Today we’re going to practice dragon breathing!
Begin by sitting comfortably on your mat or sitting in your chair with both feet on the ground.
Sit up a little bit taller, feeling your back stretch as you do so.
First, roll your tongue by curling the right and left sides toward the center to make a taco shape.
If you can’t roll your tongue, don’t worry! Just make a small “o” shape with your mouth. If you make your mouth into an “o” shape, keep your tongue against the back of your bottom teeth so that air can go over your tongue.
Wonderful. That’s it.
Now each time we breathe in, we’re going to breathe in through our taco tongues or our “o” shaped mouths. Then we’ll pause, close our mouths, and breathe out through our noses.
Are you ready?
Breathe in through your tongue. Wonderful. You’ve got it.
Now pause. Close your mouth. And now breathe out through your nose.
Breathe in again through your tongue. Nice.
Pause. Close your mouth, and breathe out through your nose.
Repeat as many times as you’d like.
Take a moment to check in with your body and your mind. 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.”
You could also call this “taco breathing” if that makes more sense to your students.
Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile
Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project