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    5 simple and fun breathing exercises for kids that can reduce anxiety and help them be calm

    Arun Sharma Arun Sharma 5 Mins Read

    Arun Sharma Arun Sharma

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    Breathing exercises for kids not only benefit their health but also help in emotion management. Encourage your child to try these simple breathing exercises

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    5 simple and fun breathing exercises for kids that can reduce anxiety and help them be calm

    We can survive several days without food and water, but only a few minutes without breathing. So, breathing is essential to life. Besides being essential to life, conscious breathing can be used to successfully treat or prevent numerous health issues.

    Wanitha Ashok, the renowned fitness expert from Bengaluru, says, "Breathing during exercise increases the uptake of oxygen and is considered good for the lungs and the heart. Breathing nourishes all the organs of the body including the brain. This results in improved academic performance in children. It is also good for disorders of the thyroid gland."

    Such breathing is known as called 'breathwork or Pranayama'. It is a therapy that involves utilizing breathing exercises to improve health.

    Pranayama for children not only improves their health but also improves memory and the ability to focus. Let's take a look at a few simple breathing exercises for kids that your child can do anywhere and reap the benefits.

    5 Breathing Exercises for Kids

    • Bhramari pranayama
    • Seetkari pranayama
    • Elephant breaths
    • Bunny breaths
    • Flower breaths

    1. Bumblebee breaths

    This exercise, also known as Bhramari pranayama, is derived from the Sanskrit words Bhramara, which means bumblebee, and pranayama, which means breath control. The pranayama is named so because, during exhalation, the sound resembling the buzzing of a bumblebee is produced. This pranayama for children helps to calm the mind and improves memory and concentration.  "Breathing nourishes all the organs of the body including the brain. This results in improved academic performance in children. It is also good for disorders of the thyroid gland," says fitness expert Wanitha Ashok


    5 Simple Breathing Exercises For Kids

    How to do it

    • Sit comfortably with the legs crossed and shoulders relaxed
    • Then cover both ears with the thumbs and both eyes with the index fingers of both hands
    • Now breathe out slowly, making a low humming sound
    • Repeat steps 2-4, five to ten times.

    Benefits

    • Relieves tension and anxiety
    • Reduces blood pressure and migraine
    • Mitigates headaches
    • Has a calming effect
    • Improves concentration and memory

    2. Hissing breaths

    This exercise is also called Seetkari pranayama because of the hissing sound (seee) produced while performing it. It keeps the teeth and gums healthy and promotes mental relaxation and tranquility. It should not be performed by those who wear dentures or have sensitive/missing teeth, asthma, bronchitis, tonsillitis, heart disease, and excessive mucus.

    How to do it

    • Sit comfortably with the legs crossed and hands on the knees
    • Hold the upper and lower teeth lightly against each other.
    • Open the lips and expose the teeth
    • The tongue may be kept flat or folded against the soft palate
    • Now breathe in through the gap between the teeth.
    • Close the mouth and bring the tongue back to the normal position if folded
    • Exhale slowly through the nose
    • Repeat steps 2-7, eight to ten times

    Benefits

    • Relaxes the body
    • Decreases hunger and thirst problems
    • Decreases skin inflammation
    • Has a curative effect on problems of mouth, throat and nose
    • Improves function of endocrine gland

    3. Elephant breaths

    This exercise helps to recover from morning sluggishness.

    How to do it

    • Stand with feet wide apart
    • Inhale through the nose, raising both arms up with fingers interlocked
    • Exhale through the mouth while dropping the arms
    • Repeat steps 2 and 3, three to four times

    Benefits

    • Improves hand and eye coordination
    • Stretches the legs and back
    • Relaxes the shoulders
    • Fosters a feeling of mental and physical well-being

    4. Bunny breaths 

    Most children love to keep bunnies as pets and this exercise involves breathing like rabbits. Ask your child to quickly sniff three times and then exhale once through the nose. This exercise helps an upset child to calm down.

    How to do it

    • Sit on your knees like a bunny
    • Keep your chest lifted and shoulder blades stretched down the back.
    • Quickly sniff ( take short breaths ) 4 to 6 times then exhale at once through the nose
    • Repeat 5 to 8 times and try to increase the number of inhalations

    Benefits

    • Calms the mind
    • Decreases breathing difficulty
    • Helps control nasal allergy
    • Recommended for those with diabetes

    5. Flower breaths

    Children like to smell flowers, and you can use them to teach your child flower breaths. Give your child a fragrant flower and ask him to breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth. You can give him flowers like daisies or roses. This exercise helps to relieve tension. However, be cautious if your child is allergic to pollen.

    How to do it

    • Take a comfortable position either standing or seated
    • Close your eyes and pay attention to your breath
    • Now imagine that you are holding a flower, or if you wish you can use real flowers or this practice
    • Take a deep breath and pretend to or smell the flower
    • Exhale and blow the air out
    • Repeat this cycle with a strong inhale and  gentle exhale for a couple of minutes
    Caution: Avoid if allergic to pollens

    Benefits

    • Makes children aware of their breath
    • Reduces stress and calms the mind
    • Increases oxygen intake and eliminates carbon dioxide
    • Strengthens abdominal muscles

    The mind, body and breath are very closely connected and deeply affect each other. By teaching our children to breathe consciously, we can help them positively influence their minds and bodies.

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