Mindful Breathing for Kids
What is Bear Breath? Bear Breath is a breathing technique that teaches us to be smart like a hibernating animal and use our precious resources wisely.
How does it help me? Taking fewer but slower and fuller breaths calms the mind, body and nervous system and will help your bear survive the toughest and longest of winters.
How do I do it?
1. Begin in a comfortable seated position, spine naturally erect and chin level. Be sure that your shoulders, arms and face relaxed. Hands should rest comfortably in your lap, or on the knees.
2. Observe your natural breath cycle for a few rounds before beginning to deepen the breath.
3. Breathe all the way in, until your belly expands, and then all the way out as your belly relaxes and you feel all of the air move out of your body.
4. When you feel ready to begin, inhale to a count of THREE; Once inhale is complete, hold the breath in for a count of TWO.
5. Slowly exhale, with control, for a count of THREE.
6. Hold the breath OUT for a count of TWO.
7. Continue breathing this way for 3-5 full rounds.
IF, and only IF, this is easy and comfortable for you, try increase the number of counts – it is important to proceed incrementally and only when the body is ready (not the mind!).
1. Inhale to a count of FOUR
2. Once inhale is complete, retain the breath for a count of THREE
3. Exhale, with control, for a count of FOUR
4. Hold for a count of THREE before inhaling, slowly and with control for a count of FOUR
5. Continue practicing for several full rounds before returning to normal breath, observe how you fell
Bear Breath can be practiced with up to FIVE counts for the INHALE/EXHALE and FOUR counts retaining the breath in or out.
*Tip: When we think about animals that hibernate during winter we often think of the bear, but many animals hibernate – skunks, groundhogs, bats, and even snakes! So feel free to choose any animal you wish when practicing Bear Breath.
Click the link below to explore more helpful mindful breathing techniques with Lisa Roberts