Note: This activity is designed to get students to focus on their breathing and also to learn deep-breathing as a stress-management technique. Some students with asthma may have a harder time taking deep breaths and this may be a trigger for their asthma. Monitor them closely, or have them do another activity.

Directions:

1. Have the students lie on their backs on the floor or on mats several feet apart from each other. Turn on the calming music.

2. Ask students to do the following:

•Close your eyes.

•Take a deep breath in and slowly release it.

•Take another deep breath and hold it for 3 seconds…1…2…3, and slowly release…1…2….3.

•Take a deep breath in and hold it for 5 seconds…1…2…3…4…5, and slowly release…1…2…3…4…5.

•Continue breathing deeply in this manner until the mind is cleared. Continue to breathe in until you feel the breath originating from the stomach.

•Release the breath slowly and controlled.

•Continue breathing and imagine that you are sitting underneath a tree on a sunny summer day. Can you feel the warmth of the sun and a slight breeze or birds singing? Do you feel calm and relaxed?

o Feel free to substitute any other location or have students imagine their own favorite calming spot. The important thing is that it is a place where they feel happy and relaxed, and that they can visualize a location that embodies serenity.

•Curl your toes up and hold them for 5 seconds…1…2…3…4…5 and relax …1…2…3…4…5.

•Tense the muscles in your legs making them very stiff…1…2…3…4…5 and relax…1…2…3…4…5.

•Remember to keep breathing deeply and slowly.

•Place your hands next to your sides with your palms on the floor. Tense your arms and push your palms down onto the floor…1…2…3…4…5, and relax …1…2…3…4…5.

•Tense the entire body. Make every muscle in your legs, arms, neck, hands, feet and torso tense and stiff. Hold it for 5 seconds…1…2…3…4…5, and relax…1…2…3…4…5.

•Take a deep breath in and hold it for 5 seconds…1…2…3…4…5, and now slowly let it out…1…2…3…4…5.

•Take another deep breath in and hold it for 3 seconds…1…2…3, and slowly release…1…2…3

•Breathe in and slowly release

•Now open your eyes, and slowly sit up.

Discussion:

Discuss the following questions with students. Do you feel relaxed? Why or why not? Do you think you can perform breathing exercises on your own? When is the best time for you to do a deep-breathing routine? What body parts were used during the deep-breathing routine? Would it be harder for you to do a deep-breathing routine if you smoked? Why or why not?

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