I have found in my pre-school classes that children love to breathe like a snake and automatically go into “cobra pose”. On their tummy, they start doing this as baby’s as soon as they have good head control.
Kids love to show other children how to be a snake and express their own unique sound of a snake. They see how long they can hiss their specific snake and this allows their lungs to empty out completely.
To prepare for this breath I have them place one hand on their tummies so that they can feel their lungs and their diaphragm as they breathe. Next, they begin the inhale, slowly breathing in and filling the lungs from the bottom up. Finally, they slowly hiss out the breath, seeing how long they can exhale. Then the children move into the full pose doing the same breath.
The children can easily co-create a special story about a snake in the grass or in the rain forest, how it moves, sounds etc. They love to add their own creative snake drawing to their story. As a teacher there is ample opportunity to weave in qualities of the snake into the class and what the snake has to teach us. Like snakes we are always changing, just like the snake shedding its old skin for a new one.