My son had a terrible cold, was getting a bit wheezy with the asthma and generally felt quite distracted and emotional. He was having a hard time focussing at school and was quite fatigued.

One day, he came to me and said – “can you teach me how to breathe?”

For the first time in a while, I am ashamed to admit, I sat down next to him and listened to and watched his breathing – I carried on watching over the next few days. As a teacher, this is something I will always do with students.

I noticed he breathed exclusively through his mouth. Often he held his breath for long periods, when he was concentrating or angry.

Every night I sat with him and said, just breathe as much as you can through your nose. He did. Then I suggested that he always breathe through his nose on the school bus (20minutes each way).

A few days later I noticed he seemed calmer, his asthma had gone, his cold had gone, he seemed to need less sleep and was doing his homework more quickly and he was generally in a better mood.

I watched his breathing – he no longer held his breath, he was breathing through his nose almost exclusively. Children learn fast!

Long, deep breaths – helps encourage growth hormones, regulates mood swings, reduces anxiety and fatigue.

Breathing – the secret of yoga!