Breathe Like A Native American

Buteyko Breathing Exercise For Children

Anthropologists have observed that indigenous peoples who live close to the land and have not been influenced by industrialization know the importance of minimal, nasal breathing. From birth, children are trained to not breathe through the mouth. When a mother sees her child with his mouth open, she gently closes the child’s mouth using two fingers. This is done both while children are asleep as well as when they are active.

This is a technique that has to be employed carefully and with a lot of awareness on the part of the parent. A child might feel violated if, out of the blue, their parents start reaching over and closing his mouth at odd moments. This should be done lovingly, mostly as a gentle reminder that the mouth is supposed to remain closed except during eating and talking.

The best approach, again, is to make it into a game and communicate on an equal level. Explain to the child that this is part of the whole family learning to breathe correctly and that the child should help the parent in the same way. It has to be done with a feeling of joy and fun, not impatience or condemnation. If a child feels stressed, his stress will promote hyperventilation and defeat the purpose of any breathing exercise. Always remember that relaxation is very important for healthy breathing.

This is an informal exercise.

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