Port Jefferson middle schoolers got a chance to experience a pilot mindfulness program this past fall.

Three students were picked to learn about different holistic techniques, such as the cooling breath and half sun salutation, to alleviate mental disturbances.

The goal of the program was to focus on character-building, according to middle school principal Dr. Robert Neidig and english teacher Alison Giannusa.

The mindfulness program, which was collaborative effort between the district and It Takes a Village Wellness, showed the students how to recognize and handle anger, stress, anxiety and frustration, while building self-esteem, confidence and awareness of their emotional health and well-being.

After participating, the students — all sixth graders — held a presentation for the Port Jefferson board of education to talk about their experiences in the pilot program.

“I use the breathing techniques to calm me down and the sun salutation to wake me up,” said sixth grader Kiersten Parmegiani.

“They are helpful to my soccer teammates too.”

Top: (L-R) Port Jefferson Middle School students Kiersten Parmegiani, Noelle Eckart and Alexa Eichinger practice their half sun salutations. (Photo courtesy of Port Jefferson School District)