Back-to-Back Breathing

What You Need:

What You Do:

  1. Explain that you will spend some time practicing mindful breathing in a fun new way and then reflect on how we all need someone to "have our backs."
  2. Pair students off and have them first sit next to each other.
  3. Model sitting back-to-back with another student or teacher's aide.
  4. While seated back-to-back take some mindful breaths and try to feel each other breathing.
  5. Now have students sit back-to-back and try to first feel each others breathing and then try to match each others breathing.
  6. Have students take 10 mindful breaths back-to-back.
  7. Have students share what that felt like first in groups of four by joining two pairs and then take some comments for the whole class.
  8. Now ask, "What does it mean to have your back? Why is having someone's back or having someone have your back important?"
  9. After a few whole group shares have students complete the I Got Your Back worksheet.

Meena Srinivasan, MA, National Board Certified Teacher, is a leader in the fields of Mindful Awareness Practices (MAP) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). She is the author of Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom (Parallax Press, 2014) and SEL Everyday: Integrating Social and Emotional Learning With Instruction in Secondary Classrooms (Norton, 2019).

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