Instructor: Melanie Scott
Community: Grade 9 English Class, School Setting, 60 minutes
Plan Creation Date: November 4, 2015
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding
Objective: Brain Breaks and Balance: Preparing Our Minds to Be Ready to Learn
- Stress Discussion – Write the words respond vs. react on the board. Show students a glitter bottle (two-liter pop bottle filled with water). Ask students if they have ever experienced stress? Ask students to share different events that might cause a teen stress. As each activity is mentioned, add a little bit of glitter to the bottle. Talk about how not all stress is negative. A little bit of stress is a reminder to study for the test or remember our drills for basketball or soccer. Ask a student to shake up the bottle. Ask them how the glitter can represent our minds (the glitter is similar to what our minds look like when there is a lot going on or we are feeling a really strong feeling like anger). When we learn to focus on our breathing instead of allowing us to react, you notice that the sparkles sink and the water becomes calmer and clearer. That is what our minds look like when we concentrate on our breathing. When we are calm, it helps us to learn to make clear, wise decisions. It helps us to listen to our bodies and respond to what we need. As you may notice the glitter separates-some of it floated to the top, some sank to the bottom. That is good reminder that if we give ourselves a chance to breathe, we can separate what stress or emotions to respond to first-prioritize it, some after we have had a chance to calm, may not be that big of a deal after all. Thank goodness we didn’t react.
- Talk About: Mindfulness – being in the present moment and how it helps us feel grounded when we are in the present.
- Belly Breathing – Teach students the healthy breathing principles using belly breath and the Hoberman Sphere – ask for a volunteer to help use the Hoberman Sphere. Ask for another volunteer to help us keep track of the number of breathes chosen by our first volunteer. Also teach them how to use just their fingers (magic ball) to practice healthy breathing. Let students compliment volunteers. Awareness-close your eyes. feel your breath-in through the nose, out through your nose. Feel the rise and the fall of your breath. Feel your feet ground/root into the floor. Teach the four corners of feet and hands. Talk about being grounded-connected to the earth, safe, secure, in control. Why do we nose breathe and belly breathe? Nose breathing-taking air through the nostrils warms, moisturizes, and prepares it for the lungs. Slight resistance-slows the breath. Relax for diaphragm efficiency-during inhalation the diaphragm contracts and flattens downward, while the lower rib cage expands. as your diaphragm is pulled down, the abdominal organs have to move down and outward-giving the impression of belly breathing. Balancing school, activities, work, family-can be demanding. Breathing creates calm and balance to better get through the day.
- Volcano Breath – pause allows Co2 build up-relaxes nervous system. Energy building and releasing. Lets out energy out little by little-slow controlled manner through yoga. Allowing stress and emotions to build and then explode can be damaging.
- Woodchopper – its ok to relax, breathe, let go of the heaviness, let out your negative thoughts, distractors.
- Mountain Pose – ground yourself firmly in this class. Ready to learn-ready to give it 100%.
- Roots – practice your feet grounded into the floor.
- Crescent Moon – reach up-think about a person in your life that lifts you up and wants you to do well. They are your support system. reach to your teacher on the left/right who will support you to do your best.
- Modified Dancer – with a partner. It’s great to lean on a classmate for help when we are learning something new. Talk about grounding their foot to balance.
- Modified Dancer – alone – when we feel strong enough, we can take what we have learned, and try it on our own. We learn that life, like school is a process. Sometimes we try something and we get it the first time. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and we try again. We learn not to give up and not to be hard on ourselves. We are grounded and in control of our learning.
- Twist – great pose to do in your seat when you need a brain break.
- Belly Breathing – Head down on desk on folded arms. Practice your belly breaths.
- One Minute Exploration – think about a time that you have felt success on a test or assignment. Remember what that felt like. Remember how hard you worked or studied and how it paid off.