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Pufferfish Breath: Mindful Breathing Practice K-5

Pufferfish Breath

A K-5 Mindful Breathing Practice 


Type of Practice: Mindfulness


Recommended Grade Levels: K-2



Individual/Partner/Group Practice: Individual


Calming/Energizing: Calming


Time: 2 minutes


Script for Guided Practice

Today we’re going to practice the pufferfish breath! 


Have you ever seen a pufferfish? Their bellies get really puffed up every time they 

breathe in.


We’re going to try to do the same thing, breathing in so deeply that our bellies get puffed up. 


Begin by sitting comfortably on your mat or sitting in your chair with both feet on the ground. 


Gently place your hands on your breath. 


Take a really deep breath in, feeling the air fill your belly. 

Now breathe out all that air, feeling your belly relax again. Wonderful. That’s it. 


Take another deep breath in, feeling your hands rise as your belly fills with air. 

Breathe out, feeling your hands fall as your belly empties. 


Repeat as many times as you’d like. 


Wonderful! Gently lower your hands to your sides. 


Check in with your body. Do you notice any changes? 


You do not need to read the included script verbatim. Adapt the language so that it is appropriate for your students in particular. 


It is not important for students to get this breath practice “exactly right.” Instead, focus on helping them build mind-body awareness each time you practice. 


Offer students positive reinforcements throughout each practice. Focus on qualities and behaviors they can control, like their focus, effort, or persistence. Be specific whenever possible. This will help your students develop a “growth mindset.” 


Consider showing a short video of a pufferfish before introducing this breath to help students better visualize the practice. 

Authors and Provenance

Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile


Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project


Associated Graphic
Pufferfish Breath: Mindful Breathing Practice K-5
Collection Practices: K-12
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)
Author Megan Downey, Anna Basile
Year published 2019
UID mandala-texts-62631