Breathe and Draw: Breath as Art
“Breath is central to yoga because breath is central to life, and yoga is about life.”-T Krishnamacharya
Breathe and Draw is a breath awareness activity for children. This activity is used with children generally elementary age and older. To read a little more about breath awareness and yoga see BKY’s post from May, Breath Awareness for Littles.
Supplies: Crayons & Paper
Critical Thinking Examples: What is breath? Why do we breathe? Why is breath important? How can you “see” your breath in everyday life? How does your breath feel when you breathe in/out? What parts of your body move when you breathe? How do you feel when your breath is fast? How can breathing help you in difficult situations?
Sit in easy pose creating a circle, comfortably touching knee to knee so that crayons may be passed easily with eyes closed. Find a starting point with eyes open on the left side of the paper. Close eyes and on the inhalation you draw your crayon up and then back down on the exhalation letting your movement follow your breath. Your breath is your guide and the crayon follows. Pause with eyes closed every few breaths to pass the crayon. Repeat several times or until you run out of paper. Everyone’s breath will look different some many go left to right in a wave fashion rarely overlapping or some may spike and continuously intertwine. That is the beauty of it. Not every child will want to close their eyes and some may want to peek. Encourage children to close their eyes so that the end result can be a surprise. After everyone has used several colors, open eyes. Encourage everyone to share what their breath looks like and discuss all the beauty in their unique breath art. Try this activity again after doing physical activity or after a centering activity. Then compare the before and after. This is also a great self-regulation activity for older children. Leave paper and crayons out so that children may use them without prompting when feeling upset, frustrated or sad. Let Breathe and Draw be a non-verbal activity. Enjoy the silence. Breathe and Draw is a favorite among my students and they often ask to do it several times during a single class. Enjoy!