Are you looking for a way to help your child find calm and clarity during stressful times? Alternate nostril breathing, or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, may be just the thing you need. In this breathing exercise, you'll learn how to balance the right and left sides of the brain and body to bring more focus and attention.
To start, find a comfortable position and place your index and middle finger in between your eyebrows.
Close your right nostril with your thumb, inhale.
At the end of your inhale, close the left nostril with your ring finger.
Release your thumb and exhale through the right nostril.
Inhale through the right nostril, close with your thumb
Release your ring finger and exhale through the left nostril
Repeat this pattern as many as 5-10 cycles!
Be prepared for some giggles too!
This breathing exercise is perfect for older kids from 7 or 8 years old, and it's best to avoid doing it when you're sick or congested. Not only does it bring balance and clarity, but it also has been shown to improve attention.
Fun fact: throughout the day, we predominantly breathe through one nostril only. It switches every 90-120 minutes. Taking a moment to notice and take control will help bring equal amounts of oxygen through both nostrils.
So next time you and your child need a moment to breathe and find balance, try out alternate nostril breathing!