Three Simple Exercises to Help Calm & Focus Students, by NGY Trainer Amy Nucera

With only a few minutes a day you can seamlessly incorporate yoga & mindfulness exercises into any classroom setting, at any time of the day, when you feel your students need a boost of focus and concentration. Weaving guided visualizations, breathing exercises, and affirmations throughout the day give you and your students powerful tools to learn to self-regulate emotions, combat stress and anxiety, and transition with ease between classes and activities.

Below are three simple exercises you can use with students in your classroom. Interested in learning more or have ideas you’d like to share? Comment below or email me.

Heart Breath Visualization
Make a heart with your hands. Look through your heart and gaze around the room, seeing everything in a glow of love and compassion. Bring your hands to your heart. Inhale love you feel in the room. Exhale the love you have into the room. Ask children to close their eyes and visualize their collective good vibes filling the room. Repeat three times, or for as long as benefits you and your students.
Benefits: Calms the nervous system. Practices breath/body connection. Promotes empathy and positive social development.
For more fun: Ask children to describe or draw what they saw in their mind’s eye when doing the visualization.

Finger Tap Affirmations
Begin with your thumb and forefingers touching. Close your eyes or lower your gaze. Repeat aloud while tapping a new finger with each syllable. For example: “I. Am. Focused.” or “I. Am. Awesome.” Start your affirmation in a loud, firm voice, gradually becoming softer and quieter until you are repeating it silently in your head. Repeat for 2-3 minutes or for however long best serves you and your students.
Benefits: Promotes focus and concentration. Fosters positive self-image and confidence.

Alternate Nostril Breathing
Close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out through your nose. Now use your thumb or index finger to press on and close your right nostril and inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril. Hold that breath in for a brief pause, then change your pressure to the left nostril and exhale through the right side. With your next breath, inhale through the right nostril, pause and exhale through the left. Repeat that alternating cycle five to 10 times.
Benefits: Balances the right and left sides of the brain and body and can be used to calm and bring a sense of clarity to an overstimulated mind.

Want to Learn More About Sharing Yoga & Mindfulness in Schools?

The Next Generation Yoga Teacher Training for School-Based Educators – Online gives you all the tools you need to incorporate Yoga & Mindfulness into the classroom (no prior experience with Yoga required). We have online classes starting soon to fit any schedule – check our training schedule or email us for more info!

Amy Nucera
Next Generation Yoga Teacher for 2-13 yr. olds
Next Generation Yoga Trainer for School-Based Educators
Ambler, PA

Amy began her career in early childhood education where she specialized in imaginative play and creative movement. Years later she was able to combine her love of yoga and education by completing the Next Generation Yoga Teacher Training for 2-7 yr. olds.  NGY Teacher Training for 8-13 yr. olds, and the NGY Teacher Training for School-Based Educators, later becoming a trainer for this course. She is thrilled to be able to share techniques and tools with educators that help cultivate a positive & healthy school environment, manage stress and reduce anxiety for students and teachers, and promote empathy & tolerance towards others. Learn more about Amy here.

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