HCOF Creativity Prompt: Breath Three Ways

Apr 28, 2020

Our Holland Community Opera Fellowship (HCOF) is committed to being a creative and artistic resource to our community. Usually this takes many forms and Opera Omaha's HCOF Fellows (Gwenna, Jared, Kate, and Kaitlin) lead creative workshops and programming for all ages. Since we can’t be in the community in person, we’ve adapted and created a few of our #HCOFCreativityPrompts for your use at home. Each weekday we’ll post a different prompt on our blog and share on our social media platforms. These activities can be done alone or with others. Creativity is not just for kids, and these prompts are written for a wide variety of audiences so feel free to modify as needed!

Today's Creativity Prompt

Breath, Three Ways

Take one minute to stop and focus on your breath.

Time to complete
1-5 minutes

In this activity you are going to focus on breathing in three different ways using your mind to guide the sensation of breath first into the feet, then torso, and finally the head. As you do this activity keep in mind that breath is the generator of life and voice. To inspire and expire deliberately can bring clarity to any activity—either by bringing an abundance of energy or a peaceful calmness.

Sit, stand, or lay down wherever you are. Take a moment to find a comfortable position.

Close your eyes and focus your attention on your feet and ankles. Imagine you are filling your feet with air as you breathe deeply into your feet for three long counts. Exhale deeply. Try breathing into your feet again, this time pretending you are sucking air through a straw (you’ll probably make some noise and that’s okay!). Exhale deeply.

Next, imagine that your hips and torso are a bowl and as you breath in deeply you are filling the bowl. Breathe in for three long counts. Exhale deeply. Try it again through your imaginary straw. Exhale.

Finally, imagine that your head is a balloon. Inhale for three long counts and fill the balloon. Exhale. Repeat as if through a straw. Exhale. Pause. Then open your eyes. Now “onwards and onwards” with your day!

Optional Add On
Ponder this poem by Emily Dickinson,
Three times — we parted — Breath — and I —
Three times — He would not go —
But strove to stir the lifeless Fan
The Waters — strove to stay.

Three Times — the Billows tossed me up —
Then caught me — like a Ball —
Then made Blue faces in my face —
And pushed away a sail

That crawled Leagues off — I liked to see —
For thinking — while I die —
How pleasant to behold a Thing
Where Human faces — be —

The Waves grew sleepy — Breath — did not —
The Winds — like Children — lulled —
Then Sunrise kissed my Chrysalis —
And I stood up — and lived —

c. 1862

Sharing Suggestions
If you enjoyed this activity reach out and share it with a friend, personally, or on social media. Comment on this activity’s Facebook post or tag @OperaOmaha in an Instagram Story with #hcofcreativityprompts


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