NYC mandates 'mindful breathing' exercises in public schools

New York City's public schools will be required to introduce mindful breathing exercises for students from grades K through 12, according to Mayor Eric Adams.

According to Adams, teachers and school staff are already being trained in how to teach students to breathe mindfully. The exercises will be mandated for 2 to 5 minutes every day to help students deal with stress and help them learn.

"Two to five minutes. Think about that.  We're not talking about hours. Two to five minutes is a game changer," Adams said at a press conference Tuesday. 

Dr. Nava Silton, a child psychologist, says that esearch shows mindful breathing has tremendous physical and mental health benefits.

"Mindful breathing is incredibly important for physical functioning, for immune activity, for developing positive relationships with others," Silton said. "It calms a person down and reduces their stress level."

"It's a really simple practice that can balance out your nervous system," said Radha Metro-Midkiff, Executive Director of Integral Yoga Institute. "Inhale to a count of 4 and exhale to a count of 4. Just that simple amount of breathing that we just did literally can start to reverse the stress response."