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    Bumblebee breath for anxiety

    Kids and adults both get anxious.  It's helpful to have some tools in our pockets to help with anxiety and soothe a stimulating mind.  This breath is relaxing and fun to do, and is sure to wash away some of your worries.  Pranayama, as it's caled (or breathwork) can help a lot in anxiety and calming of the mind.  It's something that you can do at any time of the day and is never too late to learn and apply. 

    HOW TO:  While sitting in a calm and comfortable position, imagine that you are a bumblebee.  Bumblebees are yellow and black, and ever so furry.  They fly around making a beautiful, yet calm and quiet humming sound.  Pretend that you are this tiny humming bumblebee flying around peacefully.  Inhale deeply and then exhale making a humming sound.  Inhale deeply again, and exhale a humming sound, feeling the vibrations of the hum throughout your body.  You are the happiest bumblebee in the world.  

    Now, pretend that you come across some beautiful flowers and you land on one of the flowers to smell it and drink it's nectar.  Take a deep breath in and smell the wonderful smell of this beautiful flower.  Exhale, making a humming sound again.  You are so happy and content.  Inhale again, because this flower smells sooooo good.  Exhale, making a humming sound again...almost singing.  If you want, you can cup the flower in the palms of your hand and smell it one more time.  Ahhhh.....it smells so good and makes you feel happy and alive.

    Next, you are going to take some of the pollen and nectar back to your hive. You want to share the flower with everyone, and the flower wants you to share it with all your family and friends.  Take a sip of the nectar as you inhale (pretend to suck up some nectar) and then rub your hands together to collect some pollen.  As you exhale, remember to hum or buzz and say thank you to the flower. 

    Life is good and you feel relaxed and happy.  If you want, you can spread your arms out like wings and fly back to your bee hive to share the goodness that you just discovered.  Everyone will thank you.

    Variations: Instead of a bumblebee, you could also pretend to make whale sounds and/or songs.  If you have actual whale sounds/songs to play as background music, that could also be calming. 


    Conscious breathing

    I often times take breathing for granted.  Do you?  Even though we do it every day at every moment, we hardly ever think about it or give any special emphasis on it.  It's our life force....without it, we would die.  So, how can you make your breathing better and your life better?  Well, it's very simple.  Pay attention to it and focus on it a little bit more.  Give it a little TLC with these mindful exercises.  

    Mindful Breathing

    First, sit in a comfortable position, sitting up straight.  You may also do this standing, with feet firmly on the earth.  Inhale and allow your breath to go all the way down into your belly (versus your chest).  Then, exhale completely, as if emptying out all the air of a balloon.  Inhale again, slowly, listening to and feeling your breath flow through your body. Do this a few times, enjoying the moment.  This is a form of meditation, and great when practiced at least once a day.  

    Counting Breathing

    While sitting or standing in a comfortable position, inhale and count to 1, then exhale.  Inhale again, counting this time to 2, then exhale.  Inhale counting to 3, and exhale.  Do this up to the count of 6.  Remember that your exhale should be longer than your inhale and if needed, count with your fingers, instead of in your head. This breathing exercise is great for relieving stress.  

    Sunshine Breathing

    While sitting or standing in a comfortable position, rest your hands and arms by your sides.  Then, slowly lift your hands up while you inhale.  When your hands reach the top of your head, you can clap them together or just touch them together.  Then, exhale slowly, bringing your arms back down to your sides.  Repeat 3 more times. This is a great stretch and wonderful way to start off the day. Smile. It will energize you.  

    Ocean Breathing 

    When you breath, think of the ocean waves rolling in and out.  Listen to your breath and hear the waves bring peace into your heart.  Let all of your worries be washed out to the sea.  When you breath, it's good to make a sound like ocean waves.  It relaxes your mind and body, and brings harmony into your life.  

    Om Breathing

    Whether the lights are dim or whether it's the heat of the day and the sun is shining down on you, this breathing/meditation exercise gets all that "goo" out of your body and energizes the spirit.  Om or Aum is a mantra or mystical sound often used in meditation.  It's a humming sound that you make when you exhale.  Practice inhaling, and then exhaling the word/sound "aum."  Let it last and then fade away.  For example, inhale the count of 5, and then exhale the count of 6 saying: "au.............mmmmm"  You could say another word, such as "peace" instead of "om," however, om is a bit easier on the mouth and throat.  It's also a very universal sound, whereas other words and sounds are much harder to pronounce while meditating.


    Remember that breathing is the life force that keeps us alive.  It is more powerful than we think, and it can be used to help relieve stress, give us energy, and much much more.