Instructor: Petra Johnson
Community: Grade 1, School Setting, 30 minutes
Plan Creation Date: November 1, 2015
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding
Resources: Chime, Hoberman Sphere, Drum, CD player and CD
- Children enter the classroom and seat themselves silently on a yoga mat.
- Chime – The student who has the chime at his/her yoga mat will ring the chime once everyone is seated and there is stillness in the space. Students come to a standing position when they can hear the silence. (Invite everyone to come to a standing even if they can still hear the chime).
- Belly Breathing – The student who has the Hoberman Sphere (breathing ball) at his/her spot will select another student to count the breaths. Both will come to the front to lead us. We will complete 1-5 breaths (determined by student leader).
- A compliment from a classmate is given to each student leader.
- Roots – As you stand with your feet hip-width apart (two fists distance) and toes pointing forward (parallel like railroad tracks) imagine you are a strong and mature pine tree. As you press your feet into the ground you can feel your roots firmly planted in the earth beneath you. As your roots settle deeply into the cool soil below they connect with the roots of the other strong trees that stand in front of, beside and behind you. Now imagine a gentle breeze coming from behind you. With your feet firmly planted on the ground you begin to sway back and forth. As the breeze continues to blow you have control of your body. Try making the swaying movement smaller and smaller. Maybe your movement is so small that although you can feel the movement no one else can see it. Find stillness as you balance on the center of your feet. With deeply planted roots and the support of those around you your body stands securely in this space. Let’s try that again, however, this time the breeze is coming from beside you. Slowly rock from side to side as you feel the weight shifting from one foot to the other (keeping both feet firmly connected to the ground). Slowly return to center. Let’s begin making a big circle to the right. Do you notice how the muscles in your feet are working to keep you upright? Feel how the weight shifts to the edges of your foot as it maintains contact with the ground beneath you. Make the circle smaller and smaller coming back to center and finding stillness with your body. (Repeat circle exercise going to the left).
- Mountain – As you stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead, press your feet into the ground below you. Lift your shoulders up towards your ears and then roll them back and down. Feel you head, heart and belly lifting toward the sky as your eyes look straight ahead. You are standing as a strong and powerful mountain. Feel the strength and stability inside of you. We are going to call this pose activate. Now, let your shoulders and head fall forward (slumping style). What do you notice? How does this pose feel?
- Activate/Relax – When you hear me say “Relax” and the drum is beating you are going to walk calmly and silently around the room. When the drum stops and you hear me say “Activate” you will stand still and activate your Mountain pose. (Repeat the relax/activate cycle several times ending in mountain pose. Invite a student to be the “caller”. )
- Upward Mountain – As we stand still firmly grounded in our mountain pose we are going to lift our arms straight up overhead with palms facing each other and fingers extended up to the sky. Feel how the corners of your feet stay connected to the ground as your arms stretch and reach above you.
Crescent Moon – As you reach toward the sky take a deep breathe in and gently stretch slightly to the right into the shape of a crescent moon. As you feel lengthening in the sides of your body make sure both feet are pressing into the ground. As you exhale slowly come back to center. (Repeat on the left side). As you reach up toward the sky imagine sending energy from the center of the earth below you through your fingertips to the sun above you.
- Forward Bend – We have been reaching toward the sky and now we are going to come back down as we do a forward bend. As you bend at your hips let your head and arms hang loosely. Let’s try and touch our finger to the ground. Listen to your body. If it is uncomfortable for you to reach, bend your knees. Take a deep breathe in – breathing into your back.
- Child’s Pose – Slowly come to a kneeling position on your mat. While the tops of your feet rest on the floor bring your big toes together so that they touch. Let your head, neck and back relax and be heavy. You might choose to rest your head on your hands (stacked like a pillow) or pull your arms alongside your body. Choose which position feels most comfortable for your body. Breathe into your back and let it puff up like a parachute.
- One-Minute Exploration – Throughout our time together today you stood strong and stable like a mountain and reached up into the sky as a beautiful crescent moon. All the while you kept your body in control, grounded and connected to the earth. It was almost as if there was someone holding your feet and supporting you. Think of someone in your life who believes in you and supports you.
- Invite students to come to an upright seated position as I count backwards from five to zero.
- Sharing – Ask students to share the name of a person who supports them or a time when they have felt supported.