Mindfulness: 6 Steps for Belly Breathing by Melissa Kaufmann, December Teacher of the Month
Being a professional in the mindfulness and yoga world am often asked “How can I practice mindfulness with my family?” I love this question! It use to be that I was asked “what is mindfulness,” but as mindfulness becomes part of our vocab the conversation is changing to HOW do we practice being mindful? I recommend Belly Breathing as a simple way to practice mindfulness individually or with friends and family. It’s so easy even toddlers and kids can participate; for you yogis, it’s very similiar to Three Part Yogic Breathing.
According to Mindful Schools, “From a neurological or physiological perspective, deep belly breathing slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and sharpens the minds ability to focus and learn by slowing down the amygdala and supporting the higher brain function taking place in the frontal lobes. One of the other benefits of deep belly breathing is the control it gives participants over their emotions, their learning, and their own lives. “
6 Steps for Belly Breathing
Belly Breathing helps slow and deepen the breath. This triggers calming changes in the body and mind.
- Get into a comfortable position, sitting tall or lying down on your back.
- Close your eyes and place your palms on your lower belly, resting them comfortably below your navel. Relax your abdomen
- Breathe in and out through your nose. As you take a deep breath send the air to your belly and feel your stomach rise as it fills with air on the inhale and then fall again as you breathe out. As you breathe in and out, allow the hands on your belly to gently rise up and down.
- Belly breathe for anywhere from 20 seconds to a few minutes with slow and full breaths.
- If your mind wanders, that’s okay, just re-focus your attention on your breath.
- When you are done, slowly open your eyes but stay still and quiet.
Please contact Melissa Kaufmann with any questions, comments, or requests regarding mindfulness and yoga at MelissaTheYogi@gmail.com