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Rainbow Breathing

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

What is rainbow breathing?

Rainbow breathing is a breathing exercise. Assoc. Prof. Dr. İpek Kuru Gönen (2022) suggests that "Rainbow Breathing" leads to a positive and calming atmosphere in language classrooms. She mentions that this breathing exercise can be used at the beginning, middle, or end of the lessons.

Benefits of rainbow breathing

There are important benefits of rainbow breathing. This breathing exercise can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating our body's rest and relaxation response. By engaging in slow, deep breathing while seeing the colors of the rainbow, students can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and decrease the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's stress response. This can lead to a feeling of calm and relaxation, lower blood pressure, and decreased heart rates.

How to use rainbow breathing in EFL settings

Here is a sample image for teachers to use in their classes:


  1. Find "Start here". Put your index finger on it.

  2. Start with the purple ring. Slowly inhale with "breathe in" and slowly exhale with "breathe out".

  3. Deepen your breath with every ring. Relax your shoulders.

  4. Repeat this until the red ring.

  5. Imagine you are breathing in and out the colors. Relax your shoulders.

  6. Breathe in and out as you like in the red ring. Close your eyes and follow your breath for a while.

  7. Open your eyes. How do you feel? Are you ready for the lesson/speaking exam/etc.?

These instructions can be modified according to your students' proficiency levels, age, attitudes, and so on. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kuru Gönen (2022) further adds that:

" is important to start with the purple ring, following the colors one by one, and expanding inhales and exhales as the rings become longer in each color upwards. Rainbow is also useful for color visualization of the breath helping learners to focus more on their breathing which in turn will help to focus attention on the present moment. Learners can follow the arrows specifically placed on the rings referring to breathing in and breathing out. This will also help to avoid the mind’s wandering around the thoughts, past experiences, or future projections, and concentrate only on the given shape."

This mindfulness-based practice can help your learners focus on themselves and be in the classroom both physically and mentally.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section!


Kuru Gönen, S. İpek. (2022). Mindfulness-based practices for EFL teachers: sample tasks and insights to cultivate mindfulness. Focus on ELT Journal, 4(3), 78–93.


Nov 20, 2023

lovely, ı use it almost every morning


May 31, 2023



May 24, 2023

This one was very effective


May 04, 2023

Thanks for your interest.

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