Most of us never think about the way we are breathing. When we are relaxed, our breathing is slow and nasal, when we are under stress, our breathing quickens and becomes shallow. Breathing is an automatic function in our bodies and is controlled by the respiratory centre of the brain. Many of us however don’t breathe correctly and need to remember to breathe well. Our cells need oxygen and their waste product, carbon dioxide, needs to be released. It is interesting to note that the brain sets the breathing rate according to carbon dioxide levels not oxygen levels. When a person is under stress, their breathing pattern changes. When we don’t breathe properly we can feel fatigued. Shallow breathing/ over-breathing/ hyperventilation can prolong feelings of anxiety by increasing physical symptoms of stress. We can deliberately change our rate of breathing by practising ways to release our stress responses and mindfully relax. In extreme cases you should consult your doctor
The stress response can produce:
• Panic attacks
• Constant fatigue
When we are relaxed and mindful our bodies display feelings of calm and wellbeing including.
• Balanced levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood
• Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
• Reduced lactic acid build-up in muscle tissue
• Improved immune system
• Increased physical energy
• Improved memory and concentration
• Better organizational opportunities
• Increased happiness and positivity
• Better quality sleep
The stress response can be switched off by learning to consciously breathe properly with the diaphragm using the Rainbow Crystal Breathing Exercises set out below. Rainbow Crystal Meditation combined with good breathing techniques and regular stretching and exercise can markedly reduce stress in adults and children alike!
‘Calm still minds create calm still children’
THE RAINBOW BREATH
This breath is good for general WELLNESS, feeling HAPPY and BALANCED! Children love this breath, you can do it as quickly or slowly as you like.
1. Imagine you are standing in front of a giant rainbow.
2. Breathe in the colour red. Feel it grounding and energising you.
3. Breathe in the colour orange. Feel it centering and calming you.
4. Breathe in the colour yellow. Feel it filling you with joy.
5. Breathe in the colour green. Feel it opening your heart with love and delight.
6. Breathe in the colour blue. Feel it strengthening your immune system.
7. Breathe in the colour indigo. Feel it clearing your mind.
8. Breathe in the colour violet. Feel it filling you full of creativity.
9. Wash all of the rainbow colours over you like a beautiful fountain of coloured light.
The Rainbow Colours
RED Assists children to be connected to the Earth.
ORANGE For warming and inspiring.
YELLOW For being happy and sunny.
GREEN Helps with matters of the heart.
BLUE For cooling, calming and communication.
INDIGO For accessing inner wisdom and visualising.
VIOLET/LAVENDER For enhancing spirituality.
WINTER HEALTH BREATH
This breath will help with STRENGTHENING THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM! It’s great for winter colds and for when kids need to “get something off their chest”!
1. Take a deep breath in, fill up the lungs with green and expand the chest.
2. Using right hand tap quickly all over the chest. (Don’t let children tap too hard as they may hurt themselves! A medium pressure is required)
3. Stop tapping and bend forward while exhaling through the mouth.
4. Relax and repeat for 5 breaths.
More Rainbow Breathing exercises are available in our Rainbow Calm Resource Books!