Breathing Circle: Learning through the Movement of the Natural Breath
Early childhood educators know that children love to be part of a learning circle. "Circle time" is an essential ingredient of Waldorf education. Circles offer participation in a larger whole and can foster the development of key sensory and neuromuscular faculties.
Nell Smyth developed "The Breathing Circle" techniques to help develop greater learning potential, to help integrate sensory and motor activities, and to help young children venture more freely into the social world while feeling fully grounded in body and mind.
"Our breath lives in the realm of movement. The quality of our breath changes, deepening and becoming more substantial through enjoyable movement. Different qualities of movement affect intimately how we breathe. As our breath flows more freely, the breath rhythm can come into greater balance. When this starts to take place, we can become refreshed and reinvigorated, feel more integrated and more aware of the boundary between ourselves and the rest of the world in which we participate. To breathe more deeply is to be more present and to be more present is to be awake with more resources available for learning." (from the introduction)
The Breathing Circle brings practical new ways to understand how responsiveness, expression, and learning all depend on the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation, which carry children into the world and back into themselves.
The Breathing Circle offers movements, verses, and stories for children, working directly with their unfolding senses and the cycle of natural breath. These techniques can be used with children, from toddlers through seven years.
Here is an essential handbook for early years educators, preschooler parents, and caregivers, as well as storytellers, drama teachers, breathwork teachers and practitioners, and those involved in the many other somatic disciplines.
Published in partnership with the Alliance for Childhood.