Leading a quick mindfulness exercise with students after a transition in the classroom benefits your students greatlyResearch has shown that breathing exercises reduce stress. This benefits students in endless way from better concentration, increasing creativity, increasing a student’s overall wellbeing.
Often, students might experience intense emotions, taking three deep breaths is like cooling that pot of water down. This gives students the life skill of monitoring their emotions, which is invaluable.
Aim to complete one minute of meditation in one session. The focus of meditation in a classroom setting is breathing not religious mantra or prayer. Have students complete while sitting in their chair after a transition in the school day like arriving to school or coming in from a high-energy recess session. Often children face busy schedules, have working parents that might be tired , and students themselves face incredibly high levels of stress to succeed academically.
Always “invite” and give students “the option to participate” rather than make every step mandatory because this can leave kids feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable.
- Invite students to participate in a quick one minute breathing meditation.
- Have students place feet on the floor and sit up straight in chair.
- Students can place their hands in a comfortable position like in their lap or on their thighs.
- Invite students to close their eyes. Set a timer or keep an eye on the clock to measure one minute.
- Instruct students to take a nice big breath in then out. Explain “Inhale”means take a breath in through your nose. When “exhale” let the air come back out through the nose.
- Have them take three more long breaths.
- Instruct students to scan shoulders and see if there is any tension. “Check if you are tensing your face, eyebrows, and soften the mouth”.
- Say “Release any tension in your shoulders.
- Next have them scan their arms and hands. You can be as detailed as you like. Again invite students to relax and release tension in their right arm and left arm.
- Continue with the back, legs, and feet.
- Bring student’s attention back to their breath. Have them watch their breathing.
- Guide students through inhaling nice and slow through their belly, into their ribs, and lastly up int their collar bone area.
- Then guide students to release the breath in the reverse order. First, exhale the breath out of their chest, then ribs, then their belly area.
- Have them repeat a couple more times.
- To end, they can slowly open their eyes.
Aim for one minute day and make it a routine o that your students can feel confident and comfortable in performing this unique exercise that might be different from a typical school exercise.