Instructor: Petra Johnson
Community: Grade 3, School Setting, 30 minutes
Plan Creation Date: November 1, 2015
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Stillness
Resources: Chime, Hoberman Sphere, CD player and CD (Lifescapes: Calming Sea), Ready, Set, R.E.L.A.X. (pg. 67)
- 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 will raise their thumb when they can hear the silence.
- 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).
- Following the breaths we will sit silently and listen to the stillness around us for one minute. (Students choose eyes open or closed)
- 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 the breeze calms and we find stillness within we are going to transition into mountain. Activate your feet by pressing into the ground while lifting your head, heart and belly toward the sky. With your shoulders back and down, hands at your side you stand strong and proud like a powerful mountain. You are tall and majestic and can see the beautiful forest of trees that surround and support you.
- Mat 20 (Mountain to Tree pose) – maintain focus on stillness throughout poses – particularly Bent Knee Lunge and Plank.
- Tree Pose – Activate your body while pressing your standing leg into the ground. Your roots are deeply connected to the earth below. As you press your palms together at heart center you find balance. Notice the stillness in your body.
- Dancing Trees – Imagine a gentle breeze blowing through your strong branches. Take your right arm back and the left arm forward, then switching, taking the left arm back and right forward. As your branches gently sway back and forth you notice how it feels to move your body in this way (contrast to stillness).
(Turn on Lifescapes: Calming Sea CD)
- Invite students to lie on their back and find stillness with their body.
- Relaxation Script – Wash Away Tension (Ready, Set, R.E.L.A.X.)
- Invite students to come to a seated position on their mat as I count backwards from five to zero.
- Sharing – Ask students to share a favorite place to relax. Discuss what elements are in each space that help them relax and find stillness.