Frequently Asked Questions
WHY SHOULD I PRACTICE SELF-ASSESSMENT?
It has been said; "To start any journey you must begin where you are". This is true in myth and lore, but also in science. If we can pause, assess, recognize our state of health, mind and wellness, we create a possibility for change. Otherwise, we tend to be stuck in our reactive responses, which inherently contain little or no possibility. So we start with a simple, or even thorough self-assessment/reflection, and it empowers us to have a choice in moving on to the next steps...recordings, and more!
WHY DON'T I JUST CHOOSE A YOUTUBE VIDEO FOR RELAXATION?
For a couple of reasons. First, we want to have each individual closing their eyes to deepen the relaxation response. Second; typically, the recordings you find will be relaxing and sometimes entertaining-keeping your mind busy. That is all fine and good, but the complete program-using all the Take a Breath tools- is going to create new brain mapping opportunities. As well, the tools around the recordings help prepare and then solidify the selected practice.
WHY DO I NEED TO PRACTICE COMMUNICATION SKILLS AS A PART OF THIS PROGRAM?
Well, you don't have to practice anything you don't want to in this program. However, we have put together a 'best practices' tool kit for you. Most of us, in our busy 21st Century lives, communicate dailly. Via our smart phones, computers, and all the apps and mechanisms available to us. Yet, much of that communication lacks an authenticity. It is often one-sided, and not personal in a helpful way. In fact, much of it is impersonal and can be detrimental. Our guidance will support new patterns and behaviors in communicating. To listen and speak authentically, and use that communication to solidify the new habits and patterns you are creating in this program.
HOW DO I USE THE ONLINE PROGRAM FOR A CLASSROOM OR GROUP?
Begin by logging on to the platform. We suggest an starting with an assessment- verbal, maybe a show of hands, (or the short form printed version). Then move on to a recording appropriate for the time/climate or intentions moving forward with the group. Then we suggest ending with a 'check-in', a few moments for them to share and care with each other. (See the Communication support page for more information).
Another option may be to utilize the Take a Breath staff and schedule a school/group online assembly. A chance for our experienced staff to lead the components of the program, beginning with an engaging assessment, some BRAVE practices, and ending with some communication and community building. Contact us to schedule an assembly for your school or group.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE DO THE PRACTICES IN THE CLASSROOM?
We recommend choosing a practice time such as at the beginning of the day, after lunch and after any recesses or breaks. Make it meaningful and consistent- it takes ~ 3 weeks for create new patterns in the brain during this initial introduction to the program. It is a time to build the climate and culture of the group.
IS TAKE A BREATH ANOTHER MINDFULNESS PRACTICE?
We think of Take a Breath as a pre-mindfulness practice. This means many students/individuals struggle and remain in a stress response (sympathetic dominant nervous system response). For those individuals it is very difficult to teach or lead new information or experiences. Our offerings, including self-assessment, begin an authentic breath change and relaxation response (the parasympathetic nervous system response). Next, with them in a balanced and receptive state, we can build on that stress free foundation. The online program deals with common obstacles to mindfulness and meditation practices. The program is designed to be accessible and has proven to be of benefit for ALL participants.
HOW LONG ARE THE PRACTICES?
Guided practices range from 3 minutes to 30+ minutes. For children up to 8 years old the practices are no longer than 10 minutes in order to maintain their attention (the rule of thumb is age, plus 1 minute). Most 8-12 year old's can maintain an attention span of up to 10-15 minutes, and practices for teens and adults build towards a full 30 minute Take a Breath practice.