend, always with us and giving us a sense of security amidst all difficulties. Let’s reflect on how we perceive the intense negative emotions we’re currently experiencing. If our inhale is long and tense while the exhale is short and strong, it’s entirely natural. The goal may be to protect ourselves, but it can also help us gain new knowledge that we need! If it’s challenging for us to deal with fear, the following breathing exercise may help.

Breathing exercises in challenging life moments

Instructions:

  • Start by breathing quickly and shallowly.
  • Lift your chest high while breathing.
  • After a few minutes, begin to breathe rhythmically and slowly, as fear diminishes, gradually exhale slower.
  • Or try something else:
  • Take a deep breath and hold it for 2 seconds
  • Then try exhaling with short, strong breaths
  • After a few minutes of breathing this way, once your worries subside, switch to rhythmic and slow breathing, gradually lengthening the exhale
  • Try to describe how you feel while doing this.

“When we change the type of breathing, we change our state. And when our state changes, so does the nature of our breathing. After all, the way we breathe when we are calm and balanced differs from how we breathe when we are angry and upset. Through breathing, we can literally reshape our nervous system, brain, and thus our immune system. Just breathing alone is enough to feel inner freedom from mental constructs and patterns, even though we know it’s not always that simple. And we feel open like our children and rediscover reality through the inexplicable mystery of our existence, but differently. All of this can be achieved through breathing because we should not forget that each of us comes into this beautiful world as a helpless child. As a gift from the universe, however, we already have several abilities, of which the first and strongest is the potential of breathing!”

“By controlling our breath and breathing consciously, we can influence our nervous system. We simply open ourselves up to reacting differently.”

There are many different ways in our life that help us relax and find inner peace. The most powerful of these is undoubtedly the improvement of one’s own breathing. Today we already find a number of relaxation courses and exercises, yoga, various breathing techniques and mental training. You just need to realize that you need to use some of this knowledge and have the desire to know your body and mind. By controlling our breath and breathing consciously, we can influence our nervous system. We simply open ourselves up to reacting differently. And gradually, over time, we get used to the fact that our body reacts to all stresses in a calmer way. New habits are formed, our values, life experiences and even instincts are renewed. All of this calms us down and keeps us in the present moment. As sages advise, most life situations can be solved by first evaluating the situation and then reacting to it consciously, creatively and intelligently without haste.

“Mindful breathing is a type of relaxation that uses the breath as a point of focus, and observing the breath provides a connection to the present moment.”

“With the right breathing technique, both ourselves and our children, each of us, can calm our nervous system to cope with the challenges of everyday life. Everyone has enough space for learning and development. Children get the opportunity to try not to act impulsively, so they can choose for themselves how to behave in different situations. For example, if a child decides to be angry, it’s their conscious choice. And the most important change that changing breathing patterns and becoming aware of breathing can bring us is the ability to look inside ourselves and know ourselves better. Isn’t that perhaps the reason why we came to this earth?

Conscious breathing is a type of relaxation in which breath is used as a focal point, and observing the breath provides a connection to the present moment. Each inhalation and exhalation links one moment to the next. This means that the mind focuses on the present moment, gets rid of foreign thoughts and distractions, and allows children to be fully present and focused on things that are important to them at that moment. For example, a conversation with a friend, a personal hobby, a race, or homework.”

Breathing exercises for mindful breathing

Instructions:

  • Choose any comfortable seated position, with the back straight, shoulders, arms, and legs relaxed.
  • Close your eyes and try to feel your entire body again – whether it feels comfortable.
  • Focus on the natural rhythm of breathing.
  • Do not try to control your breath, don’t force it – just observe what it’s like to breathe naturally.
  • Keep your eyes closed or covered.
  • Try to carefully observe your breath.
  • Notice how the breath enters the body through the nose.
  • Then observe the breath down to the throat, towards the lungs.
  • Notice the sensations in the throat, collarbones, back, lungs, ribs, and sides.
  • Notice the sensations when air escapes from the nostrils.
  • Stay in the state of observing the breath for 5 to 7 minutes and fully feel every moment of air movement inside the body.
  • If intrusive thoughts disrupt the process of observing the breath, it is advisable to start over from the beginning.
  • Try to describe how you feel during this process.

Focused breathing exercises through relaxation

These exercises help children relax and improve their ability to concentrate, making it easier to fall asleep. They are useful for shifting attention and helping to calm agitated states.

Instructions:

  • Choose a seated position on the floor with crossed legs or on a chair, with the back straight, shoulders, arms, legs, and face relaxed.
  • Close your eyes and observe your breath.
  • Do not try to control your breath, don’t force it – just observe what it’s like to breathe naturally.
  • Count each inhalation and exhalation and say to yourself: one, inhale, one, exhale; two, inhale, two, exhale.
  • Try starting with 5 full cycles and after completing the last one, return to the first one and perform two full rounds of 5 cycles each.
  • Whenever thoughts distract attention from the process of observing and counting breaths, start again from the first cycle.
  • Next time, increase the number to 6 and perform three full cycles.
  • Notice your feelings in the throat, collarbones, back, lungs, ribs, and sides.
  • Notice how far you get before your thoughts turn to something else.
  • Try to derive as much joy from the exercise as possible.
  • Practice the exercises frequently and gradually increase the number of repetitions up to 10.
  • Try to describe how you feel during this process.

“It is well known that the awareness of the present moment calms the mind and with it disturbing or negative thoughts while helping a positive mood and reducing stress.”

“Immersion into the present moment or into oneself” is an effective exercise for quick concentration. It is especially useful for those who find it difficult to concentrate on something at the moment. Children can perform it not only at home or at school but also during walks or physical activities. When a child feels that their thoughts are wandering, using these exercises as a quick solution to refocus their attention on the present moment can be very effective. It is well known that being aware of the present moment calms the mind and, with it, distracting or negative thoughts, while also helping to maintain a positive mood and reduce stress. Mastering the technique of “immersion into oneself” teaches the mind to stay in the present moment, to focus on feelings – and what is important – as they are, without thinking about them! During the exercise, it is important to pay attention to all the sensations you feel at the moment. For example, perceiving any nearby sounds and then distant ones, or the contact of the body with a surface, the sensation of air on the skin, and so on. It is important to observe and explore each sensation before moving on to the next. Be open to different sensations and be present with each of them as they arise, approaching each with curiosity as if seeing and feeling everything for the first time.

During the initial practice of this technique, the child naturally may not know what to focus on or may have various preliminary questions. To guide the child in this exercise and help them notice many sensations around them, it is important to talk to them about everything. It is important for them to be interested in trying something new without fear. Tell them how to listen to the sounds around them – and simply observe them without making up a story about them. The same goes for scents. And how to pay special attention to the details of the surroundings. It is important to discuss how to physically feel all the objects the body is in contact with, such as the difference in sensation between the fingers and the back of the hand or the foot. And of course, constantly be aware of the sensations of inhalation and exhalation. This means talking to children about everything, how to stay present, and observe every detail of every sensation!

Breathing exercises “immersion into oneself”

Helps to quickly focus on the present moment, leading to a positive mood. Useful for relaxation.

Instructions:

  • Indoors: Choose any comfortable and relaxed seated position, keeping the back straight, either on the floor or on a chair, or if more comfortable, lying on the back.
  • Close or gently close your eyes.
  • Start by breathing slowly and deeply, calmly exhaling as well.
  • Try to relax while paying attention to all the sensations happening.
  • Pay attention to your breathing.
  • Try to describe how you feel during this process.
  • During movement: Try to focus and briefly, deeply, and calmly inhale and exhale.
  • Continue in slow and mindful movement.
  • Notice every step and pay attention to everything related to it.
  • Pay attention and observe everything around you – every obvious detail.
  • Notice every sensation that arises.
  • Notice how your breathing changes.
  • Try to describe how you feel during this process.

Let’s now delve into another very interesting topic – holistic and analytical awareness. Modern humans are accustomed to looking at things almost exclusively through the left hemisphere, that is, logically. However, notice that we often praise children for naming things or evaluate schoolchildren using standardized tests. This means that we constantly compare, analyze, and judge everything, including ourselves. Unfortunately, this has become a norm of life.

The two brain hemispheres are interconnected and cooperate in processing information in various ways. The left hemisphere tends to compete and process information logically and sequentially. It is directly linked to language and intelligence and is responsible for analysis and decision-making. The right hemisphere operates in a cooperative mode. It is special in that it can process information spatially, holistically, and visually, creating physical, emotional, and intuitive connections. It is precisely through the right hemisphere that humans can generate and integrate thoughts and create new things. However, it is possible to be the creator of brilliant ideas and not realize any of them due to the discord and illogicality of one’s own thoughts and actions. Conversely, it is possible to have a highly developed left brain hemisphere and be a strong mathematician but unable to create anything new.

The correct approach to calming the mind lies in slow, conscious breathing. This is especially true when a child is stressed, frightened, angry, or anxious – their breath becomes spasmodic and shallow. Because at that moment, the whole body is filled with negative emotions and experiences, and the breath is simply blocked by them. Only when one calms down does the breathing start to become calm and even. This means that with full breathing, excitement disappears, and a state of relaxation sets in. Therefore, every person, from childhood, needs to learn how to breathe correctly, and in this sense, we pay attention to the word “correctly.”

Breathing as a key to different states

A human being has the potential to turn to Mother Nature. And they can make themselves happy, strong, and healthy by knowing how to use different parts of their body simply based on awareness. And this is not one of the fantastic stories. If we believe and breathe correctly, perhaps we can regain control of our bodies to be happy, strong, and healthy. Otherwise, ignorance of breathing leads to disruption of the body’s balance. Returning to optimal breathing can also cure or alleviate many diseases. Because a person is capable of preventing, treating, or even alleviating the course of both physical and mental illnesses.

It is fascinating to begin to look at breath as a tool for concentration or connection with oneself and to observe what our body is capable of. How much our mental state and moods play a role, or what our body can do when we use its mechanisms for healing and convalescence. Let’s start breathing correctly together with our children. Together, we will all have more fun!

We adults think of ourselves as successful and orderly, but in reality, this is far from true. Often, our attention is driven by other people, circumstances, or artificial intelligence. We can also suffer from deliberate inattention, which eventually leads to a disturbance of personal perception. In the modern pace of life, attention disorders are caused by both external and internal circumstances. These circumstances determine the inner world of a person, which affects their mental and physical health. The behavior of an average person is very often influenced by our momentary feelings. Sometimes we can forget our real goals. So when we are angry or upset about something, we unnecessarily argue and often run in circles of problems we have created ourselves.

“Children acquire the ability to learn to get out of difficult situations easily only when the intuitive dimension of their mind is sufficiently developed.”

If we have enough information and rely on logic, there are specific steps of a certain algorithm that lead to the desired outcome. However, intuition guides us in a way that we don’t necessarily go through all the sequential steps; instead, we simply move directly towards the goal. Yet, modern educational systems completely suppress the intuitive aspect. They only develop logic and consider everything intuitive as nonsensical. It’s paradoxical that we must analyze everything, and to learn what our ancestors knew, we must conduct research with significant resources today… When everything seems to require constant thought and appears to consist of many necessary steps of a logical algorithm, life is perceived as very stressful. Logic is undoubtedly as important as the value of intuition, but it’s necessary to create a balance, which is a crucial part of a harmonious life.

We usually speak of intuition as a sense/feeling or sometimes as an inner voice. How do we understand the difference between the voice of intuition and the voice in our head – the difference between the heart and the mind, between natural wisdom and rational mental conversation? Breathwork exercises allow us to recognize and feel this difference. Specifically, this happens when we inhale: air from outside enters our lungs, but simultaneously, another invisible process occurs – it fills us with energy, and it’s possible to feel the release of inner space for this energy, experiencing a sense of relaxation. When this happens, it’s possible to be in harmony with our intuition and merge with our breath. When we have this relationship with our breath, we say and do the right things in line with how we feel and think. So, this feeling of comfort, this state of unity and clarity in everything, is precisely intuition. To achieve this state and feel the energy rising from within and effortlessly flowing through the body, it’s enough to trust our breath and perceive it differently. It takes some time, but the result is worth it.

Children gain the ability to easily navigate through difficult situations only when the intuitive dimension of their minds is sufficiently developed. Otherwise, they will be burdened by various trivialities and will constantly go through all the steps mentioned above. The winner is the one who has both parts functioning better, enabling them to maximize their brain’s wealth. This means that the benefits of the interplay between both brain hemispheres are enormous! It’s like a key that allows everyone to open the doors behind which their own immense possibilities are hidden.

It’s interesting that the breath, like a pendulum, moves in regular intervals between the left and right nostrils, almost constantly back and forth – starting from our birth.

To visualize this area, a simple example from personal experience can help – let’s try placing our index finger under the nostrils and gently exhale. Then let’s try to determine which nostril is currently more dominant. It turns out that if we try to observe during the day, we can find that between the 40th and 48th minute, the dominance of breathing shifts from right to left and from left to right. This is because the dominance of energy, which is the life force of the body, shifts from left to right every 40 minutes and vice versa. As the energy changes, so does the flow of breath within the following 8 minutes.

Let’s close one nostril and inhale and exhale through the other nostril, then close the other nostril and inhale and exhale through the opposite nostril. Which nostril seems to be more open or more blocked? There are also periods when both nostrils are equally open. Undoubtedly, the dominance of the right or left nostril is related to the activity of the left or right brain hemisphere, and according to it, you can even control the clock. This rhythm is also one of the first to be disrupted when something in the body gets out of balance, that is, when an illness creeps in.

By the way, as mentioned earlier, the term “prana” is used in yogic practice to refer to human energy. So, if a person is in an ideal state of health and comfort, the breath changes within a few seconds, you could say instantly. This change occurs every 40 minutes, but only at certain times of the day. Specifically, 20 minutes before sunrise, 20 minutes after sunrise, 20 minutes before noon, 20 minutes after noon, 20 minutes before sunset, 20 minutes after sunset, 20 minutes before midnight, and 20 minutes after midnight. Each of us therefore has 40 minutes and four times during the day when a certain transition occurs. This period is also called the “twilight zone”. During this time, the balance between the right and left sides of the body changes very quickly, and it’s very easy to bring it back into balance. A person truly feels comfortable only when in a certain balance. Thanks to this, life becomes truly fulfilling.

The benefits of pranayama, or breath control, are known not only to yogis, who were convinced thousands of years ago that many diseases are caused by a disruption of the breathing cycle, that is, when a person breathes through one nostril for too long. This effect has also been discovered by scientists in a number of studies, which found that such breathing has a satisfactory effect on the brain. It has also been confirmed that if breathing through the left nostril is less difficult, the right side of the brain predominates. Analogously, if the right nostril had less obstruction for full entry, then the left side of the brain predominated. The right side of the brain controls creative activity, while the left side controls logical verbal activity. The perception of the world is thus simplified by the left hemisphere, and without these abilities, it would be difficult to survive in today’s world. And at the same time, the right side shows us as it is, with all its faults and virtues, and at the same time, it helps us consciously accept it in this far from ideal form. Typically, one side naturally dominates us, but it can also be in a “hibernation mode”, and therefore breathwork is a reliable way to wake it up.

It’s quite clear that a calm mind can process information and react much better than a disturbed mind. What is said in yogic practice – that air passing through the right nostril has an activating character, while air passing through the left nostril is relaxing – is confirmed by modern scientific tests and studies. This means that breathing techniques through the right and left nostrils have different psychological effects. Breathwork practice, pranayama, is precisely designed to clear the mind and stimulate the right and left energy channels to remain in balance. Shortening the reaction time after such breathwork exercises indicates an improvement in central nervous capacity in children. This may be due to greater involvement in the present moment, faster processing of information, better concentration, and the ability to ignore or limit external distractions. Research results confirm that since air inhaled through the dominant or non-dominant nostril already affects autonomous functions, it’s necessary to consider which nostril is dominant in a person. Further research on various populations, age groups, and people with different diseases and time periods will be able to provide an explanation and a more detailed understanding of the therapeutic potential of these simple and effective pranayama techniques.

“The use of diaphragmatic breathing during physical activity or any dynamic condition is very important for the effective engagement and use of the reserve capacity of the respiratory system, especially for a child’s organism.”

The use of diaphragmatic breathing during physical activity or any dynamic condition is very important for the effective engagement and use of the reserve capacity of the respiratory system, especially for a child’s organism. In this case, the simplest and most effective exercise is slow breathing while walking, during which we inhale through the diaphragm for two steps and exhale calmly for four to six steps, we can pinch our nose with our fingers. It is known that a systematic conscious action on the respiratory system enables a more natural adaptation of the organism to physical and mental stress, which differs from the state at rest.

“If we consider relaxation and simple “doing nothing” as one of the activities and present this state to the child in a natural way, the result will be more than convincing! It is interesting to see how the children can enjoy the state of peace and quiet.”

If we consider relaxation and simple “doing nothing” as one of the activities and introduce this state to children in a natural way, the result will be more than convincing! It’s interesting to watch how children can enjoy a state of calmness and silence. For everyone around them, it’s something soothing. So, even during a short period of rest and relaxation, consciously using abdominal breathing, it’s possible to feel the right amount of relaxation and even peace. The body can also do it if it correctly recognizes the relaxation signal triggered by abdominal breathing. Repeating these breaks at regular intervals, which happen smoothly and relaxedly, helps to spark the child’s interest in a new activity.

Breathing itself is the key to a person’s state, whether they are strong or depressed. The importance of adjusting breathing in psychology serves to create a trustworthy communication environment. However, it’s a pity that in recent decades, and even centuries, humans haven’t developed much in this regard. Humanity lived for the future, rushed for the industrial development of the world, dealt with the course and consequences of several devastating wars, and increasingly distanced itself from nature and the consciousness of oneself as its vast and important part. This means that problems and emotions that are still unknown and unfamiliar to young people constantly influence their perception of this world from the very beginning of their life journey. But nobody teaches how to deal with all of this. Instead, various new activities are sought to occupy a child’s time.

What if we brought a completely new form of activity for children into the breath practice and tried to perceive the breath… through the back? For beginners, it’s quite challenging but interesting! Try to feel how the tissues around the spine expand with each inhalation. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth as usual. Don’t forget to redirect the expansion of the lungs to the area between the shoulder blades. How does it actually help? When you inhale, the rib cage expands to fill the lungs with air. The problem is that we usually don’t breathe as fully and deeply as we could, and our chest doesn’t move much. This exercise helps the chest expand in all directions, allowing the lungs to take in more oxygen. Allowing children to practice breathing in this way several times a day will bring results – they will quickly notice a change in how they feel. It helps to develop creative visualization, in this case, imagining how two huge wings unfold behind their backs – just like Pegasus’s wings)) Moreover, it’s a good way to play with a friend in pairs. Sit back-to-back with a friend and start practicing breathing on your backs. This way, children can perceive their breath and their friend’s breath, alternate both breaths, or synchronize them.

Breathing exercise for back breathing

Helps children relax and feel energized. Useful for self-awareness.

Instructions:

  • Choose a comfortable seated position on the floor with crossed legs or on a chair (in this case, both feet should touch the floor), keeping your back straight.
  • Hands on your knees, legs and face relaxed.
  • Close your eyes, focus on your body and mind, and ignore what’s happening around you.
  • Start observing your breath without changing it in any way.
  • Then slowly begin to deepen your breath.
  • Shift your attention to your back and continue with calm and deep breathing.
  • Continue breathing and imagine how the breath “fills” your entire back.
  • Notice how with each subsequent inhalation, your back and shoulder blades arch, and with exhalation, they relax.
  • Complete 10 breathing cycles.
  • After finishing the exercise, open your eyes.
  • Focus on how your body and mind feel.
  • Try to describe how you felt differently during this exercise.

Inner balance as part of learning

“Each of us who begins to transform in some way will soon begin to understand and see a clear thing together. Living in harmony with nature is very pleasant and not difficult at all. Because everything that is natural to man is easy and pleasant.”

Each of us who begins to transform in some way will soon begin to understand a clear thing together. Living in harmony with nature is very pleasant and not difficult at all. Because everything that is natural to man is easy and pleasant. We only feel really good when we are in a certain balance. Inner well-being, however, never depends on what we sit on or where we are. Comfort is determined by how balanced we are internally. This is a basic comfort that every person should have. Unfortunately, many people do not have access to it. Most people, especially children, can’t just sit back and relax. Just sit down with complete ease. So if there is no ease, it is an illness, whether you have a medical diagnosis or not. If unpleasant feelings last for a certain period of time, they manifest in the body as a disorder, which is later labeled as a disease. You don’t know what well-being is until you find a sense of balance. Only when we are in balance do we find peace within ourselves. It is important to maintain this balance for balanced human development. The easiest physical exercise to do this is breathing.

“One does not know what well-being is until one finds a sense of balance. Only when we are in balance do we find peace within ourselves.”

To stop the endless flow of numerous thoughts, just observe them and “think of nothing”… Just be in a state of conscious existence or a calm mind… Do you think it’s impossible? Everything is possible. And of course great personal patience and regular exercise will also help. Getting started is really easy. Just sit quietly. And that is enough to begin to understand this simplicity. To see from the outside the endless cycle of thoughts and to slow down their course by beginning to project all one’s attention and consciousness into breathing and inner silence. If in this simple way we develop the skill of turning our consciousness to the personal inner world, it is possible to find the just-mentioned state of inner balance, harmony with ourselves, and therefore also with the outside world, and realize in real time everything that is happening inside and around us.

“… the human body has an incredible self-healing potential …”

European as well as Chinese medicine have been significantly influenced by the ancient system of Indian medicine. According to this system, the human body has an incredible self-healing potential! Negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anger create blocks in the body that prevent the free flow of life energy. To restore the free flow of energy, one needs to learn to observe their emotions and use breath properly. In fact, many people would find it unbelievable if they were to solve these problems using only these natural resources. There is no doubt, dear reader, that the human body was created to tackle many tasks!

Children go through not only a physical journey but also a journey of thought during their lives. We have a tremendous opportunity to develop and adapt brain waves and related activities in our children. In the first five years of life, delta and theta waves prevail, which in adulthood arise during sleep, hypnosis, and unconscious activities. Since they are associated with information seeking and self-centeredness, they are considered part of the period of a child’s life when it has just entered the world and is learning to understand it. From ages 2 to 6, slightly faster theta waves prevail. These waves often appear in a state between sleep and wakefulness. Around the age of 6, brain waves accelerate further and express the alpha state. This type of consciousness manifests as calmness, which can also be observed during exercises using nasal breathing. When mind and body activities are coordinated using nasal breathing and subsequent alpha wave generation, we navigate situations with greater ease, and the feeling of struggle and work is replaced by a sense of joy and pleasure. Note that beta waves arise during the thought process when we concentrate on a problem. They increase activity and tension levels and fully manifest themselves at the age of 10-12.

In everyday life, it is simply essential to be aware of our breathing habits in various situations. Awareness is often the first step towards change. How do we breathe when we speak? When we listen? Before we get angry, or when fear arises? When are we stressed? When do we concentrate? One way to become calmer and more present is to use our breath correctly. Let’s use creative visualization again and imagine a breath anchor that sinks lower into the body with each longer exhalation and eventually anchors us. We don’t force the breath too much because our goal is to relax, not to increase tension. Once the crisis passes, we should try to remain calm for as long as possible. This type of breath anchor can be used anytime, anywhere, preferably in situations where we are usually stressed. Listening to our own breath not only helps us calm down and make wiser decisions in everyday life but also inspires us to increasingly follow our inner voice and intuition.

Breathing Exercise Anchor

Helps calm the body and nervous system, has a cooling effect. Useful for concentration and stress relief.

Instructions:

  • Sit comfortably as needed and ensure that your back remains straight and relaxed.
  • Place your hands on your knees.
  • Start breathing and focus on exhaling.
  • Inhale to a count of 2, try to hold the exhale longer, and exhale to a count of 5.
  • Repeat this cycle 5 times.
  • Then inhale for 3 breaths, try to extend the exhale, and exhale to a count of 8 breaths.
  • Repeat this cycle for another 5 rounds.
  • If you feel good, repeat for 5 to 10 cycles.
  • Try to describe how you feel during the exercise.
  • Aim to stay calm for as long as possible.

“Listening to our breath not only helps us calm down and thus make wiser decisions in our daily lives, but also inspires us to choose to follow our inner voice and intuition more and more often.”

Do we wish our children to be alert and calm? Then let’s try this new breathing exercise with them several times a day. With their tongues outstretched and rolled into a tube, children suck in air through its surface, cooling their tongue and body. The feeling of cool air is refreshing and forces them to focus on the present moment, which is great for developing focus and concentration. This exercise calms the nervous system well and quickly by activating the nervous system in resting mode due to slowed breathing. The result is a reduction in negative, anxious and aggressive states of mind and body. If the length of the tongue is a problem, its position can be adjusted. For this purpose, we open the mouth slightly and place the tip of the tongue on the outside of the upper teeth. We breathe in slowly through the gap between our teeth. The rest is the same as in the basic instructions.

Breathing Exercise “Straw”

Helps calm the body and nervous system, has a cooling effect. Useful for concentration and stress relief.

Instructions:

  • Sit comfortably as needed and ensure that your back remains straight and relaxed.
  • Place your hands on your knees.
  • Stick out your tongue and bend both long sides inward.
  • Inhale through the thin straw created on your tongue.
  • After a full inhale, retract your tongue back into your mouth, relax, and let it roll out.
  • Slowly exhale through the nose.
  • Stick out your tongue and bend both long sides inward again.
  • Repeat the entire exercise five times.
  • If it feels good, repeat the same for up to ten times.
  • Try to describe how you feel during the exercise and pay attention to the moment when you inhale through the straw.

A three-part breathing exercise will teach our children to breathe deeply and fully. Each of us is responsible for our health and sufficient energy. The amount of energy we get from this exercise depends on how consciously we do it. It is one of the most calming breathing exercises imaginable, it clears the mind, grounds and balances. This skill allows children to focus on the present moment and tune into the physical sensations of their bodies. Three-part breathing is often done sitting or cross-legged, but lying down is more comfortable when learning this technique. When lying on his back, the child feels his breath more vividly and can control it more precisely. To facilitate learning the breathing exercise, we will place one hand on the stomach and the other on the chest, then we will feel each inhalation and exhalation with our hands. We try to ensure that all three parts of the breath are continuous and not interrupted by pauses, and that the filling of the lower, middle and upper parts of the body takes place in one long breath. Similarly with exhalation, first the upper body, then the middle part and finally we connect the lower body in one long exhalation.

Three-Part Breathing Exercise

Helps slow down and regulate breathing, relaxes the mind and body, promotes relaxation, control, and focus on the present moment. Useful for practicing a sense of calm and concentration.

Instructions:

  • In a seated position: Relax your shoulders, place your hands on your knees or sides, both feet on the floor, keep your back straight and relaxed.
  • While lying down: Ensure maximum comfort by stretching your legs on the floor or bending your knees and resting your feet on the floor.
  • Place one hand on the upper chest below the collarbones and the other on the abdomen.
  • Relax your shoulders and arms.
  • Inhale normally and effortlessly, and then exhale similarly as usual.
  • If there are many thoughts in your head, shift your focus from them towards your breathing, inhaling and exhaling regularly, and listening to them.
  • Try to feel your abdomen under your hand.
  • Slowly exhale and feel your abdomen retract.
  • Repeat five more breaths, thus completing the first part.
  • In the 2nd part, inhale through the nose and feel the air filling the chest, how the ribs expand, and how much the abdomen inflates, and when you feel that the abdomen cannot inflate anymore, inhale a little more.
  • Start to breathe deeply and exhale through the nose, feeling the lungs filling with air and the abdomen enlarging with each inhalation.
  • Exhale and push out all the air until you feel it’s empty, then pull in your abdomen, and then release another round of air from the body.
  • Repeat 5 breaths and exhalations involving the chest and abdomen, completing the second part.
  • Again, inhale deeply through the nose, fill the chest and abdomen, and then inhale a little more to raise the chest as high as possible up to the collarbone.
  • When exhaling, first empty the upper part of the chest to release the collarbones, then the middle part of the chest, and finally the abdomen.
  • Check if the navel touches the spine, confirming that you are completely empty.
  • Repeat this for 5 breaths and exhalations.
  • With progressing training, increase the number of breathing cycles for each part up to 10.
  • Try to describe how you feel during the exercise.
  • Perform at your own pace to achieve faster results.

Rush. Let’s call it the basic format of modern life. However, the main motive behind the rushed approach to most problems in everyday life is the feeling of missed opportunities, which usually evolves into a syndrome. Remember?

“The Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.”

Yes, that’s the recognizable style of the White Rabbit from the beloved “Alice in Wonderland”. Rush is usually accompanied by anxiety and agitation. Moreover, contemporary life means absorbing a huge amount of information, focusing on multiple tasks, and achieving results. The pursuit of absurd “success” forces people to raise the level of standards. The state of constant busyness is considered an indicator of determination and intelligence, meaning the more and faster we work, the more successful we will be. However, the human brain is not designed to live in constant multitasking and rush! Although it must be said that focusing on multiple tasks is often called what it is not. When we try to be like a superhuman, we are only rapidly shifting our attention from one task to another. Unfortunately, this constant, rapid, and to a large extent chaotic switching, even if we are not aware of it, does not help us do things faster and better but rather critically slows down our thought processes. The same applies to our children, starting from their first years of school attendance.

The disadvantage of rush and multitasking is stress, fatigue, inability to concentrate, and make decisions. Constant anxiety about not being able to manage things and complete them on time. Emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion or so-called burnout inevitably come, leading to disruptions in the body’s vital systems, which turn into chronic illnesses. Of course, each of us is different, and some may find this fast-paced lifestyle suitable. However, it’s another thing when we consciously decide to run continuously and when we do it out of inertia, avoiding necessary breaks and not questioning the right direction with questions like: Does this make me happy? As you can see, mindfulness is needed for fulfilling personal tasks at a comfortable pace and taking regular personal breaks for recovery and rest during significant effort. And all this to avoid one’s own stress and the stress of others. Simple? Yes, if you have a set of such skills and know how to apply them in life. And it’s better to adopt these practices from childhood. Chronic intense multitasking has a more negative impact on children and adolescents because important neural connections are formed in their brains at this age.

“Slowness is the here and now time that is suitable for each of us and helps us understand consciousness. This perception and way of life focuses on feelings. It is not at all a set of rules that must be followed, but a state where a person feels his needs and follows them.”

Whoever understands life, doesn’t rush anymore. Similar meanings are found in the teachings and thoughts of famous sages throughout human civilization. A person who isn’t hurried, with a smooth and meaningful sequence of activities, can gradually increase speed without losing inner balance, while remaining resilient to emerging stresses. Slowness is the time here and now, which is suitable for each of us and helps us grasp consciousness. This perception and way of life focuses on feelings. It’s not about a set of rules to follow but a state where a person feels their needs and acts accordingly. Thus, they can analyze what they like and what they don’t, freeing themselves from unnecessary discomfort without losing personal significance.

Following these simple steps can help find the right self-awareness and understand what we want and feel every minute of our amazing life. Breathing and relaxation techniques can help incorporate these steps into everyday life:

– Be present in every moment and in every activity. Yes, it’s about mindfulness, where slowness will only benefit its development.

– Allow yourself to do nothing. When nothing distracts us, interesting thoughts can come to us and provide answers to important questions.

– Focusing on one thing can help get into the flow state, which is often dreamed of.

– Use modern digital technology consciously only as a tool.