Breathing Exercises _Lions Breath
Calming Down,  Deep Breathing

Fun Yoga Breathing Exercises for Kids: Animal Breathing

Make Breathing Exercises Fun for Kids with Yoga Breathing and the Animal World!

Have you ever tried to engage your child in a breathing exercise and be greeted with a “Mommy, this is boring”.

My child’s own words, not mine.

Let’s be honest. Deep breathing has plenty of benefits but it is not exactly a fun activity per se.

And when you wish to engage your kids in a new activity, it better be fun.

Fortunately, yoga breathing comes to the rescue.

Yoga has plenty of poses inspired by the animal world. Some of those poses come with their own breathing techniques. In this post, I will take you through some examples of fun yoga breathing exercises for kids.

Also, some breathing exercises that we usually practice can be “renamed” as animal breathing, as some of its mechanics may remind you of animal movements.

So, armed with the inspiration of animal yoga breathings and our imagination, we can provide our kids with a few breathing exercises that they won’t throw back to us labeling them as boring.

You’ll be able to download a Breathing Exercises Poster at the end of the post.

Related reading: Yoga for Kids / 46 Benefits to Consider 

Yoga Breathing Exercises for Kids_Lion's Breath, Bumble Bee Breath, Crocodile Breathing

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What is Yoga Breathing

Yoga breathing techniques are also known as “Pranayama”. 

Pranayama comes from the Sanskrit “prana” (breath) + “ayama” (suspension / control) representing the “Control of Breath”.

Pranayama techniques focus on one or more of the four parts of the breath:

  • Inhalation 
  • Internal retention 
  • Exhalation 
  • External retention 

You can read about Pranayama ? here

Fun Yoga Breathing Exercises for Kids Inspired in the Animal World

If we want our kids to enjoy the benefits of deep breathing, trying a few yoga breathing exercises inspired in the animal world may be a good way to start.

 Lion’s Breath

This breathing exercise originates in a yoga meditation position, Simhasana (Lion Pose).

If you are familiar with yoga you may have read about this pose practiced in a Viranasa or Hero pose. For the purpose of this fun exercise, we will just ask our kid to kneel on all fours.

One of the benefits attributed to this type of breathing technique is helping us release anger and frustration

How to Practice Lion’s Breath Technique

  • Go to the floor on all fours, as if you were a lion
  • Take a deep breath through your nose
  • Open your mouth as big as you can
  • Stick your tongue out
  • Eyes wide opened
  • And, ROAR!

Lion's Breath- Yoga Breathing Exercises for Kids

 

 Dragon Breathing

One of my kids is really into How to Train your Dragon. If that’s the case for your kid / student / patient, you can tweak the previous script a bit.

This is exactly the same breathing exercise as the one I described above, but it will read like this:  

  • Go to the floor on all fours, as if you were a DRAGON
  • Take a deep breath through your nose
  • Open your mouth as big as you can
  • Stick your tongue out
  • Eyes wide opened
  • And, throw your FIERY BREATH

Bumble Bee Breath

The bee breath is another yoga breathing technique. It is a slow-paced breathing technique that is accompanied by a humming bee sound.

Its Sanskrit name is Bhramari Pranayama, but in English, you could have heard it referred to as Humming Bee, Bumble Bee or Bee Breath.

Some of the benefits attributed to this breathing exercise are:

  • Reduction of stress levels
  • Reduction in heart rate
  • Improvement in cognition

Source: Effects of Bhramari Pranayama on health – A systematic review

How to Practice the Bumble Bee Breathing Technique:

  • Breathe in
  • Breathe out with your mouth closed, while you hum like a bee
  • Repeat this breathing sequence for a few minutes

Bumble Bee Breath- Yoga Breathing Exercises for Kids VST

 

Cat Breathing

Marjariasana is more commonly known as Cat Pose (or Cat Stretch).

This is a very fun breathing exercise:

  • Kneel on all fours
  • Breathe in as you lift your chin and tilt your head back
  • Breathe out while you slowly raise your back towards the ceiling and you lower your head (it will look like a cat arching its back)

Cat Pose and Breathing- Yoga Breathing Exercises for Kids VST

Bird Breathing

This is the only breathing exercise in this post NOT inspired by yoga poses. I’ve included it here because I wanted to prepare a sequence of animal breathings and this one worked well here.

It is just a way to make a breathing sequence a bit more fun.

The movements remind me a bit of bird wings as they fly.

  • Place your arms straight in front of you, hands opened, palms facing each other
  • Breathe in as you open your arms to form a 180 degrees angle
  • Breath out as they return to their initial position

Fun Breathing Exercises for Kids- Fly Like a Bird

Crocodile Breathing

This could be a good way to finish this sequence, as it just requires your kids to lay on their tummies and relax.

The crocodile pose is a yoga posture also known as Makarasana. It is a good relaxation pose to work diaphragmatic breathing.

  • Lie on your tummy
  • Fold your arms above your shoulders and rest your head on them (it helps you start deep breathing)

Crocodile Breathing- Yoga Breathing for Kids

Yoga Breathing for the Classroom

I’ve been using a great resource to practice yoga breathing techniques with my kids:

Frog’s Breathtaking Speech

This book is SO FUN and interactive. It is not only about the mechanics of deep breathing, but the kids themselves can participate in the story while practicing the breathing techniques. It´s great for home, but I especially recommend it for a classroom setting.

Frog’s Breathtaking Speech is a charming and very fun story that teaches kids four yoga breathing techniques in order to help them deal with anger, anxiety, and tension:

  • Crocodile breathing (calming down breathing)
  • Lion breathing (to make my voice stronger)
  • Humming bee breathing (to relieve headache & tension)
  • Woodchopper breathing (to get rid of anger)

You can check it out here.

Books about Breathing Exercises for Kids

There are a few gorgeous books that I would love to recommend if you wish to practice breathing exercises with kids.

??DEAL ALERT: The book mentioned above ⬆️ was FREE in Kindle Unlimited when I wrote this post.
➡️➡️Try Kindle Unlimited Free  HERE

??DEAL ALERT: The book mentioned above ⬆️ was also FREE in Kindle Unlimited when I wrote this post.
➡️➡️Try Kindle Unlimited Free  HERE

Breathing Exercises for Kids Poster: Lion’s Breath, Bumble Bee Breathing, Crocodile Breathing & More!

You can download this gorgeous poster by filling in your details  (below the picture)

POSTER Yoga Breathing Exercises for Kids + Other breathing exercise for kids

 

Fun Yoga Breathing Exercises for Kids: Animal Breathing

 

Illustrations used in this post by Graphic Mama Team, OpenClipart, Clker Free Vector Images and Yabayee at Pixabay. 

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