Instructor: Tiffany Chapman
Community: Ages 4-5, School Setting, 30 minutes
Plan Creation Date: January 20, 2016
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Stillness
- Intro – Go over ground rules quickly.
- Theme – Say that today’s theme is stillness. Does anybody know what that word means? Let students define- ie. holding still at circle time, being still at the lunch table, having still hands when you feel like taking a toy from a friend, etc. Tell students that taking a deep breath is a great way to help our body be still. Let’s see if we can still our breath together.
- Belly Breathing – Hoberman Sphere Breathing + compliments. Have one student lead and another count. Challenge them to move only their chest while doing this. Keep the rest of their body still. Breathe through nose.
- Mountain + Check – Say, “plant all four corners of your feet onto the ground and try and keep perfectly still as I press against your body. Activate your muscles- make them really strong” “Now relax your body. Let your muscles go. Good! Now we will try to switch back and forth. Good! Do you think you can do this while walking? I think you can!”
- Activate/ Relax Walk – “Now try to keep your feet planted as you walk- try to make your whole foot touch the ground with each step, heel then toes. Activate your muscles. Do an active walk.” “Good! Now walk with your muscles relaxed, but still make your whole foot touch the ground. Do a relaxed walk.”
- Roots – Talk about the four corners of their feet again. Talk about what it means to be “centered”. Ask students what they think it means. Have them sway in a circle to the right and then left. Then have them try it with their eyes closed. Then have them think of something that helps them feel centered (I.e.- their favorite teddy bear, their Mom or Dad, their favorite blanket, a pet, etc.) and have them try it with their eyes closed again. Ask them if it was easier to stay centered that time.
- Mat 20 – flow abridged (mt. to mt.). Have a student come up and lead the mat flow while thinking of the thing that helped them stay centered in the last activity. Have other students give compliments to the mat flow leader at the end.
- Cat/Cow – Have students move with the breath- In=cow, out=cat.
- Eagle – Ask students if they are ready for a stillness challenge. Tell them that we are going to practice moving between movement and stillness as eagles. Have students sit back into chair pose and then into eagle. Have them “squeeze everything together” while in eagle and be very still. Then do eagle on a cliff and have them move between the two, making sure to do both sides of eagle the same number of times.
- Tree – Have the eagles land on trees. Tell the children how still their trees look. Segue into relaxation story about trees.
- Calm Voice Activity – Modify the activity for preschoolers by writing their responses on a white board and doing as a group instead of giving each child a sheet. Have them think of the answers to all the questions on their own and then have them share some of their answers. Have them think of their calm voice during the relaxation story.
- Relaxation Story – Tell an abridged version of Jean Giono’s “The Man Who Planted Trees.” (Make sure to tell in a calm voice 🙂
Tell them that having patience is a form of mental stillness. The man had to be very patient before he saw the fruits of his work. He also had to be persistent. If we are patient and persistent in our yoga practice, we can also see the how we grow and get stronger over time.