Instructor: Pam Haldeman
Community: Ages/Grades?, Setting?, 30-40 minutes
Plan Creation Date: June 15, 2013
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding
Materials: Mats, Ground Rules Poster, Positive Talk Poster, CD-Anjali, Fresh Flowers, Candles (Battery operated), Hoberman sphere, Oil and cotton balls
Welcome and Introductions:
- Welcome: As children enter have them choose a mat with a cotton ball of oil and sit down with legs crossed. Talk about the space between the eyes to place the oil which helps us relax.
- Intro: What is yoga? (If this is the first class in a series.) Why we are here-to unite the Body, Heart, and Mind using breathing, yoga poses, games and activities.
- Principle:Today’s class we will be learning about grounding; the ability to connect to the earth, to be physically present in the body, and to develop a sense of competence, physical safety, and security. Grounding helps you come into your body and prepare you for learning.
- Positive Talk: Review poster. (Good to start out with positive rather than rules.)
- Ground Rules: Review poster. Also share that when they hear the chime they are to return to their mats and quiet their voices and wait for directions. Practice by having them move around and talk, then ring the chime. Compliment students and have them turn and share a compliment with a neighbor.
- Belly breathing in seated position – Sit on the floor, bend your knees, and cross your legs at the shins. Flex your feet to keep your knees in alignment. Feel both sitting bones firmly pressing into the floor, melting into the earth. Lengthen your spine by sitting up straight. Place your hands on your thighs with your palms facing either up or down. Notice how your body feels today-Close your eyes or look down so you can move inside-10 seconds-Blink the eyes open and gaze at the Hoberman Sphere (I demonstrate and give to one of the students to lead) 12 times. (Breathe through your nose, relax the abdomen muscles, imagine “breathing into the belly”, slow the breath, pause between inhale and exhale. Deep, even breathing creates relaxed alertness, ideal for learning.) Compliment student and ask for volunteers to compliment student leader.
- Mountain Pose – Stand with feet hip-width apart, pinting straight ahead (not pigeon or duck toed), and press them down to the earth. Hands can be alongside the body, or palms together at heart. Lift belly, head, and heart. Shoulders back and down. Look straight ahead. Your body is activated. Feel the strength and stability of the mountain inside. Whisper to yourself, “I am focused, I am centered, I am anchored to the ground.” Next, ask a student to lead mountain, showing how to Activate (firm muscles and focus attention, using positive self-talk above. Compliment student.
- Activate/Relax Walk – Model, or ask student to model, what it looks like to walk around room in a relaxed matter. Use Relax command and have students practice walking around room in a relaxed manner. Then model for students how to Activate (freeze, firm, and focus). Use Activate command and all students practice Activating. Alternate commands back and forth-Activate, Relax, Activate, Relax-giving a few seconds for each. After several cycles, ask students to walk in a way this is both Activated and Relaxed.
- Star – From standing, take feet wide apart-about 3 to 4 feet- and point toes straight ahead. Take arms out to the sides and parallel to the floor. Activate (firm) muscles and extend out through arms, legs, head, and tail. Spread fingers like rays of the sun.
- Galaxy – Have students come into a circle and press hands together while each is in Star.
- Tree Circle – While keeping hands pressed together bring feet together, lift your right leg up in Tree pose. Activate your body and press the standing leg down, rooting yourself like a tree into the earth. Press into each other’s hands and use each other for support. Repeat with other leg. Sometimes being grounded means surrounding ourselves with people that support us. Staying connected to our friends and family is important.
- Tree (without support) – Stand with legs and feet together. Spread your toes and press out evenly through the four corners of each foot. Shift your weight onto the left foot. Slowly bend right knee and draw the right foot up, placing the bottom of your foot as high as possible on your inner leg (ankle, shin, or thigh) comfortably. Activate your body and press standing leg down, rooting like a tree to the earth. Press palms together in front of heart to help with balance. Practice stillness and breath holding pose for 15 seconds. Repeat on other leg.
- Ring chime to signal children to return and sit on their mats.
- Eagle Pose – Stand up tall in mountain. Bend knees slightly. Lift your left leg off floor and cross your left knee tightly over right knee. Root your right leg into the earth. Hug your foot into your shin or hook the toes of your left foot behind your right calf. Spread your arms like wings and take them overhead. Bend your elbows and hook your left elbow under your right elbow in front of your heart. Point your thumbs toward your nose and grab your right palm with your left hand, or place backs of hands together. Lift elbows up and stretch your fingers toward the sky. Repeat on other side emphasizing rooting left leg into the earth.
- Downward Dog – Point fingers straight ahead and spread them like rays of the sun. Press down (root) through the four corners of the hands and feet. Activate and straighten arms. Turn toes under and press thighs and hips toward wall behind you, creating an “A” shape. Keep arms straight with head between your arms and chest slightly lifting up to create a flat back from head to hips. Knees can be slightly bent to keep back from rounding up.
- Forward Bend – Place feet hip-width apart and point them straight ahead. Bend at the hips and hang arms, head, and spine toward the floor (like a rag doll). Touch the floor with your fingers. If your fingers don’t reach, bend your knees. Imagine your back, head, and arms flowing down like a waterfall. Breathe into your back. To transition to Downward Dog, walk out your hands until they are under shoulders with knees under and slightly behind hips.
- Downward Dog (repeat)
- Progressive Relaxation – Quiet your body (pretend you are melting into the earth, like an ice cube) while lying on your back for a progressive relaxation: See p. 133