…and breathe… how yoga can help your child

yoga to help your child
…and breathe…

I’ve written about being a parent of a child with anaphylaxis and learning to live with the underlying stress – it is not a conscious or overwhelming thing, it is just part of ones existence. Seeing potential danger is second nature, not a deliberate thought.  I’ve also written previously how yoga helps me release some of that deep seated tension and stress.

It also helps my son! Not just ‘cos I’m calmer and more patient 😉 but because it helps his body (& mind) to practise yoga too. Anaphylaxis and allergic reactions cause his body to become über stressed. His breathing always used to be pretty shallow and fast, he seemed to be fight or flight mode quite often and his adrenal glands (still) are often swollen in his lower back. He had to make a conscious effort to slow his breathing down and calm his body in the process. Yoga helps this massively.

So we practise together! It is a very positive thing to do – for our bodies, our minds and our relationship too. I will share our faves with you, as we have tried quite a few online classes.

Aars’ top spot class is: Restorative Kripalu Yoga it just requires a rug or yoga mat each and loads of blankets and cushions in a calm chill space for an hour. The class works well as you can help set your child up in the pose as the teacher demonstrates it and then settle yourself into the pose as she directs her class into the pose. In the early days I could hear that Aars breathing was not slowing down so I had to remind him to do his big Buddah belly, hold it for five seconds and then breathe out slowly. By the end of the class he is ready for the land of nod, he is so relaxed. It’s relaxing for you as a parent too as there is no rush in helping your child get into the poses and having time for yourself to enter it and relax into them too. It is an hour enjoyed by us both – it feels like a luxury to give ourselves that time – we get to do it once a month or so.

My ab fab fave class to do with Aars is: Yoga Deep Relaxation and Sleep We get to do this one far more often as it’s only half an hour long. The video is for beginners and is really easy for children to follow. It naturally calms his breathing down to an incredibly slow (for him) rate nearly sending him to sleep. Aars breathing stays deeper and slower for a long time after the practice, sometimes for two days! The class is really simple and she explains each of the positions really clearly so Aars needs little assistance from me to get into the poses. I was astounded at how his breathing deepened and slowed as we followed the class from the first time we tried it.

I really hope that you are able to practise some restorative, relaxing yoga with your children too. Aars and I both really recommend it as we benefit from doing this together, slowing down and giving our bodies and minds a break. The ambulance paramedics have always commented on Aars and I having a strong relationship and connection when he’s gone into anaphylactic shock and I am doing the cool & calm on the outside (screaming on the inside) thing. I believe surviving anaphylaxis together has strengthened our bond, but that practising yoga together is a more gentle and nurturing way to strengthen it too!  Namaste… peace and blessings to you all x



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