Tag Archives: breathing exercises

Yoga Code Game

Fun Game of Drawing and Posing

Yoga Code Game

Have fun stretching, breathing, and balancing with The Yoga Code Game! This fun, simple movement game helps children practice yoga poses while increasing flexibility and focus. For this game, family members create and draw a yoga code that is deciphered by other family members. After the code is revealed, family members take turns teaching family members how to do their yoga poses. The poses must be practiced in the order drawn, making it a fun flow challenge. 

What are the Benefits?

The Yoga Code Game encourages yoga pose practice and review.  It builds confidence and enhances memory skills.  Creating and deciphering yoga codes fosters creativity and problem-solving. The Yoga Code game also promotes family connectedness.

Family Yoga

What to Say.

  • On a piece of paper, chalkboard, or dry erase board, draw three or more symbols or pictures that represent yoga poses or breathing exercises.
  • For example, Tree = Tree Pose, Dog = Down Dog Pose, Star = Star Pose, Ocean = Ocean Breath.
  • Once your code is completed, take turns deciphering each others yoga codes by guessing what pose the drawing represents. 
  • The person who drew the code becomes the yoga teacher, instructing the other players how to do the poses and breathing exercises that were drawn. The players must do the yoga poses and breath work in order of how they were drawn.
  • Players take turns being the yoga instructor and practicing the yoga flow creations.

The Yoga Code Game is a fun game for the whole family. It helps children light up their minds and increase their flexibility and strength. If you’d like your child to engage in more games that are good for the brain and body join us for an aerial yoga camp or class.

Elevator Breath

kids mindfulness

What is Elevator Breath?

This breathing technique is referred to as “three-part breath” because of how the breath enters the abdomen, diaphragm, and chest. Children often breathe with only the top portion of their lungs, which means they are missing out on the benefits of using their entire lungs to breathe. Breathing in and out at full capacity provides a sense of balance and calm.

In aerial yoga, Elevator Breath pairs well with Fish Pose and Mermaid Pose.  However, it can be done in a seat position such as Bucket Seat Pose as well. 

What are the Benefits?        

Elevator Breath increases children’s awareness of their breath. Placing hands on the belly, helps kids to bring their breath all the way to their abdomen. It activates the brain’s relaxation system, which sends an instant calm feeling throughout the body. Placing the hands on the belly and heart allows children to feel their breath, which helps with focus, stress-relief and mindfulness.

What to Say.

  • Lay on your back, place one hand on the heart and one hand on the belly.
  •  Notice your breath and your heartbeat. Is it fast, medium, or slow?
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose. Feel your belly, rib cage, and the heart center rise beneath your hands.
  • As you breathe out, feel your belly, rib cage, and heart center fall. Do you feel the elevator going up and down with each breath?
  • Start to make your elevator go even slower by making your breath slower.
  • Repeat nine times. Notice your breath and heartbeat. Have they changed?

Elevator Breath is one of the breathing techniques we use in our aerial yoga classes. Mindful breathing can help children become more aware of their feelings, this awareness helps them to manage big emotions.

Energizing Breathing Exercise for Focus

Dragon Breathing Exercise

Dragon Breath is an energizing breathing exercise similar to Standing Deep Breathing Pose in hot yoga. Deep Breathing Pose is a breathing technique done at the beginning of a hot yoga class to help improve focus while practicing balancing poses.

Dragon Breath is free and takes little time, which makes it a perfect brain break during virtual school. It will enhance your child’s focus and wake up the mind before tackling that next assignment.

Benefits of Energizing Breathing Exercises

Dragon Breath improves focus and attention. Deep breathing transfers oxygen to muscles and organs such as the brain, and nervous system priming the brain for learning. Deep breathing promotes mindfulness and overall well-being. Being a dragon enhances visualization and imagination.

What to Say

  • Interlace all 10 fingers, glue knuckles under the chin.
  • Bring elbows together.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • Keep knuckles glued to the chin.
  • Begin floating elbows up like dragon wings by ears.
  • Tilt head back and breathe fire out through your mouth.

Add A Yoga Pose

To enhance the benefits of this energizing breathing exercise, couple Dragon Breath with a Dragon Pose or have children create their own Dragon Pose. Want to learn more ways to teach children to breathe and be mindful? Check out our Mindful Child Online Teacher Training

Three Ways Mindfulness Techniques Can Help Kids

kids mindful breathing

Mindfulness is a great tool for children during this unprecedented time.  With activities and schedules being turned upside down due to COVID-19, mindfulness techniques can help kids to reduce the stress and handle big emotions.  The best part about mindfulness is there are many different ways to be mindful – from mind-body practices like breathing exercises, yoga and mindful eating, to stillness practices like guided relaxations. There is something for everyone in the family to try. In these uncertain times, when we all truly need to feel supported and connected, I encourage parents to explore mindfulness and see how it might support them and their family.

Here are few mindfulness techniques to try at home:

  • Be mindful outdoors.  Take a ride your bike.  Research tells us that spending time in nature can change how we feel.  As you ride, pay close attention to what you see, hear, feel, and smell.  If you have a basket, maybe even gather objects such as rocks, sticks, and leaves to create an art project or mandala. 
  • Focus on the good. Every cloud has a silver lining, but sometimes it can be hard to find that silver lining when you are experiencing stress.  Encourage your child to use her breath, while thinking of a positive affirmation such as “I am happy.”  This will shift the negative mindset to a positive one.
  • Take deep breaths.  Breathing techniques are a useful tool for self-regulation.  Many children express how taking deep Elevator Breaths helped them to fall asleep at night or even in yoga! Taking ten deep breaths is a simple solution for big emotions that can be done anytime and anywhere.  It is truly an amazing tool for reducing stress. 

What makes an activity mindful, is if we pay attention to the activity while using our senses.  That being said, there are lots of ways to cultivate mindfulness. If you need a few ideas check out Mindful Child Online classes or my book, Mindfulness for Children, 150+ Activities for Healthier, Happier, Stress -Free Kids. When beginning a mindfulness practice, start small with a few minutes a day.  Also, try to pick a consist time to practice mindfulness to make it a habit.  If your children are doing schoolwork, add in a few minutes of mindfulness throughout the day.  Set time aside so that the whole family can practice together.  After COVID-19 is over, kids will think back fondly on the mindfulness activities they did as a family.