Instructor: Madelaine Winstanley
Community: Ages 8-9, School Setting, 60 minutes
Plan Creation Date: November 12, 2014
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Stillness
Resources: Class set of mats, Ipod and docking station, Lavender room spray, Yoga Calm posters, Chime bar, Hoberman Sphere, Mindful Moments cards with Stillness Card ready, Class plan , Relaxation story script
Welcome & Check-in
- Check-in – How is everyone feeling this afternoon? What do you remember from last week? Recap session one.
- Aims for today – last week we focused on working together. Today, let’s continue supporting each other and working together as a team, but as many of you mentioned wanting to improve your ability to be still, today’s focus is stillness.
- Seated Belly Breathing – using Hoberman Sphere (student counting) – second time with student leader. Ask the group to compliment the leader, and the leader to compliment the counter. Focus on the moments of stillness between the in and the out breaths.
- Seated Pulse Count – (30 seconds) – focusing on your pulse can help you become still – notice if making your body still changes your pulse in any way.
- Standing Volcano Breath – feet hip-width apart and pressing down evenly through the four corners of each foot, palms at heart – three times, then close eyes to remember a time you felt very still – three more times spreading that feeling around you.
- Activate/Relax Game – there are times we have to be still in all kinds of things, even if they are active things. We’re going to practise being still and remembering when we need to be still in different sports, games and other active things that you enjoy. Brainstorm a list of the things the students like to do. Explain the game – moving through the space in a relaxed way, I’ll ask you to think of a time when you had to be perfectly still doing one of these activities then on my signal I’d like you to freeze like a statue showing that moment of stillness. It’s not a relaxed stillness though. Notice that your body is alert and activated. Model with a volunteer. Note that if it’s an activity you don’t do, you can still imagine when you might need stillness.
- Top Ten Sequence – Active – As we move through the active section of our Top Ten Sequence now, pay attention to any moments of stillness and notice whether or not your body is relaxed, activated or maybe even both!
- Woodchopper – feet a little wider than hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Imagine a piece of wood on the ground in front of you. Hold your axe above your head, make your body still for three counts as you focus on where you are going to chop the piece of wood so that you don’t’ miss and then make a loud ‘huh’ as your axe swings down and hits the imaginary wood and you let out a big breath of air.
- Mountain – feet hip-width apart, pointing straight ahead and arms by your side. Feel your feet pressing down into the ground making your body strong and still like a mountain, feel your body growing up into the clouds, your heart lifting and your shoulders going back and down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath, feeling the stillness of a mountain inside you. Imagine the sun shining on you, rain beating down on your slopes, high winds blowing around you and feel the stillness that is always there no matter how the weather around you changes.
- Roots – (forward and back/side to side/circling in both directions) – eyes closed – keep your body still but activated – tall and straight with feet firmly on the floor– finding that place in your centre where you are absolutely still. Press down and activate your inner super hero, your inner Jedi – strong, tall and still.
- Crescent Moon – eyes open – feet hip-width apart and arms straight up overhead palms facing each other sending laser beams out through your fingertips – feeling your feet anchored and still, anchoring you to the earth and helping you to find stillness – deep breath in and exhale crescent moon to the right – inhale centre – exhale left – centre (repeat). Sweep your hands down and bring your hands to your heart.
- Modified Dancer – find a focus and see if you can hold still for ten counts (count). Swap sides then repeat. Repeat the Active section of the flow with a student leader.
- Tree – (Still like a tree but not rigid – able to bend and move as the conditions around you change) – Tree Circle (Supporting each other as trees support each other in a forest) – ‘Animals in the Forest’ – Sometimes things that are going on around you can make it a challenge to find the feeling of stillness and focus in your body that you might need. Following on from the animal challengers – ‘What helped you to focus?’
- Floor Twist – focus on the feeling of stillness in your body as you breathe in and then breathe out all the way out to your fingertips.
- One-Minute Exploration – (lying flat on your back with eyes closed if that’s comfortable for you) – Mindful Moments Stillness card: Take the next minute to listen to your breath. See if you can follow your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Imagine your favourite colour and picture yourself breathing that colour in and out. What does that colour mean to you? What colour represents stillness to you? Picture yourself breathing that colour in and out. How does that feel?
- Chime – Finish with chime bar, roll onto side, sit up slowly when you’re ready, three deep breaths and thank you.