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Week 1 - Breath/Movement Practice

Breath Movement Practice

Length: 10 minutes


A variation of Mindful Breathing


  • Focused attention
  • Mindfulness
  • Intrapersonal
  • Breath, body



Let’s begin by noticing your body posture at this moment and making adjustments to sit in an upright sitting position that would allow you to pay attention fully in the next few moments.

You can let go of anything you may be holding. Bring your feet flat on the floor, back straight but not stiff, shoulders relaxed, facial muscles relaxed, and hands resting comfortably on your thighs or in your lap.

(pause for students to adjust their position)


First, let’s explore our breath and breathing movement.

Bring one hand on your chest and one hand on the belly and notice the quality of your breath.

Can you feel your hands moving with each breath?

(short pause)

What qualities do you notice?

Is your breath shallow and fast?

Is your breath deep and slow?

No judgement, just notice your breath in this moment.


Now bring both hands on your belly and take a deep breath through your nose.

Feel the belly expand and then slowly let the breath out through your mouth.

Allow the exhalation to be slow and long.

Do this two or three more times to reconnect with your breath.


You may keep your hands on your belly or rest them comfortably in your lap.

Let the breath come to its natural rhythm.

Feeling the natural flow of breath.

Don't need to do anything to your breath.

Not long not short just natural.


Now, notice where you feel the most movement of your breath in your body.

It might be in your abdomen.

It may be in your chest or throat.

Or in your nostrils.

See if you can feel the sensations of breath.

One breath at a time.

Resting our mind in the experience of the breath.


As you do this you may notice that your mind start to wander. You may start thinking about other things. If this happens, it’s not a problem. It's very natural. Just notice that your mind has wandered. And then gently redirect your attention back to the breathing.

We'll stay with this for some time in silence.


Remember that it is very common to be distracted by our thoughts or anything in the environment. This is not a problem because we are not trying to empty our mind, we are learning to pay attention in the present moment, notice our distractions, and gently return back here.


A few more moments of staying with the experience of breathing and returning when the mind wanders.


Now, slowly begin to bring some movement into your fingers and toes, bring some movement into the whole body, stretching gently, and then allow the eyes to open when you are ready. Take your time.


Week 1 - Breath/Movement Practice
Collection The Art and Science of Human Flourishing - Fall 2017
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)