Today’s lesson is a simple tool to help cool you down when your body, mind, or emotions are feeling hot hot hot! Sometimes we feel really warm in our bodies on a sunny day or after sports or recess. Sometimes we feel like our minds are working overtime and we’re overheating with our thoughts. Sometimes our emotions might feel so powerful like they’re going to burst right out of us! This practice gives you the chance to take a Cool Down Breath, and notice the changes in your body, mind and feelings when you do.
To begin, lets start with a practice that gets you warm in your body. This is an easier example to notice, so we’ll stick with that one with our practice today. Begin by taking 20 jumping jacks, or running in place for 20 seconds. Then pause, close your eyes and notice how your body feels. Odds are that it is probably a little warmer than it was before.
Once you notice your body, take your attention to your breath. There are a few steps to take Cool Down Breath:
- Keep your eyes closed to keep your mind cool and calm
- If you can, make a straw shape with your tongue. If you can’t make this shape, press your tongue to the back of your top teeth.
- If you have your tongue in the shape of a straw, breathe in through your straw for 5-4-3-2-1 and fill up your belly. Hold the breath for 3-2-1 and slowly let it go. Try that 3 more times.
- If you have your tongue pressing into the back of your teeth, open your mouth really wide and inhale through the sides of your mouth to fill up your belly for 5-4-3-2-1. Hold the breath for 3-2-1 and slowly let it go. Try that 3 more times.
- It will probably sound pretty silly! Don’t worry, we’re all practicing together.
- At the end of your third round, keep your eyes closed and notice how your body feels now.
- Now open your eyes and raise your hands to share what you noticed!
Teachers: this can be a fun interactive practice for right after lunch, recess, or on a hot day to cool kids down a little bit.
Students: you can also try this breath when your mind or emotions are feeling really worked up. Practice for 5 rounds, then sit and notice how you feel.