Breathing Exercises

Here are some breathing exercises to help when you are feeling stressed or anxious. My favorite is Whale Breath!

Prompts for Breathing Techniques

Balloon Breath- Sitting on our knees we breathe in as we fill up our
balloons by raising our hands over our head. As we
breathe out, we let the air out of our balloons by releasing
our hands to the floor. After 2 or 3 rounds, we then blow
up our balloons and release by popping our balloons by
slapping our hands to the floor.

Birthday Candles- Holding a “birthday cake” in our hands in front of us, we
sing Happy birthday as we blow out the candles on your
cake. Also fun to do in candle pose

Pillows Breathing- One yogi on his/her back, Second yogi lies down so that
first yogi is their “pillow”. Take deep breathes…did you
feel your yogi partner move? Switch! You can even make
a “staircase” by having several yogis line up doing this.

Bowl of Soup or Ice Cream- Each yogi decides the flavor of soup/ice cream and then everyone smells & blows off their soup/ice cream. Then
gobble it up!

Cool Breathe This can help calm you when feeling upset or mad. Make
your tongue into a “straw” by opening your mouth and
pulling up the sides in a U shape. Deep breathes in
through straw & out through nose.

Whale breath Sitting pretzel style, sit up tall, take a deep breathe in,
HOLD it while you count to 5 with your fingers then tilt
head up to blow it out of blow hole OR reach hands up
on top of head to create the blow hole to “blow” out.

Snake Breath Sitting tall, breathe in, pause, then slowly & smoothly
breathe out making a hissing sound for as long as you

Bunny Breath This can be done seated or with movement. Seated, sit on
shins hands in “bunny” hands in front of heart as you take
quick sniffs. With movement, start at end of mat in yogi
squat and hop to front of mat while taking quick bunny

Bumblebee Breath With a flower prop, as you breathe in you smell your
flower and as you breathe out, make humming bee
sound. Try for long, short, high/low sounds.

Pom Pom Breathing- For toddlers: With a large pom pom in hand, yogis
practice blowing it out of their hand. For older yogis:
Using a straw, yogis can try to move the pom pom across
the floor.

Pinwheels- Practicing with blowing hard or soft as you spin the
pinwheel with your breath.

Feather Breath Yogis practice their breath by blowing feathers off their
hand, up in the air, or just at the feather to watch it move.

Bubbles A fun introduction to breathing for kids. If you are
outside, use regular bubble liquid and wands. Indoors,
you can use a bubble wand and pretend to blow different
sorts of bubbles.

Volcano Breath With hands at heart center, breathe in as you lift hands
up, and then “explode” and breath out and lava comes
down the volcano, hands down by side.

Belly Breathing Placing hand OR small toy on stomach to see or feel it
rise & fall.

Wood Chopper Standing tall with legs hip distance, raise arms above
head and clasp hands together. Breathe in through nose
and as you exhale say “HA” to “chop” wood or do the
same with a SUN and bring it to your belly saying “HA”.

Alternate Nostril breathing Thumb holds one side, pointer finger holds the other. As you breathe in, hold down one side of the nostril and as
you breath out hold down the opposite nostril.

Hoberman Sphere A very fun expanding toy that helps demonstrate the
inhale and exhale in breathing

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