Earlier this week, I was at the swimming pool, which I always find to be a highly calming, almost meditative process, except for this particular occasion...Besides the lane that I was swimming in, there was a small group of young children learning how to swim. The swim coach seemed very playful, interactive and caring towards the children. He gave age-appropriate detail about swimming technique and supported the children with positive encouragement throughout.
However, each of the children seemed to be struggling; panting for breath; swallowing gulps of water; getting stuck in the middle of the pool. I was on high-alert. Something within me felt panicked, anxious and nervous. Frantically wondering if I should step in to 'rescue' the children. Whilst their coach was offering valuable tools on physical technique and words of praise to motivate the children, he was missing one essential element, something critical that the children needed - their breath.
The children were breathless from start to finish. Without their breath, they were struggling to find strength and power, lacking energy, unable to concentrate on their coach's instructions and for some them, de-motivated and unenthusiastic.
Giving the children simple breathing techniques in this situation would have instantly increased their strength, will-power and focus, likely resulting in an increase in confidence, self-worth and a deeper, more positive connection to their body and to water. Never under-estimate the power of the breath!
Whether you're a parent, carer, coach, yoga teacher, therapist or educator, giving children essential techniques to control their breath, their body and their mind is beyond valuable. Below are my top 3 breathing techniques to introduce to children, of any age, when teaching them a new skill. Whether you're teaching them to swim, dance or do handstands, these 3 techniques will instantly increase their strength, energy, will-power and self-esteem.
Give children the tools to feel empowered and in control!