Instructor: Danette Jones
Community: Grade 5, Anxious/ADHD Girls Group, School Setting, 60 minutes
Plan Creation Date: October 10, 2015
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Stillness
- I want the students to experience being still.
- That they have the control to transition from active to still.
- I will set the tone by having the lights low; yoga mats laid out in a semi-circle; a pile of small stones as our “focus friends” in the center.
- Be welcoming: “I am so glad you are here today. We are going to practice stillness today.”
- Settle – Students first settle down by “pounding/tapping” on themselves with their fists/open hands gently. Instruct them to notice how this readies their bodies and minds to become still.
- Sitting Still – Sit on your pockets, crisscross applesauce, and feel your sitting bones rooting into the earth to steady and hold you.
- Belly Breathing – 7-10 belly breaths with the Hoberman Sphere as a group. Each student leads 1 belly breath with the Hoberman sphere, after which they share a time they were still/experienced stillness. How did it feel?
- Chime – Close your eyes and give me thumbs up when it is still – when you cannot hear the chime. We will then do a silent 30 second Pulse Count. Remember your number. When I play the chime again, stand on your mat.
- Volcano Breath – Hands to heart. Take a big, slow “smell the flower”. Hold and bring your arms overhead. Exhale and slowly explode the volcano, letting go of anything that keeps your mind or body from being still. Second time: Imagine bringing something into your life that helps you have self-control and shower that down on you as you exhale. Third time: Imagine something you’ve always wanted to be able to do and shower that image out on the exhale.
- Mountain – Become a majestic, still mountain. Keep your feet together or hip-width apart. Feel how your feet are the base of your mountain – deep in the earth, in rock. Solid. Sure. Then lift the top of your head – your mountain peak – toward the sky. Stand tall. Close your eyes and imagine the quiet and stillness as your peak stretches through the clouds.
- Roots – Now imagine you are a tree. Feel your roots growing deep into the earth, keeping you firmly attached to the earth, no matter what happens. Now winds come, blowing you back and forth…complete Roots, transitioning between movement and stillness.
- Tree – Now that we know our roots are solid, our tree can grow confidently toward the sky. Place your weight on your left foot. Continue to press your roots into the earth as you gently place your right foot above or below your knee joint. Place your hands to your heart and choose a still point in front of you to focus on. When you feel still and solid, unfurl your branches to the sky. Reach your fingers like leaves toward the sunlight. Repeat. Then hands back to heart. Repeat on other leg.
- Changing Tree – Social/Emotional Game (with focus on navigating transitions between Stillness and Activation) – Trees change with the season. There is activity and stillness, depending on the season. We are now going to practice going from activity to stillness. When the chime sounds (or to the beats of a drum if I can get one), allow your branches and trunk to sway in the breeze. Remember, your roots are strong in the earth, holding you in place. When you no longer hear the chime, freeze. Hold still in the tree pose until you hear the chime sound again. Feel the difference between windy and calm tree. Repeat twice on each leg.
- Forward Bend – At the final still tree: Now slowly bend forward at the hips and let your arms, head, and neck hang like a rag doll. If your fingers don’t touch the ground, bend your knees slightly. Imagine your back, head, and arms flowing down like a waterfall. Breathe into your back.
- Child’s Pose – Move into Child’s Pose. Kneel with the tops of your feet pressing into the floor, touch your big toes, and sit back on your heels. Fold forward, resting your tummy on the top of your legs. Stack your fists or palms to make a pillow for your forehead or lay your arms along the sides of your body or out in front of you with your forehead resting on the floor. Relax your neck, hips, and back. Let your head be heavy. Breathe into your back and let it puff up like a parachute. Notice how when we are still, we are able to focus our attention inward, inviting self-reflection and rest.
- Belly Breathing – Roll onto your back, laying still in Do Nothing Pose. Continue to belly breathe.
- Relaxation – We are now going to be completely still for 1 minute. Imagine you are a rock resting on a shoreline. Although the waves come and go, washing over you, you remain still. You are solidly in your place. Because you are still, you are able to watch the animals come to take a cool drink or play in the water. You are able to watch the clouds drift by. You are at peace.
- Pulse Count – Remain where you are. We will now take another 30-second pulse count. Notice if the number is different from the pulse count at the beginning of Yoga Calm Group. Roll on your right side, bringing up your knees toward your chest into the position we took as babies. Rest here for a moment. When you’re ready, push yourself up with the strength of your arms and sit crisscross applesauce.
- Closure – Each group member may take a stone with her to remind themselves they can be still and that this is important.