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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Chapter 1    Creating Calm Calmness is the cradle of power. —J. G. Holland Calm children are better able to choose positive behavior than stressed-out ones, who may feel out of control. This chapter contains activities that help children be calm and choose kindness. Practicing deep breathing is a quick way to calm down children’s nervous systems, lower their heart rates, lower the blood pressure of their busy bodies, and boost their immune systems. If children practice deep breathing regularly, you will notice a difference in their behavior. When I first introduced one of my classes to breathing awareness and simple yoga poses, the initial results were chaotic. But over time, the children really looked forward to the exer- cises, took pride in their abilities, and demonstrated a lot of cooperation. Deep breathing will also help you relax, recharge, and enjoy. I have called activity 12 “Freshersize,” which is a playful word I made up to describe activities that blend fresh air with exercise—in other words, playing outdoors. Children today spend more time indoors than ever before, and doing so comes at a cost to their mental, physical, and spiritual health. Children are no longer herded outside to play freely. More and more children experience life and social interactions virtually, through computers, text messages, e-mail, video games, and television. Freshersize activities describe ways to reconnect children with nature. I also encourage you to teach some simple yoga poses, because they will help you de-stress along with the children. Yoga differs from traditional exer- cises by recognizing the importance of the mind-body connection. It’s more effective for improving not just physical but also mental and emotional health.   3 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL