I was honored to be part of the San Diego Local Authors exhibit. My book is enclosed in glass in the San Diego downtown library, along with a few hundred other local authors' creations. All the authors gathered for a reception and to accept an award. This seems like a great thing, right?
Well, I was afraid.
It's funny how fear works. Sometimes it's good- your fear might get you out of a dangerous situation. Other times it may be completely irrational.
I was scared to go to this author reception, alone, where I knew no one. What was I afraid of? I don't know, really. I guess the usual.. What if no one talked to me? What if no one liked me? What if I did something that made me look stupid? What should I wear? Ironically, I had anxiety about accepting an award for writing a book on relaxation!
So to help me face my fear of walking into a big reception alone and unknown, as I was driving to the reception, I thought through some of the stories in my relaxation book, Imaginations. I took deep breaths, and I walked in relatively relaxed and calm. I ended up meeting many interesting authors and learning about a ton of local books.
I am an anxious, worrier. Sometimes I feel like a fraud for writing a relaxation book. BUT, I've realized that it's a good thing that I truly have to WORK at staying relaxed. I have to remind myself to breathe deeply. I have to do yoga. I have to tell myself that it is going to be okay, and I have to actively picture a "happy place" . Each of the stories and techniques in my book have actively helped me, so I know they work, and I know that they can help an anxious, worried, or fearful child too.
I've been working on a lesson plan for my kids yoga class about fear, and thought I would share a few suggested yoga poses for kids and fear/worry/anxiety:
- Mountain Pose- Abby Willis has written a blog post called Yoga Poses for Kids: A powerful asana for soothing fear. It's a sweet way to address fear in Mountain Pose.
- Warrior Pose- YogaKids Brave Warrior with Affirmations: "I am BRAVE"
- I find that when I am scared, I contract my chest, so any chest-opening, heart opening yoga pose would be helpful. Like: Camel pose.
- Sun Salutations or any Vinyasa flow- I find that when I get my body moving, the fear dissipates. It's like it burns off... Here We Are Together has a cute collection of pictures of a child doing Sun Salutations.
- Animals- Anytime I am using fear as a theme, I give kids a chance to share what they are afraid of- lots of times they afraid of animals. We act out those animals with yoga: Dog Pose, Alligator Pose, Shark Pose, Bee Pose. If there isn't a pose, we make it up! I make sure to make it fun and silly... (I secretly am afraid of dogs, so anytime I'm around a dog that makes me uncomfortable, I imagine that I'm in Downward Dog Pose, and that helps.)
- Breathing exercises- Slow calming breaths are great for facing fears. Try breathing with a Hoberman Sphere. Open it big and tall when you breathe in and close it when you breathe out.
- Guided Relaxation- Reading a relaxation story, or "going to your happy place", can help calm your fears. Check out the Freebie section for a relaxation story here.
Here's a book that I have found helpful:
What To Do When You Worry Too Much by Dawn Huebner
Also, I love:
There's An Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Meyer
And don't forget some music for Savasana:
Three Little Birds by Renee and Jeremy
I hope these techniques help the children in your life! (Or maybe even you!)