Do you have students fighting the calming breaths?
Sometimes, allowing yourself to be calm can be kind of scary. I have found that resistant students respond best to Pulse Count. Find the cuing language on the Pulse Count card from our Move Mindfully® Card Deck.
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “count to ten” when you are upset or angry. This breathing tool takes that to the next level. Not only are you counting (probably past ten), but you are also getting in tune with your body. You are literally feeling your body. High heart rate in gym? Good. High heart rate during a test? Bad. But here’s the good news is YOU are in control of your heart beat!
I began teaching pulse count with an overview heart and circulatory system. Then hooked them with the following activity.
Take a 30 second pulse count. Record data.
Do 30 seconds of jumping jacks. Take a 30 second pulse count. Record Data.
Do 10 belly breaths. Take a 30 second pulse count. Record data.
Just looking at the raw numbers- the kids were blown away at the results. The real power here is in the recovery. With ten belly breaths, the body is able to totally self-regulate from a point of maximum exertion.
Here is a data sample:
- Starting- 40 beats
- After Jumping Jacks- 86 beats
- After Belly Breathing- 36 beats
Later in the week I had a boy in tears on the verge of a panic attack. I told him, “Remember pulse count? You can recover. You have the power to control your body. Let’s do a pulse count together”. Getting him out of his head, counting, breathing and feeling in control, he was able to self-regulate within a minute. Almost seems magical.
Please leave a comment with ideas of how to connect Pulse Count to other science or math standards!