Tummy breathing (aka deep or diaphragmatic breathing) focuses on expanding the abdomen rather than chest, to help boost oxygen intake.
Once the majority of your students are comfortable with playing Sleeping statues chances are you’re ready to progress to Tummy Breathing.
Start by explaining that focusing on our breathing helps calm our body and mind, and say that over the next few weeks you’re going to be learning a new breathing skill that is used all over the world to reduce stress.
Show them this fun Sesame St video on tummy breathing and let them try it.
- First, lying down, like Silent Statues – either with their hands or a book on their tummies so they can feel it going up and down. (Younger tamariki may like to put their hands behind their head, so the rise and fall of their tummy occurs more naturally.)
- Then, after a few one-minute attempts, sitting up, with one hand on their tummy and the other on their chest, so they can practice making their tummy hand go out and in.
Another way to start the exercise is by making origami boats students can place on their tummies, so the boat moves up and down, as it would on a calm sea.
To wrap up, ask students how they found it, and remind them that this is something that will get easier with practice. Introduce the concept of trying some tummy breathing the next time they want to feel better or relax.
Ask them to think of (or write down) a time they could use tummy breathing.