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Focus and Attention 

9 practices for grades K4-8

These practices help students train their attention by listening to sounds and feeling the sensations of the breath. Through repeated practice, students will be able to focus better and be more aware of the quality of their attention.

 

Mindful Position - Floor

Practice Description: A mindful position is a way of sitting that sends a message to your brain that you are paying attention in a relaxed, yet alert way. It can also be used to naturally calm your mind and body.

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Mindful Position - Chair

Practice Description: A mindful position is a way of sitting that sends a message to your brain that you are paying attention in a relaxed, yet alert way. It can also be used to naturally calm your mind and body.

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Nourishing Breaths

Practice Description: This simple and gentle practice of feeling our breath as it flows through our bodies can train our minds to focus better and help us relax and calm down when we are feeling sad, angry, upset, or hyper. 

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Mindful Listening

Practice Description: In this exercise, we will practice paying attention to sounds, which are everywhere and constantly changing. Sounds provide an easy alternative for those who do not find paying attention to the breath comfortable or easy. 

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I am Calm Breathing

Practice Description: This breathing practice can be used to calm strong emotions. By making our exhale twice as long as our inhale, our body signals its nervous system to go into a more relaxed state, in which we can make more intentional choices regarding our behaviors. This exercise would be useful after an upsetting event such as an argument or fire drill.

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Compassionate Body Scan – Laying Down

Practice Description: The body scan is a way of naturally quieting our mind and training it to pay attention. It also cultivates a stronger connection to our bodies. Some people find it useful to turn off their mind at bedtime so they can fall asleep more easily.

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Compassionate Body Scan - Chair

Practice Description: The body scan is a way of naturally quieting our mind and training it to pay attention in a relaxed yet alert way. It also cultivates a stronger connection to our bodies, helping us to have an increased awareness of physical sensations in our bodies which can help to manage our emotions.

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Soles of the Feet

Practice Description: : This practice can be used to help ground our attention and stay focused during conversations, while making a presentation, taking a free throw or performing in a concert. Planting our feet on the floor like the roots of a tree can keep our mind in the present and our thoughts from unraveling.

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Take 5

Practice Description: Take 5 is an easy exercise that can be used at any time without any instruction from an adult. It provides a purposeful pause of 5 breaths to allow our emotions or feelings to settle or pass.

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