When your child is feeling scared or angry and appears headed for a meltdown, try this yoga pose to calm the child, so he or she is ready to shake it off and hug it out.
Called deep down wisdom (and known to many adult yogis as eagle pose), its modification is demonstrated here by Leah Kalish, founder of Move With Me Action Adventures, which specializes in yoga and movement education for kids.
What it does
This breath meditation, which can be done sitting, standing or lying down, helps shut off the fight-or-flight mechanism, helping to de-stress and center you. It's a good thing to do before any type of conflict resolution or problem solving, Kalish says.
"Kids can't do that from a place of upset," she says. It also helps to improve balance.
What to do
From a standing position, cross one ankle over the other with weight evenly distributed between both feet; soles on the floor. Extend arms out in front of you and cross your wrists. Turn your thumbs down to the floor, so your palms are facing each other and clasp your hands. Bring your clasped hands up and in toward your body, resting them on your sternum. Close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly through your nose, imagining someone or something that you love.
If you need a little more physical exertion, try crossing the front leg over and wrapping the foot behind the calf of the leg you're balancing on, while lowering your body slightly. It's a big balance challenge and a great way to shake off stress.
Here's the chant that Kalish uses as she guides children into the pose:
Feel your upset melt away
as your wisdom comes to play.
Your heart will know what's best to do.
Listen deep down and let it guide you.
Hold the position while you breathe deeply for 15 seconds to a minute.