Find Your Calm With Animal Breathing Exercises

Written by: Jennifer Schidlow

When faced with stress or anxiety, the human body might automatically go into “fight, flight, or freeze” mode. This causes us to take shorter breaths while tensing up the muscles and can actually increase those feelings of stress. It is important to try to be mindful of these changes, in particular when we realize that we have slipped into “defense” mode unconsciously.  

One way to return to a more mindful state is through deep breathing. Deep breathing helps to get more oxygen into the bloodstream and has a calming effect on the body to decrease stress. Animal breathing exercises are a fun way for kids AND adults to tune into the breath. Choose one to practice today!

  • Snake Breath: Take deep breath in, pause, and then hiss out slowly for a complete exhale.
  • Whale Breath: Take a deep breath in. Hold it for a count of 5. Tilt the chin up to the sky and exhale completely – like a blowhole!
  • Bumblebee Breath: Take a deep breath in through the nose, then with fingers in your ears hum out the breath.
  • Lion Breath: Take a deep breath in, stick out the tongue really far, and roar from the throat. “Aaaggghhh!”

Try these out, or come up with your own animal breathing exercises and let nature bring you back to calm.