Lesson 3 Mindful breathing Today we will focus on our breathing and learn how to mindfully breathe to relax our brains. First let practice listening I’m going to ring a chime and you get to practice just sitting comfortably and listening to it. This is a sound you’ll become very familiar with it will begin and end a daily exercise we’ll be doing as a class. Sit upright, with your feed flat on the floor. Rest your hands comfortably in your lap. When I ring the chime, close your eyes or look down at your hands. Just focus on listening to the chime with your mind. I will ring the chime now.. Now that the sound has faded open your eyes. What did you hear? Let’s try just listening one more time. Let’s practice focusing on our breathing. Sit in a comfortable position. Pay close attention to your breathing. Feel air come in through your nose, then fill your chest and your belly. Calmly and slowly, let the breath leave your belly, then your chest and finally your nose. Keep your shoulders dropped and relaxed. Think about the air coming into your body and the air going out. Bring your attention back to your breath, if your mind tries to think about other things. Open your eyes slowly and take a slow, deep breath. How did it feel to control your breathing? What did you notice? How did you keep your mind focused on breathing? Now we will try both mindful listening and breathing together and help our brains learn that this is the signal for our prefrontal cortex to take charge! Let’s look at our brain poster. Our prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain we use to focus and concentrate, instead of being anxious or worried. Let’s get ready. By sitting comfortably and closing our eyes or looking at our hands. When you hear the instrument, listen as long as you can. When the sound has faded, begin to focus on every breath as you take it in and let it out. When you hear the sound the second time, listen as long and as carefully as you can, still breathing calmly. When you can’t hear the sound any longer, slowly open your eyes but remain still and quiet. Ring.. Listen to the chime and think about your breathing. If you start to think of other things just focus on the sir coming in and going out… Just let your mind relax and focus…. ( 10 seconds-30 seconds later ring the chime) From now on we’ll do this 3-4 times a day? When do you think would be some good times to do this? It might feel awkward at first but as we continue to practice it our brains will get better at it. Extension ideas: Draw a before and after cartoon. Before mindful breathing and after. Choose a quiet place at home to practice mindful breathing. When would be a good time for this?