How can children use breathing to deal with anxiety, anger and tension?
In Frog’s Breathtaking Speech, Michael Chissick introduces us to a frog that learns four breathing techniques and how he can apply them in a stressful situation.
Frog is worried because he has to make a speech about breathing and he doesn’t know anything about it. He asks his friends for help.
- Crocodile teaches him Crocodile Breath: breathe in through your nose and out through your nose. This will calm you down
- Lion teaches him Lion Breath: breathe in through your nose and roar out through your mouth. This will release tension.
- Humming Bee teaches him Humming Bee breath: breathe in through your nose and hum as you breathe out. This helps headaches go away.
- The woodchopper teaches him woodchopper breath: raise your hands over your head while you take a deep breath in through your nose, then bring your arms down through your legs, yelling out ‘haaaaa’ as forcefully as you can. This allows anger to escape, allowing you to feel calm and happy.
Frog must decide which breath to use before he makes his speech about breathing to his school assembly.
This book is another favorite of all my yoginis, ages preschool through elementary. It is a wonderful way to introduce breathing techniques and to increase children’s awareness of their breathing.
I will often read the book to the children and choose one breath to concentrate on for that lesson. We include a discussion about how to use this breath in stressful situations they might encounter in their lives. Lion Breath and Woodchopper Breath are always the favorites.
Another strategy to get the entire yoga class involved is to act out the story. We will do this several times, rotating parts. The children ask to perform this over and over. We then discuss how they feel after practicing each breath, and how they felt as frog at the beginning of the story, after he learned each breathing technique, and when he made his speech.
This charming and informative book is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, and people in the field of special needs.
“Read the story to your class and invite them to talk about situations when they have experienced anger, anxiety or tension. Of course, actions speak louder than words so as quickly as you can, please, start the calming crocodile breath, roar the school down with the lion, enjoy the gentle vibration of the humming bee, and, finally, blast out your breath in woodchopper. You will discover immediately that children love the activities and the postures because they are fun, achievable and meaningful.” Michael Chissick