I have met and given workshops to thousands of kids who have benefited from the power of breathwork.
It’s astonishing how many hands go up when children are asked if they have busy lives, feel stressed, have difficulty sleeping sometimes, get anxious, and so on. All of these factors have a negative effect on how we breathe. 85% of the kids I teach, breathe poorly. When they inhale, they suck in their belly, and when they exhale, they expand their belly. Our bodies are not designed to breathe this way. Nor do we breathe like this when we are resting or sleeping. So what is happening? Why have we become so disconnected from this power source that is meant to keep us healthy and emotionally balanced?
If you are familiar with my work, even a little, you know that I am MOST interested in using music as a tool to improve the lives of the children and families whom I serve. For this reason, I feel compelled to tell you that breathing properly is the best place to start. When we are connected to our breath, and breathe deeply, we are connected to ourselves. We are connected to the cues that our body, mind and spirit are giving us, and we are, most importantly, connected to each other.
How many times a day do we think about breathing deeply? Not many! Not us, and certainly not our kids. Connecting with our breath improves the empathy centres in our brains that are starved due to technology. Breathing deeply can physiologically take our bodies from a state of stress to a state of calm.
In Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, we learn that we all experience stress to greater or lesser degrees. It is part of life and can’t be avoided. All stresses whether big or small move through a cycle. The brain doesn’t differentiate the difference between physical and emotional stress, so whether you are being chased by a bear or can’t make a mortgage payment to the brain it is the same. Completing the stress cycle through the breath is instrumental in avoiding chronic health issues. “Deep, slow breaths downregulate the stress response-especially when the exhalation is long and slow and goes all the way to the end of the breath, so that your belly contracts” (Nagoski and Nagoski, p.15).
The importance of stillness and breath is the launchpad for EVERYTHING!
I am often heard saying that good breathing technique is a life skill. We are all busy, get angry, have difficulty sleeping sometimes, and one hundred percent of us experience stress, worry, and anxiety at some point. With everything going on, our brains are on overdrive and we are trying our best to deal with our worries and the unknown. Don’t underestimate how the quality of your breath can improve the quality of your life. It does not take long to learn, and practicing this type of breathing can mean the difference between just getting by and thriving. It can literally save your day! Investing in yourself and your family is key to achieving the life you were meant for. Spending even a few minutes a week focusing on your breath will change everything that matters. There is no better time than now to reach for maximum health, to stay connected to your body and to connect to how you are feeling. It is a gift to yourself, from yourself. Not to mention, it helps singers produce beautiful sound! That’s quite an impressive ROI from one little breath.
For more information on the positive impact of this underestimated superpower, I invite you to head on over to angeliquedesjardins.com and check out the breath technique video in our shop. Angelique Desjardins Musique aims to help you raise artists, raise kids and try to live your best life. Come and find us on Instagram and Facebook, and join the ride.
Thank you for your precious time.
Amor y AlegriaXO
Nagoski, Emily, and Amelia Nagoski. Burnout: the Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. Ballantine Books, 2020.