Family Yoga-3 Breathing Exercises To Overcome Stress On Christmas Day

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Roarrrrrr like a lion in the Lion Roar

Christmas is just around the corner and if you are like most people, the run up to Christmas Day is filled with extra duties and commitments. From work office parties, social link-ups with old friends and family gifts to buy, wrap and deliver it is easy to run yourself ragged, especially if you have to also fit in school nativity plays and last minute requests from clients. It is a time of great anxiety, stress and frustrations, made worse as the extra rounds of festive eating and drinking can dull your senses.

In today’s post, I will share with you three easy yoga breathing exercises which you can use at home with your family to release frustration and anxiety, and revitalise, replenish and reenergise your system. They are great fun and children/teen love them!

Benefits Of Yoga Breathing Exercises

In yoga, the breath is King. Your breath is your link between your body, mind and spirit and when you know how to control your breathe you have the best gift of all. The ability to calm, rest, energise your being, anytime anywhere and with no extra cost.
Learning how to master the way you breathe is the best gift ever.

If you are new to yoga breathing exercises, here is a quick run-down of some of the benefits of breathing correctly.

What Happens When You Breathe Correctly

1. Breathing allows you to draw oxygen into your body and eliminate toxins and bacteria that impact on your body’s ability to function correctly.

2. The slower and deeper you breathe, the more you allow oxygen to enter and flow through your body.

3. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows the rest and digest response to kick in, so your body gets flooded with all the feel-good-lets-relax hormones-as opposed to the fight and flight stress hormones which generally run the show.

4. Lung capacity expands which helps to stimulate and open up your heart centre.

Breathing Correctly Can Help You To

1. Reduce negative effect of distress and stress

2. Soften aches and pains in the body

3. Relives stomach disorders

4. Get a good night’s sleep

5. Boost energy and reduce fatigue

With all these positive and potentially life-saving benefits, it makes sense to learn how to use your breathe to rebalance and realign your energy.

With the run up of Christmas and potential arguments with inlaws, here are three simple breathing exercises for you to practice and have fun with doing with your family, to release frustration and build up of excitement. In fact, make it a party game. See who can sit still the longest and remain calm the longest after doing the breathing exercises.

1. The Lion Roar

A favourite with children! The Lion Roar is excellent to release frustration and pent up energy…ideal when you come home from all that Christmas shopping or on Christmas Day when your children are extra hyper.

Sit in a comfortable position, scrunch your face up, like a dried up prune.
Open your eyes look upward.

Open your mouth, stretch out your tongue and Roarrrrrrrrrrr like an angry lion.

Repeat 3 times.

Remain seated a few minutes smiling and enjoying the release of energy.

2. The Humming Bee Breath

perfect to calm, balance and quieten your thoughts, great to do, when the clock is ticking and you feel anxious and panicky that you won’t get everything down in time. Ideal also to practice with your children.

Sit in a comfortable position, relax your shoulders and soften your jaw.

Take a gentle breath in and slowly breathe out. Repeat 3-5 times.

Close your eyes, make sure mouth is gently closed (not locked tight) and slowly breathe in through your nose, and as you breathe out, pretend you are a humming bee and make a long humming sound as you breathe out…hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Make the hummmmmmmmmmmmmm sound as long and deep as possible.

Feel the sound vibrate through your throat and “tickle” your lips.

Take a slow steady in-breath and repeat 3-5 times.

Remain seated, eyes closed and tune into the sensations and energies flowing through the body.

When you are ready open your eyes. Take your time before reengaging with your day.

3. The WoodChopper
(Avoid if you suffer from back pain)

Another firm favourite which I love to teach to children, the Woodchopper really helps you to get stuff off your chest. It has a warming effect on your body and releases tension throughout your system.

Stand with your feet hip slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly and keep them soft and slightly bent throughout the exercise.

Clasp your hands together, interlace your fingers, take a deep breath in, and raise your arms above your head (keeping hands clasped together).

Lean back slightly, whilst focusing on a point at eye level in front of you.

Bending from the hip joints, exhale and allow the arms to swing forward and down as if you are chopping wood, and pass through your open legs. Make the Ha! Sound as you swing your arms down and through your open legs.

Swing the body upright and repeat 3-5 times.

Keep the movement soft and fluid and return your gaze to the same fixed point between each swing.

What Next?

Try all three; get the whole family involved, children and teens love the woodchopper and the humming bee breath always ends up with them seeing who can hummmm the longest!

And now, I’d love to know which yoga exercise your family enjoyed the most and difference it made to way you all got on. Share your thoughts in the comment box below.


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More Breathing Exercises To Overcome Stress And Anxiety

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About Ntathu Allen

Yoga Teacher, Blogger and mum to three bubbly teens, I aspire to support, educate and encourage busy mums and working women to weave moments of calm into their hectic schedule.

About Ntathu Allen

Yoga Teacher, Blogger and mum to three bubbly teens, I aspire to support, educate and encourage busy mums and working women to weave moments of calm into their hectic schedule.


  1. Hello Nthathu,

    I agree with you that yoga is best medication when you are stressed out. Stress really affect the body. To be healthy you need to be stress free. So you can also do meditation or play with your pet to feel less stress.

    Nice Sharing!

  2. Okay I tried the Lion roar and I sound like a baby Lion…LOL I guess I have to practice more! I these for just everyday stress with teenagers!

  3. Nice blog. I think I’ll start trying it out!

    Thanks for being an inspiration,
    Bucket List Blogger

  4. It typically a good one that we must have to have an output on what we really feel about for this can stressed us out and worst this can highly make us sick. If possible, do a lot of variation course of breathing to effectively release toxics and stress.
    Letty recently posted..stress hair lossMy Profile

  5. The Lion Roar always made me fall over in a fit of giggles in class. It’s very, very hard to take yourself or anyone in the room seriously if you do this one right. 😉
    Holly Jahangiri recently posted..Yoga For Bloggers- 3 Easy Stretches To Release Neck PainMy Profile

  6. Bless you Dee, thanks for sharing your thoughts about Christmas, yes it can be very challenging to spend time with people who you would rather not be in the same space in. I hope you find the breathing exercises useful and you get some peace over the holiday. I recently wrote another post Christmas Day-A Day For Happy Families Or War? which you may find useful. >
    Take care

  7. Ntathu,

    I will definitively try your breathing. I get so stressed at Christmas.

    So much family stuff that I really do not want to deal with.

    For me Christmas is a time I have to spend time with people that I do not want to.

    I think this breathing will be great.

    Dee Ann Rice
    Dee Ann Riced recently posted..My Pet Peeves About CommentingMy Profile

  8. Hi Ntathu Great article! I’m looking to get back in yoga shortly, I did it for about a year in my grad school. I’m more of a tai chi person, but I can say I did not anticipate I would get such a workout my first time doing it. Look forward to more posts!

    • Blessings Carlo, thanks for your thumbs up..Tai chi is graceful and very grounding for me. Do you practice the Brocades of Silk as part of your form? Stya tuned, more yoga posts coming. Hugs and blessings