Set Up: Ensure students can extend their arms forward without hitting one another.
Begin by standing on your mat or sitting on a chair with both feet on the ground.
Today we’re going to practice crocodile breathing.
Crocodiles have huge mouths! Let’s grow our own.
Put your arms out in front of you with your palms touching. Turn the back of your top hand to point toward the sky. The back of your bottom hand should point toward the ground.
Each time we breathe in, we’re going to open our mouths. And each time we breathe out, we’re going to close them.
Are you ready?!
Take a big breath in and open your mouth!
Breathe out all that air and close your mouth.
Take another breath in as you open your mouth!
And now breathe out as you close it.
(Repeat this as many times as you’d like.)
Okay, last breath!
Excellent. Gently lower your arms to your sides.
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.”
Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile
Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project