Breath Pattern

(Divergence-Emergence-Convergence)

Purpose: This is typically a teach, which can lead very well into a check-in activity. The teach can be done in 10-15 minutes. Alternately, this check-in can be a great way to re-introduce the concept of the Breath Pattern, allowing participants to connect with feelings/experiences they might be having and embody the learning (it’s a great check-in for a groan-y day).

Materials: Roll of masking tape to tape out the Breath Pattern

Time: Just the check-in can be done in 15-20 minutes. If combined with the teach of the Breath Pattern, schedule at least 30 minutes.

Step 1: Tape out the Breath Pattern on the floor before starting the activity. Make sure that you make it large enough that all participants will be able to fit inside it.

Step 2: Ask participants to stand and place themselves inside the Breath Pattern at the spot where they feel the most comfortable (Divergence, Emergence, or Convergence - or at the intersection of two stages). Invite participants to take note of where the majority of the group is, where the rest of their teammates are, spots where there are fewer/no people, etc. Do a quick popcorn check in with participants from each stage of the Breath Pattern. Why did they locate themselves where they did? What makes them feel comfortable there?

Step 3: Now ask participants to move to where they feel they are at the moment (steps 2 + 3 can be done in any order, depending on what makes the most sense for the group and where the activity shows up in the flow of the workshop). Again, invite participants to locate the rest of their team in the Breath Pattern, note where the majority of the group is, and where there are fewer or no people. Do another popcorn check in with participants from each stage of the Breath Pattern. Why did they locate themselves where they did? Is this where they feel most comfortable? Least comfortable? Where is their body telling them it wants to get to? What might be the drawbacks/benefits of being in discomfort? What might be the drawbacks/benefits of moving to where they feel comfortable?

Step 4: Invite any final thoughts from the group as a way of debriefing the process. The Breath Pattern is a great check-in for a mid-process day, where participants might be groany, as it allows them to give voice to their frustrations, be heard and seen in them, and also take note of where the rest of their team/the group is at. It helps to raise the tension from the level of embodied unease to the level of conversation and shared experience.

Variations: You can ask participants to move to where they feel the least comfortable; where they think the rest of their team is in the process; where they feel like the whole group is in the process; where they’d like to develop skills, etc.