Instructor: Tammy Cardoza
Plan Creation Date: June 16, 2009
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Community??
Curriculum Lesson Goals: Explore the meaning of “mindfulness”, model good manners, discuss where our food comes from and what makes it healthy, appreciate beauty in simple ways.
Introduction: We sit in a circle at our designated places and begin by asking the question “what does mindfulness mean to you”. Then we explore that further with how it relates to eating, senses, taste and texture and where our food comes from and how far it has traveled. I ask the students a lot of questions and we talk while we are decorating our place mats with items from nature such as rocks, shells, flowers and scented herbs….they tell their stories.
- Stillness: We are practicing stillness by remaining seated during this activity and surprisingly, they are content to stay there, passing the fragile plates of food quietly and carefully with intention and waiting until all are served.
- Listening: We are having lots of good conversation about the items decorating our placemats, the sound that the sparkling cider makes in your glass cup, the sensation of the chocolate melting slowly in your mouth, the music playing softly in the background.
- Grounding: The simple act of sitting on the earth in a circle in community is very grounding, knowing that your space is yours and your placemat with your name and your decorations remind you of that.
- Strength: By being entrusted with beautiful glasses and breakable plates, the students feel strong and in control.
- Community: The whole activity is essentially about community but I have found that students who have been involved in my yoga calm class for the whole school year now have the tools to and skills to make this a really enjoyable and relaxing activity because they have learned the art of stillness, listening and how to be grounded. They feel inner strength because of this and so it is all interrelated and connected
- Final Relaxation: I ask the students to sit quietly after we are done and think about what gratefulness means and I ask them to think about something that they are thankful for. I also ask them to share briefly what they have learned in Yoga Calm class this year and how it has helped them in some way….more of self reflection than relaxation. I knew I was on the right track when a very challenging boy said several times during mindful snack “this is just so relaxing”.