Did you know that there is a literal connection between the heart and the mind? This connection is through a large cranial nerve called the vagus nerve. When a child is born, this nerve that regulates homeostasis between the heart, lungs, and abdomen is immature. Instead, babies rely on primitive brain-stem circuits to regulate their bodies.
Think about the enormity of that... when your baby is placed in your arms, the connection between their heart and mind isn't fully formed.
What an amazing task we have before us as parents.
It turns out that one of the ways we can directly stimulate the vagus nerve is through yoga and breathing exercises. When the vagus nerve tells the heart all is well -- the body is relaxes into the rest, digest, and destress state. When the vagus nerve is "turned on" it releases its hold on the heart, so your heart rate picks up and you can be prepared to fight, flee, or freeze.
Introducing mindful breathing practices, sensory play, and yoga into your child's day will help them strengthen their heart-mind connection and build the skills they will need to be able to handle what life throws their way.
This workbook includes an introduction to mindful self-energy, mindful breathing, mindful play, and mindful movement.
A guide on the 8Cs of Self-Energy. Deeper than self-esteem or self-confidence, understanding self-energy strengthens your child's core self-knowledge.
8Cs Self-Energy poster to print and hang in your calm-down space
8 getting-to-know your self-energy exercises
Self-energy coloring page
3 Guided Mindful Breathing Exercises to print and hang in your calm-down space.
A guide to Mindful & Sensory Play to help kids re-center and enter a state of flow.
Sensory Scavenger Hunt
52 Simple Sensory Activities
Play Dough Recipe
The fill your Family Cup activity to generate mindful awareness of how to be kind to yourself and to others
Guide to Mindful Movement through yoga to help children re-set and re-center throughout their day.
3 Yoga Sequence Posters: Rejuvenation and Balance, Before Bed Yoga, & Yoga for Big Emotions
“Yoga provides us with a set of tools for creating space between the input of life experiences and the output of our reactions. In that space, we can pay attention. We can notice what we are feeling, think for a moment, and make decisions. Once we can learn to find that space, we can use it to take control of our own lives.” - Jennifer Cohen Harper