Just Breathe


Speaking as someone who knows, (I have asthma)breathing is pretty important. What we forget in this day and age is what happens when we don’t breathe.

I work with adults and children who suffer with Anxiety, and guess what?  The first thing we talk about before we get to work is breathing. When I lead a #MiniMeYoga 2 Hour Workshop for Grownups, we talk a lot about breathing.

Children and adults who have suffered a traumatic event, or events (the root cause or causes of Anxiety), all have breathing issues. I’m not talking about Asthma, but I am talking about breathing.

When you live in “Survival Mode” where your brain is functioning as Survival Brain, your breathing is very shallow. You live in a state of “High Alert” think “Danger Will Robinson”. Your brain is asking your body to stay prepared at all times for danger and trouble. That is no way to live-literally.

You need deep breathing for both relaxation and brain activity. according to an article in The Guardian:

“The rhythm of breathing co-ordinates electrical activity across a network of brain regions associated with smell, memory, and emotions, and can enhance their functioning, according to a new study by researchers at Northwestern University. The findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that breathing does not merely supply oxygen to the brain and body, but may also organise the activity of populations of cells within multiple brain regions to help orchestrate complex behaviours.”

In other words, you don’t do your most complex problem-solving when you’re freaked out. If you suffer from Anxiety, you tend to be freaked out a lot.

One of the most important things we can teach young children is diaphragmatic breathing, or deep-belly breathing.  By teaching them this alone, we are giving them a way to regulate their emotions. We tend to calm down much faster and sooner when we are taking slow deep breaths.

For more information about the Mini Me Yoga 2 Hour Workshop for Grownups:

https://heathermccrae.com/mini-me-yoga/2hourworkshop/


The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2016/dec/23/breathing-modulates-brain-activity-and-mental-function

Adults and Developmental Trauma

“Adults who suffer from developmental trauma may go on to develop Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or “cPTSD,” which is characterized by difficulties in emotional regulation, consciousness and memory, self-perception, distorted perceptions of perpetrators of abuse, difficulties in relationships with other people, and negative effects on the meaningfulness of life.” –Grant Hilary Brenner M.D.

In other words, if, like me, you suffered from abuse or some other form of trauma as a child, it doesn’t go away. It affects every aspect of your life. It will keep you from everything that you really wanted and needed because it’s still asking you to deal with it. 

Are you still having flashbacks? Are you having panic attacks? Are you still single because you’re afraid of being in a relationship, or have you noticed your “picker” is broken ( you choose partners who are not emotionally available, or are selfish and abusive)? 

The flashbacks and the panic attacks are your Soul’s way of getting your attention. You aren’t meant to live in fear anymore. 

It’s so hard when you’re in it because what you think of as normal isn’t . It’s simply what you’re used to-the lack of sleep, all of it. 

Here are some thoughts to consider:

  1. Get real and get honest- if any of what I’ve said is you, go and talk to a Professional.
  2. Don’t let shame keep you from getting the help you need. What happened “to you” all those years ago was NOT your creation. You didn’t cause it, you couldn’t control it and you could not cure it
  3. It is usual for a child or an adult child to feel tremendous guilt for either surviving the experience or being unable to have stopped it. I felt like this about my mother’s cancer. I felt incredible guilt that I couldn’t keep her alive- as if I even had the power to. Children have very different perspectives than adults as their brains are still developing.
  4. When you’re the survivor of an event or ongoing abuse or trauma of some kind, you live in a state of stress, anxiety and “fight or flight”. Your “emotional brain” shut down at whatever age the trauma occurred. This means you could be an adult who is 45, but emotionally you could be 3.
  5. Chances are, if you’ve survived developmental trauma and you haven’t sought treatment, you’ve moved around a lot. In the past ten years, how often have you moved for whatever reason?
  6. How many different job have you held over the past five years? Depending on your brain, you may have either been at the same job for years afraid to move, or may have changed jobs once a year or more often

You deserve stability and security. You do. Take a baby step. Look in the mirror and tell yourself the Truth. There is help to be had if you want Peace. Love yourself enough to get help.

Mini Me Yoga Testimonial

Testimonial from a 2 Hour Workshop in Burlington I taught a few months ago

Thank you again for teaching us today Heather!!

Today’s teachings will compliment our Montessori Peace Education which encompasses Grace and Courtesy.

Emotions and Mindfulness are brought up daily in our learning and today’s Mini Me Yoga workshop empowers me even more to helping and guiding my little friends to calmly embrace their feelings.

Enjoy the rest of the the weekend! ❤

Be Where Your Feet Are

I sat with my two little Loves at breakfast yesterday and asked them what they would want people to know about what I do and how to help adults and children manage anxiety.

First, to you, Dear Reader and to everyone they wish unconditional Love and Peace.

  1. we want you to have a miracle
  2. we wish the best for everybody

One of the things I asked them about was Meditation, which we do nightly at bedtime.

Meditation is key in changing brain patterns which effect stress and anxiety.

He said he didn’t know how to actually meditate before. He finds it very relaxing and helps him sleep

She said it helps him go from being a scared little boy to a calm gentleman

As for a #LifeActivation, which I offer clients:

She said it renews you- like if you’ve done a lot of bad things in your life it can renew you and bring you closer to God

He said when you’re really frightened and scared and need help, you can get a Life Activation and bring the Light down to you.

So with that, my family and I wish you Love and Hope.

#Anxiety is manageable and we will walk this Path together!

Let’s start at the very beginning-it’s a very good place to start.

Today’s Practice- Be where your feet are. Just that. Whenever you feel yourself drifting into the Past or the Future, just gently come back and be here now, where your feet are.

Social-Emotional Tools for Adoptive Parents

I am VERY new the parenting scene, although I was a Nanny for many years and Special Education Teacher too. Even having an MEd didn’t prepare me. I know kids, but being a parent has been an adjustment.

Nothing prepared me for co-parenting two gorgeous little souls who were adopted.

I’ve learned a whole new language and awareness and sensitivity to things I had no concept of before.

One thing I do know, is that despite the fact that most children do, at times deal with anxiety, adopted children have a tremendous amount of anxiety in their lives.

As an Ambassador to #MiniMeYoga I realized my tool chest is a perfect fit for my new family! I have been using our tools with our kids with really positive success. As you know well, every child is different and their needs are different- as is the speed at which they heal anxiety.

Please check out the link and let me know how I can help! I’d love for you to be doing our Yoga and breathing with your kids.

/Mini Me Yoga

Love and Light to you and your little ones,

Heather McCrae, MEd

Mini Me Yoga as a Classroom Management Tool

Mini Me Yoga as a Classroom Management Tool

 

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I made a promise to myself when I was trained as a Mini Me Yoga Ambassador, that I would work tirelessly to make sure Mini Me Yoga was in every school and daycare in Canada. I am the Ambassador for Mini Me Yoga Canada.

I work with Kate Bartram-Brown, who founded Mini Me in the UK in 2014. I wanted specifically to train Educators and give them an effective and positive Classroom Management tool.

Mini Me Yoga is taught in over 20 countries around the world! I share Kate’s passion to bring Joy to children, and I immediately saw during my Ambassador training that this program is a positive classroom management tool that every teacher of younger children can use!

No previous experience with Yoga  is required.

Mini-Me Yoga is a Heart-Centered, playful approach that teaches children breathing techniques and yoga postures. We foster a child’s innate curiosity to explore yoga without rigid expectations, leaving them free to fall in love with deep belly breathing, heart-centered living, and freedom of movement, relaxation and meditation.

In this 2-hour Mini Me Yoga workshop, parents, grandparents, childcare providers and teachers learn simple techniques for introducing 15 minutes a day of yoga and positive thinking to preschool and elementary-aged children using games and exercises designed to make it fun and engaging.

 

Each participant receives:

Complete set of 14 Magick Yoga Cards 
Online training for additional resource
Mini Me Tote Bag 
Certificate of Completion                                                                                                                                                               Online access to the Mini Me Yoga website with additional resources for Facilitators

 

You learn The Mini Way

  • Breathing
    • Meditation
    • Making energy water
    • Why we do kids yoga
    • Plus, at least 14 yoga poses

 

It’s action-packed and full of information as well as practical tools.

 

Everyone leaves with what they need to get started right away.

 

I stress to all my Facilitators when we start the training that you do not have to be proficient in Yoga or even have your own Yoga practice-all you need is an open mind and an open Heart.

 

 

Why this is effective in the classroom:

 

  • Starting the day with the 15 minute Program, puts everyone in positive and relaxed mindset-including Educators!
  • Elements of the program are so easy and practical to use to get the children’s attention
  • Whenever you find yourself with a last-minute schedule change, or in need of a transitional activity, Mini Me is perfect for that
  • When you are trained, you receive a deck of Magick Yoga cards and games to play with the children using the cards! These are perfect activities for indoor recess or for transitions

 

 

 

 

Neurodiversity, Education, and Classroom Management

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20…If I had known what I know now, in terms of skills and tools, I would have had a lot more to offer my at-risk students when I was a Special Education Teacher.

Children living in poverty have extreme behaviours, at times, because they are living in extreme circumstances. It is completely understandable for hungry children to be restless and hyperactive. This can also happen when they are exhausted from not sleeping.

 

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There are some very grounded and practical reasons why I joined forces with Kate Bartram-Brown to bring Mini Me Yoga to Canada. I am a Mini Me Yoga Ambassador.  I want all children-regardless of background and income, to feel Joy and Safety at school and at home. I train parents and educators both, on our core 15 minute program, because it’s important. I teach Teachers how to use Mini Me as a classroom management tool. There are very gentle ways to manage kids, especially little ones, that are fun and not stressful. If I had Mini Me when I was teaching, even with Middle School kids, I absolutely would have made use of it! Mini Me is modified Yoga. The poses are modified to be appropriate for growing bodies without stressing muscles or joints. There are games that absolutely are appropriate for a classroom setting, and can be used whenever there’s a last-minute schedule change or even at the end of a class period or the end of the school day. This is constructive fun. From a health perspective, Mini Me Yoga teaches healthy breathing and heart-centeredness.

Kids Yoga
Kids Yoga

 

The other important tool I offer is meditation. For all of you old school educators, you’re going to have to believe me, the kids are ready to learn and it helps so much in terms of classroom atmosphere. You may think this is totally crazy, but there is plenty of research out there about how meditation and yoga help kids. I have ADHD and trust me, I have used the Max Meditation System TM, among other tools, to manage it successfully and to get off medication completely. It is not only possible, it’s necessary. I have plenty of derivative tools I teach educators and parents. I teach the actual Max Meditation TM class in weekly in Oakville Ontario.

 

As parents and educators, it’s so important to stay relevant and also to seek out the most gentle and clear methods of classroom management. I have co-taught Mini Me Yoga to children with autism. Every child can learn and benefit. I taught mostly children with behaviour issues for 7 1/2 years. Alternative methods that are grounded and practical transform classroom settings, whether or not the children have learning or behaviour issues.