Instructor: Carrie Lipe
Community: 15-21 year olds, Alternative High School, Classroom Setting?
Plan Creation Date: May 24, 2013
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Community
Class Length: 90 minutes
Props: iPhone/Speakers, Hoberman Sphere, Bolsters or Folded Blankets, Eye Pillows
NOTE: Many of the students I work with have experienced adverse circumstances in their communities, including in their family community: abuse, abandonment, parental addiction, foster care, homelessness. Exploring community can therefore be painful. It is important to not make assumptions about what “family” and “community” looks like. It is important to not assume that “family” is a stereotypical positive, supportive concept. That is why I included other people and even pets in the “circle of support” imagining.
Place Yoga Mats in Half Circle
- Belly Breathing – A student leads breath count with Hoberman Sphere; another counts breaths. Sit quietly for a few breaths with your eyes closed.
- Mindful Moment on Community – Take a moment to remember the names of people and even pets who support you. Parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends, teachers, even dogs and cats or other pets. Take a moment to think of their names and picture their faces. Imagine them gathering around you, making a circle to delight in you, to notice and celebrate your achievements, and to comfort you when you are in need. Sit quietly with your imagination for a while.
- Seated Wrist and Arm Stretches – extend in front and hold, above and hold, back and hold
- Seated Side Stretch – with arms overhead, stretch to the side, sit bones held evenly on the floor
- Seated Twist – strengthen back, chest forward, look to the back, one side, then the other moving quietly and smoothly
Stretches on Hands & Knees
- Alternate Arm/Leg Kick – move slowly, balancing, focusing pose, alternating sides – about 5 times each side
- Stretch Back /Cobra/Stretch Back/Upward Dog – stretch back, looking forward, then move forward into a silent Cobra, slowly repeat, moving into Upward Dog instead of Cobra.
- Child’s Pose – rest quietly, relax elbow, face and jaw. Listen to the stillness inside you.
- Cobra – move into another Cobra
- Downward Dog – from Cobra, raise hips, lower head, shifting your gaze to behind you, stabilize and hold for a few quiet breaths
- Forward Fold – Walk between hands, keeping head down, hold forward fold a few breaths, relaxing head, feeling the stretch along your back and hamstrings
- Monkey – lift gaze, straighten back, hands on shins, look up quietly
- Community Mountain – ground your feet, steady your mountain, close eyes and imagine a forest growing on the sides of your mountain. As you come closer to inspect the forest, you realize there is community upon community living on your mountain. Insects, birds and squirrels in the trees. Rabbits in the brush, deer softly walking on the forest floor, bear padding across a stream, fish silently shining below the surface, their noses pointed toward the current, a raccoon washing his meal at the water’s edge. Everywhere you look are community members on your mountain.
- Sun Salutation Sequence – led by Students
- Sequence Right Side – student volunteer leads right side, another student narrates the poses, if comfortable, otherwise teacher helps narrate
- Sequence Left Side – quietly transition to new student leader.
- Tree Circle – notice what happens when we are supported; when we are not supported
- Table Pose – create a flat table with your body, flat enough so the soup you serve does not spill
- Knees To Chest – lie on back, holding knees close to chest
- Alternate Leg Extensions – alternately extend one leg, hugging other knee into chest, switch
- Floor Twist – enjoy the sensation of your back relaxing, letting go
- Supported Child’s Pose – with bolster or folded blankets. How does the support feel? Does the support help you relax more deeply?
- Relaxation Pose – Stay with supported child’s pose, or choose to come to your back, with eye pillow
- Poem – Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
- Return to seated.
- Journal writing with Round Robin Sharing – if it feels right, about thoughts that came up during today’s yoga class.