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Updated: May 22, 2021

As I move through a challenging and irritating situation, whether it is traffic or a situation where I do not see eye to eye to someone else, I must remind myself to breathe. The topic of breathing comes up quite often, in so many different forms. It is one of the most natural things we do. It is the very first thing we do when we enter this world and the last when we leave it. What happens in between becomes a matter of routine, with little thought, until we realize how much this unconscious act can hurt or heal us.

How the Breath Can Heal Us

How many times have you heard or said to someone, "Just take a breath"? Taking a minute to stop and expand your lungs sending oxygen to your brain instantly can center us. If you continue to take long deep inhales and exhales, you will feel a deep sense of calm come over you.

And in the Same Breath, Harm Us

I was deep into my yoga teacher training before I discovered I had been breathing all wrong. As children we come out of the womb with the natural ability to breathe properly. As we become more aware of our surroundings, we start to take shallow breaths or hold our breath when we are afraid. This could lead to improper breathing. When you breathe, is the breath shallow, held, or exaggerated deep breathing? When we adopt this type of breathing practices, we are cutting off oxygen to the brain that can lead to stress, tight muscles, high blood pressure, and fatigue.

Discovering How You Breathe

To determine if you are among the many that have developed restricted breathing, lie on your back. Place one hand on your belly. As you breath in, notice where the breath goes. If you feel your belly rising, you are on the right track. I was a chest breather, so I felt my chest expand and my belly sink. This is restrictive and certainly I experienced fatigue, stress, and high blood pressure. Proper breathing should be deep in the belly and expanding up through the chest, lungs, and through the collarbones. If you do find that the breath is not headed deep in your belly, not to worry. It just takes a little practices and conscious awareness.

How to Correct the Breath

If you do not already have a regular meditation practice that includes breath work, you can start with just a couple of minutes a day of breathing in and out through the nose for a four count. Focus on bringing the air deep into the abdomen, placing your hand here to notice it rise. Pause for a count and exhale slowly on a four count as the air releases in the opposite direction. As with many things, with continued practice your breathing will improve over time. You should experience more energy and be better equipped to deal with stress. So, the next time someone says, "Just breathe!" you will know the proper method of doing so.

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Updated: May 22, 2021

Mother's Day! This is that one special day that we, as Moms, are celebrated by those that we nurture and develop, we love, care for, and raise. This does not have to be biological child and can even include our furry friends who become part of our family and children. Being honored in this way can come in many different forms. It could be breakfast in bed, flowers and chocolates, a homemade card or gift, a day at the spa, or maybe even just some quiet time for a bubble bath.

As a mother of a teenage daughter, the biggest gift I could receive is for us to spend time together bonding. She committed her time to me today and told me she would do whatever I wanted on "my day." It didn't take me too long to decide what I wanted to do. While yoga is not necessarily my daughter's go to experience at the present moment, she did indulged me in a partner practice.

If you think of yoga as just a solo practice, think again. Have you ever notice the collective energy that is created during the practice in your yoga classes? Do you feel that little buzz stirring in you during Savasana? When you do a partner practice you have direct contact with that energy. In addition, working with a partner allows you move deeper into your poses with support. Add all that to the fact you are creating a bond of trust with your partner and you have the perfect mother/daughter or mother/son experience. As a side note, I haven't tried this with furry family but goat yoga sure is all the rage!

Here are eight great poses for you to try now with your child in a Yoga Partner practice.

Back to Back Easy Pose - Sukhasana

Sitting back to back during a quick meditation helps keep the spine erect. You feels supported and share in the energy you are creating.

Back to Back Seated Side Twist - Pariritta Sukhasana

From your meditation pose, twist in the opposite direction of your partner, looking over your shoulder, place your hands on their knees. You are deepening your side stretch and keeping a more upright spine with a partner.

Double Boat Pose - Ardha Navasana

Face each other seated with knees up. Grab each others hands and lean back as you bring your feet together to touch. Lean back into your boat pose engaging your core. This poses is good for those that have a challenge going into a boat pose solo.

Wide Legged Forward Fold - Upavishtha Konasana

Still facing each other, spread you legs wide and touch the feet together. Grab each other hands and take turns folding forward and back for an intensified stretch.

Tree Pose - Vrkasasana

Stand next to each other and lock arms. Bring your opposite foot to you ankle or inner thigh. Support each other in this balancing pose, switching to the opposite leg to assure you even on both sides.

Double Dancer

So this is one of my daughters favorite poses so I threw this one in especially for her. Face each other on the mat a torso distance apart. Reach back and raise your leg, grabbing your ankle with the same arm. Fold forward and inner twine arms with your partner. Supporting of your partner in this pose allows you to hold the pose longer and go deeper into the stretch. Don't forget to switch to the opposite leg.

Flying Warrior - Airplane


Always wrap up your practice with Savasana!

Hope you enjoy this partner practice with your kids today. Whatever you do, I hope you are honor for the special you give everyday being a mom!

We'd love to hear if you enjoyed the practice and you'd like to see more. Click comments to share.

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Yoga Child's Pose
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