Instructor: Wendy Handrich

Plan Creation Date: July 22, 2010

Community: Classroom, Ages 8-12

Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding


  • Read Aloud: Jungle Drums by Graeme Base
  • Belly Breathing: Imagine you are Ngiri in the hot jungle. Lie on your back and breathe deeply from your belly. Feel your body melting into the jungle floor. Your legs root into the ground.
  • Pulse Count: Find your pulse and listen to the rhythm of your heart. Think of Ngiri softly beating his drum in the jungle night each time you feel your pulse.


  • Forward Bend – Remember Ngiri at the beginning of the story? He was sad because he was so small and everyone teased him. Imagine Ngiri so sad that he bends like a rag doll. Touch the floor with your fingers. Breathe into your back. Ngiri decides to play with his friends on the other side of the river so he bends his knees, places his paws on his hips. He looks up and he stands up straight.
  • Alternate Arms and Legs – Ngiri may be small but he is proud of his walk. Let’s move like Ngiri. Come on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Stretch your right leg straight back and point your toes down. Now lift and lengthen your left arm, with thumb pointing up. Ngiri thinks he hears something so he freezes! (Hold in this position). The coast is clear so he switches sides, lifting the left leg and the right arm.
  • Roots – Ngiri is hurt and disappointed when he gets to the other side of the river. The beautiful, colorful animals tease him and laugh about his size and his horns. Ngiri knows he must stand strong. Root your feet into the jungle floor so you can be strong like Ngiri. Activate your body. Rock your body forward and backward making the motions small and smaller until you feel that you are balancing on the center of your feet. Next rock side to side, then slowly return to the center. You are feeling warm and strong now so you are able to make big circles to the right and then big circles to the left. Next the circles become smaller until you feel you are centered. When Ngiri is centered he feels strong and confident and now you do too!
  • Strong Voice – Ngiri plays the magic drums into the night. Walk to the beat of the drum and use your strong voice to repeat after me, “I am Strong”; “I am in control”; “I am responsible”; “I can do it.”
  • Upward Mountain and Crescent Moon – The animals wake up in the morning to discover their beautiful colors are gone and it appears the animals across the river stole them! Nigiri knows he must do something because now all of the animals are fighting. Imagine you are Nigiri. Reach your arms up in the air. Stretch to the right and make your body look like a crescent moon. Now stretch your crescent moon to the left.
  • Woodchopper – Nigiri beats the jungle drum as the wild African moon comes up. He cries out for help from Old Nyumbu with a loud “Huh” each time he beats the drum. Stand in woodchopper pose and bend down to the beat of the drum making a loud “huh” sound.
  • Warrior 1 – Nigiri goes to the animals in the morning. He moves into his Warrior 1 pose and strongly but calmly says “Stop! It was me. I made two wishes and they went wrong. I will try my drum wish one more time to see if I can help.”
  •  Volcano Breath – Once again Nigiri’s drums echo through the night air. The animals sit by the fire practicing Volcano Breath, using the beat of the drum to help them keep slow, steady breathes.
  • Tree Circle – Nigiri did it! All the animals returned back to their original state. They all join in tree circle and celebrate each other strengths and differences.


  • Floor Twist – Lie on your back. Pull your knees up toward your chest, then over to the right and all the way to the floor. Stretch your arms out to the sides and look to the left. Stretch your breath out to your fingertips as you think of one wish you would like to make. (Pause) Now bring your knees back to the center. Repeat on the left side, thinking of one more wish you would like to make.
  • Sharing – Allow students to share their wishes with the class if they like.

Leave a Reply