Instructor: Madelaine Winstanley
Community: Grade 4, School Setting, 30 minutes
Plan Creation Date: December 3, 2014
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding
Resources: Class plan, Chime bar, Hoberman Sphere, Mindful Moment Cards
- Chime – Chime bar to signal the beginning of class – Select a child to come up to the front of the classroom. Assist them to ask everyone to make their bodies still and close their eyes – ring the chime bar and wait until everyone has raised their hand to signal that the sound has stopped for them. Hands down and eyes closed. Take a moment to notice how you are feeling right now. There’s no right or wrong answer, when we’re mindful, we’re just noticing what’s happening. Eyes open.
- Discussion – Who’s feeling excited about the Christmas concert tonight? Excitement is awesome, but it can really help to be able to keep that excitement grounded. Does anyone know what that means? Explain that being grounded doesn’t mean being kept home by your parents because you’ve done something wrong! It means being connected to your body and to the world around you so that you feel safe and strong, and can be in the present moment. We want you to experience and enjoy each moment of your excitement and your night, not wake up tomorrow and find you can’t really remember it. Our Yoga Calm class today will help to ground you.
- Seated Belly Breathing – start by finding a grounded position with your feet on the floor. Feel the weight of your body in your chair, make your legs heavy and feel the gravity holding you to the earth. Hoberman Sphere – as you exhale press down through your feet, press your feet into the earth and anchor into the ground – demonstrate then complete the activity with a student leader and counter. Ask the group to compliment the leader, and the leader to compliment the counter.
- Seated Pulse Count – sometimes when we’re feeling excited or nervous or anxious about something, it can help to tune into a rhythm – like our own strong heart inside us. When we do pulse count today, just listen and tune in to the rhythm of your heart – rhythm is very grounding. Check in – how was that?
- Standing Volcano Breath – give students to the count of five to move steadily into place standing behind their chairs. Choose a student leader to lead the activity. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, pressing into the floor and your hands at your heart. Three breaths together (imagine your breath rising up deep from the earth like a volcano – feet pressing down into the earth and head stretching up) then – shut your eyes and think of a time when you felt very safe, strong and protected, and connected to the place and the people around you –spread that feeling around you – you can call on that feeling any time you need to. Invite the group to compliment the leader.
- Mountain – push your feet into the floor and make all your muscles strong. Think of someone in your life who believes in you and supports you (maybe they’re coming to the concert tonight) and imagine them holding your feet to the earth, grounding you.
Roots – as you are rocking in a circle notice that you can feel the centre – you know where your own centre is – we’re going to centre ourselves – draw yourself into your very own centre and when you find it , press down through all four corners of your feet, lift through your head and anchor in, that’s your centre, you’re grounded right in your own centre – second side – activate your inner super hero or Jedi – strong, tall and connected to the earth.
- Upward Mountain – send lasers up to the moon/sun/outer space.
- Crescent Moon – inhale and then exhale to bend, then inhale and exhale to come back up – as you reach up to the sky, imagine sending energy from the centre of the earth right up to the sun.
- Modified Dancer – with a partner – hands up – find a focus and hold for ten (steady) counts to help your body feel strong and grounded – practice with support – having support and knowing we have people who can help can ground us – now try by yourself.
- Seated Twist – in their chairs (3 breaths on each side).
- Relaxation – one-minute exploration using a Mindful Moment Grounding card resting with arms on desks, and heads on arms. Imagine yourself sitting on a large warm rock on the top of a mountain. It is a beautiful clear day and you can see for miles. Where are you and what can you see?
- Sharing – invite students to share where they were and what they could see with a partner. Volunteers can share with the whole class.
- Chime – End by ringing the chime bar – let the chime bar help you take these feelings of groundedness into the rest of your day.
- (Notes for Prep (5 year-olds) – skip pulse count, replace Modified Dancer with Star – join together to make a galaxy, could also do Tree and Tree Circle (with distractors depending on the group), Child instead of Twist)