Remember to Breathe

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A couple of days ago, I watched in wonder as a friend used the simplest, yet most ingenious technique to disrupt her daughter’s mounting tantrum. It was about 5 p.m. The kid was tired and hungry and just as she started to lose it, the mom said, “Yoga breath!”

All of the sudden, her preschooler let out what sounded like a giant joyful sigh. And when I looked over, she was smiling. She and her mom inhaled and exhaled together about three or four times and this formerly grouchy child transformed before my eyes to serene and happy. I’m not saying this is a panacea for everyone. But I was amazed and it got me thinking about how often I’m about to lose my cool and forget to just breathe.

Physical therapist Christina Attiken says moms often hold their breath and don’t even realize it.

“When you work out, trainers will remind you to breathe when you lift heavy weights or are pushing hard in a cardio class. When you’re doing yoga, the instructor will make sure that you’re breathing well. But, no one reminds you to breathe going through your typical day as a mom,” the owner of Momeez PT in Orange County, CA explains.

“Being a mom is a lot of physical work. By remembering to breathe, you can take tension off your muscles and get stronger instead of feeling strained. You can move through your day feeling more centered and balanced when you become aware of your breath,” she says.

Here are Attiken’s three tips to relax your body and your mind in less than ten seconds:

1. Stick out your tongue for 2 seconds. This will help relax your jaw.

2. Relax your shoulders: Think of carrying a lot of weight on your shoulders and then, let everything go. You should feel weightless and light.

3. Allow a gentle inhale starting from your belly and then slowly exhale.

All together now….Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Doesn’t that feel better?

Originally published on The Well Mom


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