We have all experienced those days when anger and frustration well up inside our bodies. We feel our breath shorten, our muscles tense and we have this great desire to roar loudly in absolute desperation at how irritated we feel. If you have ever seen lions in the wild, they seem completely chilled out, lazing around in the shade under the trees, but then they also have the luxury of venting or roaring from deep down inside their bellies, indicating to everyone else in the wild that they are there and they feel like making a big noise.
So how can we and our children also make a “big noise” without terrifying the neighbours? One of my favourite breathing exercises to teach during children’s yoga and family yoga classes is the lion breath. After the children and sometimes the adults have decided it might not be too embarrassing to practice the “lion breath” they embrace it with all their might. The lion breath is a wonderful way to release all that pent up frustration and anger from the body and it is fun too. This breath strengthens the diaphragm and also connects us to our inner strength. We often end up laughing hysterically after a few rounds of lion breath, which is a great thing, as laughter really is the best medicine for any imminent temper tantrum.
So next time you or your child feel like bellowing or roaring in frustration at life’s challenges, why not give the lion breath a go. Follow these simple steps and feel your anger melt away. Then enjoy a good laugh.
- Sit in hero’s pose – sitting with your legs and feet tucked under your bottom
- Place your hands on your thighs or the ground in front of you
- Close your eyes and image you are a fierce lion
- Take a deep breath in through your nose
- Breathe out through your mouth with your mouth wide open and sticking your tongue out towards your chin at the same time open your eyes wide!
- “ROAR” as you breathe out.
- For extra fun roll your eyes up towards the ceiling. You are sure get a good laugh from your children, dissipating all their anger and helping them relax.
As a parent you might be thinking that you do not want to make an “actual roaring” sound. But fear not, the action of breathing out a big breath and releasing all the tension from your body will create a big enough sighing noise which will still impress your roaring cubs.
Contact me here to find out about developing your own meditation practice and learning how to facilitate mindfulness in children and teenagers.