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Instructor: Madelaine Winstanley

Community: Ages 8-9, School Setting, 30 minutes

Plan Creation Date: February 25, 2015

Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Listening

Resources: Class set of mats, Ipod and docking station, Lavender room spray, Yoga Calm posters, Chime bar, Hoberman Sphere, Forest music/sounds for moving story, Class plan

Lesson Plan:


  • Chime – Chime bar to begin – Listen all the way to the end then raise your hand when the sound has finished for you.
  • Welcome & Check-in – Welcome back to a new year of Yoga Calm! How is everyone feeling today?
  • Aims for today – We are beginning classes again together after a big break so today I thought we might focus on the skill that I believe is the most important of all for us to practise. Many people, including Aboriginal People, believe this skill is the key to understanding ourselves, others and the world around us – it’s listening.


  • Seated Belly Breathing – using the Hoberman Sphere with a student leader. Listen in to your body and send your breath to the parts of your body that might need some help to become calm and still. Ask the group to compliment the leader, and the leader to compliment the counter.
  • Seated Pulse Count – Now we have still, quiet bodies – this can help us listen and pay attention to what is going on around us. Let’s try listening to our own heartbeat – count it for 30 seconds. Notice how that feels.


  • Top Ten Sequence – A Moving Story – We are going to continue through the Yoga Calm Top Ten Sequence that you learned last year. Today I am going to turn it into a moving story about a forest that all of you have visited. If you listen, you will hear where each pose fits in the story. Please also listen to your body to know what your limits are and what feels right for you.
    • Standing Volcano Breath – beginning with feet hip-width apart and palms at heart) – Once a group of children went on a bush adventure. As they walked slowly through a magnificent forest they admired the trees that grew tall around them and shaded them with their strong spreading branches (four volcano breaths).
    • Woodchopper – beginning with palms back at heart – After a while they came to an enormous old log. They imagined the loggers who, eighty years ago, had felled this tree and then left it (feet a little wider than hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hands above head and body still for three counts, then make a loud ‘huh’ each time as your imaginary axe swings down and you let out a big breath of air.)
    • Mountain – palms back at heart – After climbing to the top of a steep path, the children stood very still and looked out over the forest (feet hip-width apart, pointing straight ahead and arms by your side). They felt their feet connecting with the earth and imagined themselves growing roots like the trees they could see all around them. They felt their bodies growing as tall as the oldest Grey Gums.
    • Roots – Below they could see blood vines wrapped around and around the trunks of trees so tightly that they held the trees safe and supported in the wildest weather (circling in both directions).
    • Crescent Moon – Beside them, a caterpillar dangled from a thread, its body arching as the wind blew it from side to side (feet hip-width apart and arms straight up overhead with palms facing each other. Breathing in at centre then exhaling to the side.)
    • Modified Dancer – sweep hands down and bring them to your heart – As they turned to continue along the path they discovered it was blocked by a plover standing to attention on one leg (hold still for ten counts on each leg). The children decided it was time to leave the forest. They walked back past the caterpillar… (repeat the sequence, but this time in reverse and with a student leader. After Woodchopper, continue on to Tree.)
    • Tree and Dancing Trees – As the children stood at the gate to the forest they stood and listened to the sound of the wind in the trees (tree pose on both sides). They watched as the trees swayed and bent and then became upright again, their roots anchoring them firmly to the ground (Dancing Trees on both sides).
    • Mountain – hands at heart – The children silently thanked the forest for welcoming them. Their walk was over.


  • Floor Twist – listening to the sound of your breath as you inhale and then exhale all the way out to your fingertips (three breaths on each side).
  • Relaxation – One Minute Exploration. (Lying comfortably) Take a moment now to listen to your body. What is it feeling right now? Is it trying to tell you something?
  • Chime – Finish with chime bar, roll onto side, sit up when you’re ready, three deep breaths and thank you.

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