We would love to bring our School Breathe programme to schools in the UK.
Our vision is to launch an online platform, full of scientifically proven, mindful breathwork techniques and meditations which will reduce stress and anxiety and help children (and teachers!) start their day feeling more calm and focused.
We are a team of certified breath workers, who have over a decade of experience teaching breathwork, yoga and mindful meditations to adults and children. We would love to see the educational system change dramatically, to eliminate the unnecessary pressure young school children are placed under. Until this happens, we want to support teachers and children during their time in the educational system. With the knowledge that 75% of children with mental health problems are not given treatment, and the rise in anxiety and stress amongst school children over the last few years - at least 1 in 8 children have a mental or emotional disorder, it's definitely time to BREATHE.
We recently completed an initial School Breathe programme in London schools with great results. The programme included breath awareness exercises, breath meditations, visualisations, and over 30 breath exercises to help children and teachers learn about the invaluable benefits of learning to breathe well.
Each week, to encourage a daily practice, teachers were offered a 2-minute breath exercise to teach to the children throughout the week. A little and often approach really does work!
After just one breath session here's what the children say:
“I feel so relaxed” – Josh, 5 years old
”I feel like a superhero” – Dan, 6 years old
“My body feels warm and calm” – Molly, 5 years old
“Its my happy place, I feel safe here” – Tobi, 4 years old
"Is meditated a word? Because that's how I feel" Robert, 7 years old
The course has been such a success, but we need your help to spread this work to more schools and to create an online platform so that breathing videos, audios, meditations and visualisations and other guidance for creating a calm classroom. This will be easily available to teachers and children (and hopefully parents), as we all work together to reduce our children’s levels of stress and anxiety.
Why do School Children need to learn to breathe?
Aimee Hartley and the School Breathe team, have observed the breath patterns of many school children, and they notice that children seem to lose a vital connection to our breath, in the very early years of starting school.
Sitting down for long periods of time, reduced playtime, dealing with new social interactions, (and the pressure of early years testing for some), the school environment can act as a prime catalyst for a dysfunctional breath pattern. This means children have forgotten how to breathe in a healthy way, (using the diaphragm), creating unnecessary stress and tension.
In our initial programme, where we taught over 60 children over a 6 week period, over half of the children had unhealthy breathing patterns, where they breathed into their upper chests, rather than down into their belly’s. We were shocked at the high percentage of children unable to breathe well and knowing the impact this has (stress, anxiety, lack of concentration) we really want to change the way children feel in the classroom. Breathwork can help them in so many ways and it's simple, effective and so easy to learn! Regularly focusing on a healthy breath is the key.
A full belly breath and a focused breath practice, helps calms the nervous system, encouraging a state of rest and digest.
The aim of this online platform is to supply a fun bite-sized, effective, educational and experiential program for young children to practice short yet effective breathwork techniques, on a daily basis, to create a calmer classroom.
"The children absolutely LOVED these breathwork classes. They were calmer, more focused and cannot wait for more!" Miss Stuart, Yr 5 Teacher
How does breathing help children? The scientific benefits of this work are unanimous, they include, clarity to thinking, regulating the nervous system, develops empathy and compassion, promotes calmness, improves circulation and posture, improves relationships, boosts confidence and trust, helps build a healthy immune system, and helps promote healthy sleep.
How will the raised money be spent?
1. We need someone to create a professional easy to use online platform
2. We need to film, edit the School Breathe Programme
3. We need to hire a venue to film We need to spread the word! We hope you want to be a part of this project.
Certified breathworkers, Aimee Hartley and Hannah Goodman (a member of the School Breathe team) are giving away some extraordinary reward offers in exchange for your donations, so make sure you check that out!
And THANK YOU SO MUCH if you have donated already.