Instructor: Carrie Lipe

Community: 15-21 year olds, Alternative High School, Classroom Setting?

Plan Creation Date: May 24, 2013

Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding

Class Length: 90 minutes

Props: iPhone/Speakers for Music, Yoga Straps, Sandbags

Lesson Plan:


  • Belly Breathing Lying Down – 10 breaths.  Place hands on belly, become aware of the sensations of your breath.  Feel the weight of your body on the ground.  Allow yourself to feel supported by the earth below you.


Seated Stretches

  • Cross Legs Seated Pose – cross legs, sit on block if necessary, strong, active back, relaxed face and shoulders, feel the weight of your “sit bones” on your mat
  • 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, feel your sit bones evenly weighted on | the floor
  • Seated Twist – strengthen back, chest forward, look to the back, one side, then the other moving as quietly and smoothly as possible
  • Staff Pose – legs straight and active, feet active and toes pulling toward face, back engaged and strong, shoulders down, arms strong and alongside body, pushing up, chin tilted toward chest, feel your connection to the earth below you
  • Butterfly – sit bones evenly weighted, “palms” of the feet together, hold your feet in your hands, check out and appreciate the structure of your feet, with all of their micro-muscles and many bones keepng your body balanced.
  • Seated Wide Angle Pose/Chocolate Churn – extend legs to the side wide, slowly bring hands to one side, then middle, then other side, feel the weight shift on your sit bones as you move. Clasp hands together and slowly “stir,” like you have a very big bowl of melted chocolate and a huge spoon. You start on one side, move slowly to the middle, scraping the sides of the bowl, move to the other side, up in the middle, and repeat. Switch sides.
  • Alternate Leg Kick – move forward to all fours. Practice alternate leg kick several times, both sides.
  • 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

Standing Poses

  • 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
  • Mountain – ground feet, steady your mountain, close eyes.
  • Rooted Mountain /Circle the Mountain – with eyes closed, slowly circle, widening the circle one direction bit by bit. Feel the weight shift on your feet, notice the micro-movements of the muscles and bones in your feet as they adjust to your circles. Slowly bring your circle back to the center by decreasing the circle size bit-by-bit. Feel that you are still circling this direction even though you look like you are standing still. Slowly change direction and start your circle the opposite direction….
  • Open Eyes/Ground Connection – slowly open your eyes and take a moment to notice your connection to the ground.
  • Sun Salutation Sequence – led by Students
  • Sequence Right Side – student volunteer leads right side, see how quietly we can make the transitions between leaders, be mindful as leader to provide opportunities for the class to listen to stillness
  • Sequence Left Side – quietly transition to new student leader.

Floor Poses

  • Knees to Chest –lying on back, hug knees to chest
  • Leg Extensions – on back, with or without strap, feel the femur settle more firmly into the hip socket
  • Hip Opener/Twist – let leg fall open to the side, arms out to a T, if comfortable, look opposite direction, feel shoulders evenly weighted on the ground, feel the pull of gravity on your leg, both sides


  • Grounded Relaxation Pose – eye pillow if you want, lie on back, align body in center of mat, feet apart, hands about a foot from hips, hands open, feel the weight of your body on the mat, especially places that touch the mat, backs of heels, calves, hips, shoulder blades, back of head. Let your body feel supported by the ground. Relax face and jaw, feel the eye pillow gently pressing on your eyes, helping them still. Alternatively, you can choose Child’s Pose, and request the sand bag on your back if you want.
  •  Imagine Grounded Stone – Imagine that you are a large and beautiful stone sitting firmly on the side of a mountain, although the slopes are steep, you are set solidly in the soil, gravity is holding you and keeping you safe from rolling down the side of the mountain. You are in no danger of falling. You are ancient. You change, yet your changes are slow compared to those around you. The seasons come and go. Rains fall on you and darken your surface, sun shines on you and you hold the heat of the day, radiating it back at night, animals like sit on you and feel your heat. Snows fall and bury you under a cold white blanket. Your surface records the changes that have taken place over centuries. Glaciers and floods have polished places on you; heat and cold have cracked you; wind has blown bits of soil onto you, where small plants have taken hold, a whole community of multicolored lichens live on your surface. You are solid and heavy and your life as a stone is many times longer than even the trees around you. Yet slowly, ever so slowly, your bulk wears away and over the centuries you return particle by particle to the soil on the side of the mountain.

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