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Exercise: Attention to the breath

Objective: Learning to pay attention to the breath, as a way to learn self-awareness

How to do it: Sitting in a circle. We make a paper boat that is left next to each child. We work in pairs. One child lies down and the other, sits, observing his partner. The guide explains to them that the nose is something magical, like a vacuum cleaner but which also heats the air that enters our lungs. It sucks air in and heats it. The child who is sitting down puts a finger in front of the nose of the one who is lying down and notices that the air is cool when it goes in and warm when it comes out. Explain that the nose also cleans the air with the little hairs it has inside to catch the dust and look after the lungs. We invite the child who is lying down to breathe slowly and the other one who is sitting down will put a hand on the child’s stomach and observe how the stomach rises and falls. Then he will place the boat on the stomach of the child lying down and watch how it moves as if it were sailing over the waves. After a while they change roles and repeat. 

Exercise: Attention to the breath

Objective: Learning to pay attention to the breath, as a way to learn self-awareness

How to do it: Sitting comfortably in chairs or against the wall. Eyes closed. We put a finger under our noses and breathe. We feel the warm air when it comes out through the nose. Then we remove our fingers and lower our hands and continue breathing. We notice how the air enters and leaves.

It is explained to them that now when the guide says “ONE” we take a breath and then release it quietly; the guide continues to count “One” each time they breathe in. We repeat this until they understand it. Invite them to feel how the air enters and leaves. It is explained to them that if any thought occurs to them, they should observe what they are and then let them pass as the wind or clouds pass and return to feeling how the air enters and leaves their noses.

Dialogue: How do you feel after breathing attentively? Did you feel more calm? Invite children to comment their sensations and encourage them to do it every time they want or when they feel negative emotions like feeling upset, sad or angry. 

Exercise: “Catch THE BALL”

Objective: Paying attention on the breath in motion by doing full breath. Children should be attentive to breathing and doing the movements correctly.

How to do it: All standing up. In silence. Look straight ahead, relaxed and without focussing on anything. Feel the body and your feet firmly on the floor.

We inhale as we open and raise our arms on both sides of our bodies as if there is a ball up high we want to catch gently with both hands. We gently grasp the ball and carefully lower it in front of our bodies as we slowly release the air through the mouth. Finally, the arms will be released on both sides of the body (See figures below). Repeat 5 times.

This exercise can be done before the start of the first class at school.

arm exercise