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3 Simple & Powerful Breathing Techniques for Children

"For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on this earth." Sanskrit Proverb

Breath is life. Fact. We know that to breathe is to live.

Recently, breathing has been popularised by the mainstream media as a way to heal emotionally, physically and cognitively.

The excellent news is that breathing is FREE and can be incorporated into classrooms, playtime, learning and the family home.

The science behind breathing

We know now through science what 2000+ years ago was being discovered by the forefathers and mothers of Yoga: Breathing deeply and slowly helps us trigger the parasympathetic nervous system - our "rest & digest" response. This response is what keeps us calm through a slower heart rate, and sending signals to the brain that we are safe.

Over time when slower, deeper breaths are practiced regularly, the nervous system starts to regulate itself more effectively. This can improve focus and help us feel positive and good!

So breathing, especially when we practice it regularly, can have big impacts on adults and childrens' stress, anxiety and concentration levels.

But with so many practices to choose from, you might be wondering how to select and adapt them for your children.

The best breathing practices for Kids

After 5 years of teaching yoga to children and adults, here are my favourite simple, fun and effective breathing practices. If your a parent, teacher, carer or just fascinated by breathing these will help you out!

1. Balloon Breath

This amazingly simple breathing can be done anywhere and anytime to calm and centre children (and adults!) It helps to activate the vagus nerve, which runs through our belly and is our friendly rest reset button!

- Place your hands on your belly

- Look down and imagine your favourite coloured balloon

- Watch your tummy moving as you breathe

- As you breathe in, your balloon being blown up and getting bigger

- As you breathe out, imagine your balloon gets smaller and deflating

- Repeat for 5 big breaths, watching and feeling your balloon-tummy move!

2. Lion's Breath

A fun and releasing breath. This one is best for moments of anger, frustration or stress when your child needs to let go of something.

- Sit on your knees

- Make claws like a lion!

- Breathe in through your nose, a big deep breath

- As you breathe out, stick out your tongue and make a noise like a lion

- Repeat for 3 big lion breaths, opening your mouth wide every time!

3. Bumblebee Breath

A soothing and calming breath. Great before bedtime, or when your child needs to focus or relax.

- Place your hands on your heart / chest

- Take a deep breath in

- As you breathe out make a 'hummm' like the sound of lots of little bees

- Repeat 5 - 10 times, seeing how long you can make your breath

- Notice how you feel afterwards

My top tip for trying these with children? Have FUN with it! The more you do, the more responsive they will be and they more you'll enjoy yourself too...

Sending love, Tash x

Feeling inspired?

Work with us!

Our mission is simple. Introduce mindful, empowering techniques to children in schools, events, parties and classes. We do this so that they can live a life of adaptability, resilience, and focus, and that promote compassion, stress reduction, and calm in our young people!

Schools, enquire here to bring mindfulness and yoga into your school day:

Parents, send us a message about a class or workshop, or see our events here:

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