Title of the activity
Breathing in Circle
15 – 20 minutes depending on the number of participants
From 6 to 12
Activity proposed by
Anna Vekiari & Dimitra Svigou
- To calm participants using breathwork
- To feel closer to each other as we breathe in the same rhythm
- To understand how important and different each of us are as we follow each other’s rhythm of breathing
- To build concentration
- To build teamwork
A quiet space big enough to fit all participants comfortably.
Avoid using music so as not to be influenced by its rhythm.
If music is to be used, then it should be something ambient and relaxing – without a beat.
Suggest participants wear comfortable clothes
Ask participants if they have any breathing issues and generally if they feel dizzy, they should relax and stop the exercise until they feel better.
Demonstrate how to breathe with sound so that when the group does it, everybody can hear and feel it at the same time
Steps 1-3 should be carefully explained before beginning each exercise. Steps 3-7 can be explained whilst doing the exercises.
- Invite participants to stand in a circle facing in.
- Ask each participant, one by one, to take four breaths in and out with a natural sound so that the others can hear it and are able to synchronize and breathe at the same time in the same rhythm. Continue around the circle until the last person finishes their four breaths. (The duration will depend on the number of people participating as well as the rhythm of their breathing).
- Whilst keeping a common breathing rhythm, add movement as though we have a huge, soft, ball that we are squeezing and releasing with our body and arms and then opening to the sides (the way it is possible for each participant) for 1-2 minutes.
- Continue with step 3 breathing and keeping the rhythm (maybe less sound) and body shape as we move together really slowly to the centre of the circle. (About 2 minutes).
- Coming closer to the centre participants start to touch each other. In the beginning just arms but once they become really close, they end up in a big hug all together creating a smaller circle in the centre of the one they started with (1 minute).
- The breathing work continues. As participants’ bodies are close enough, they can change their movement and do their own unique ones with the same motion of closing and opening but in any way that they feel (1-2 minutes).
- Participants go on doing their unique movements of opening and closing and keeping the breathing rhythm of the team. Slowly they move back to their original places in the centre. (About 2 minutes)
- Once back at their starting positions, they stay in their places while breathing in the same rhythm but their movements become smaller and smaller until they stop moving entirely and keep just the breathing rhythm. (1 -2 minutes).
- Participants look at each other and mutually feel when the exercise should come to a close.
The group is gathered in a seated circle to discuss how they feel the exercise went, what they particularly liked or disliked about it and how it made them feel.
Hints/tipps for facilitators
- Before steps 1-3 each of the activities should be carefully explained before beginning.
- For steps 3-7 the exercises can be explained whilst they are being carried out
- Once the group has found a common rhythm it isn’t always easy to keep it throughout the whole process, sometimes it is lost and then found again – this is okay.
- It is important to make sure that participants feel comfortable with touching and being touched. In cases where they aren’t the same exercises can be done but without coming so close, it is not necessary to touch each other.
- This exercise could be interesting to do outdoors surrounded by the sounds of nature and without the sounds of people around.
Anna Vekiari & Dimitra Svigou developed this exercise.
For more information, please contact Artistico or Exis Dance Company.