Response from Children in USA to ‘Focusing on breathing’

Columbia Internal Medicine (My work place) 

9th Grader with ADHD: Prakash (not his real name), a 9th grader with ADHD attended 8 of my classes over 5 months . His mom was averse to medication and wanted to try ‘focusing on breathing’ and related techniques to help improve his symptoms – Anxiety, Anger, Impatience, Stress, Lack of focus, Nervousness, Frustration, Uncontrolled laughter and Lack of eye contact. In about 4 months his mom reported 50 to 65% improvement in his symptoms. More….

Schools
  • Mindfulness at Robert C. Parker School: Wonderful blog by Meg Taylor Head of Robert C. Parker School on how the school is introducing mindfulness using this and other techniques is at (9).
  • Robert C. Parker School: I have been conducting on-going trials at this private school(8) to which our grand daughter has been going. My association with this school started in 2003 and continues into 2013. More….
  • Breathing breaks in the class room: Lynn Schuster, a dedicated and innovative class teacher for grades 2/3 in Robert C. Parker School, Wynantskill, New York State (1) developed the basic  technique of ‘focusing on breathing’ (1) to suit the needs of her students and herself in the class room. It is a wonderful model that has brought out the immense potential of this simple technique! More….
  • Grade 3 – 5 students at a local school: The school counselor of a local school searched on-line for Yoga classes to help the students reduce stress before and during the state tests. She found my website and requested me to train the students in grade 3 to 5 in the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique (3) as an optional after school activity. I conducted two classes on April 17 and 24, 2013 for 9 students. Feedback
Albany Hindu Temple
  • Heritage class students: This major program was a weekly class for the children doing a Sunday class on Hindu heritage. ‘Focusing on breathing’ was a 15 minute session in the heritage class of 1 hour 30 minutes.  I collected written feedback from the children and also recorded their feedback on the on the annual day of the heritage class.  Scanned handwritten comments  Jan 09
  • Follow up classes: One of the volunteer mothers in the summer camp cited below, was very impressed with the technique and its adoption by the children. She asked me do a series of classes for her teen son, who was lacking in focus on his studies and also not cooperating with his parents. Three other parents also sent their sons. One mother said her son was not being respectful to adult friends visiting their house. He was walking away, not even smiling at them when they greeted him. Another mother said her son was not making eye contact with people. Another single dad said that his son was not focusing on his class work. The series of classes done for these 4 children were very revealing as I collected their written feedback and also taken close up photos of their faces, to record the changes in their faces. See (4) for some faces chowing the change.
  • Summer camp: I made a beginning with children in the year 2004 with a summer camp for children at the Albany Hindu Temple, attended by 42 children. The class duration was 30 minutes. These classes were repeated in 2005.
Individuals
  • Can you believe it worked for a two year old? Here is a report from a mom: “I have a 2 year old daughter who was not sleeping well at night. She would constantly toss and turn all night and come morning time when I would go in to wake her up, she was absolutely miserable.” More….
  • A 10 year old boy developing his own mode: I demonstrated the ‘Tip mode’ (1) to Dev Udugula, a 10 year old boy, whose dad works in a local Indian store that I visit periodically. I made him practice this mode on two hands in my presence, to make sure he got it right. I met Dev after a month, at my next visit to the store. I asked him whether he remembered about the breathing. He said ‘yes’. When I asked him to show me how he was doing it, he showed me this ‘folding finger mode’ (2) which he devised on his own! His dad said the boy was found practicing the technique at home.
  • 9 year old girl practiced on her own: One 9 year old girl who learned this technique in a group, in 30 minutes, said that she practiced the ‘tip mode’ (2) at her dentist’s office, to calm herself, on her own initiative. More….
  • Boy practicing on his own: A mom was at the doctor’s office and  found her son touching his fingers and breathing. She asked him what he was doing and he replied that he learned the breathing at the ‘Hope club’ of the American Cancer Society. More….

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(1) Tip mode
(2) Folding finger mode
(3) How can I focus on breathing?
(4) Face 1    Face 2
(5) Meg Taylor’s endorsement 
(6) Lynn Schuster’s report
(7) Comments from Grade 2 -3 students of Robert C. Parker School May 2011.
(8) Mindfulness at Robert C. Parker School
(9) Robert C.Parker School

Parent page: Training children