Even-In, Even-Out Breath: Mindful Breathing Practice K-5

Even-In, Even-Out Breath

A K-5 Mindful Breathing Practice


Type of Practice: Mindfulness


Recommended Grade Levels: K-5


Calming/Energizing: Calming

Time: 2 minutes

Script for Guided Practice

Today we’re going to practice even-in, even-out breath. 


In this practice, we breathe in for the same amount of time as we breathe out. 


Let’s practice it by counting to three each time we breathe in and counting to three each time we breathe out.


Are you ready? 


Breathe in for one, two, three. 

Breathe out for one, two, three. That’s it. You got it. 


Breathe in for one, two, three. 

Breathe out for one, two, three. Excellent.


Breathe in for one, two, three.

And breathe out for one, two, three. Wonderful. 


Take a moment to check in with your body. Do you notice any changes?


You do not need to read the included script verbatim. Adapt the language so that it is appropriate for your students in particular. 


It is not important for students to get this breath practice “exactly right.” Instead, focus on helping them build mind-body awareness each time you practice. 


Offer students positive reinforcements throughout each practice. Focus on qualities and behaviors they can control, like their focus, effort, or persistence. Be specific whenever possible. This will help your students develop a “growth mindset.”


Demonstrate this breath pattern by using hand signals or, for younger students, use  a Hoberman sphere, pulling it out to indicate an inhale and pushing it in to cue an exhale. 


Model for students how to use their fingers to keep track of the length of their inhalations and exhalations. Once students get the hang of it, explain to them that they can continue with the same three-second count you used or they can use a new count based on what feels most comfortable to their bodies.


Authors and Provenance

Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile

Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project

Associated Graphic