Instructor: Laura Barbour
Class: Grades 2-3, Classroom or Small Group
Plan Creation Date: April 28, 2009
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Community
Back Breathing: Working together in pairs, one student remains in Child pose while another student kneels alongside and places a hand on the first student’s low back. The student in Child pose breathes slowly into the low back and into the partner’s hands, feeling the hands rise and fall like. Continue for several breaths. Move hands to midback and repeat. Continue for several breaths, then move hands to upper back and repeat. Slowly and gently switch roles and repeat.
Back Drawing: Sit in a close circle (or a line if one student does not want his/her back to be touched). Place hands on the back of the person in front of you. Begin by making rain on the person’s back by gently tapping on the back. Now make the rain all the way down the back by sliding fingers gently down the back. Then make very light thunder by tapping the back gently. Draw lightning strikes. Draw big, puffy rain clouds. Brush those clouds away with a gentle sweeping motion of the hands. Make the sun come out by drawing a big sun with a happy face and sunglasses! Place palms on the back in front of you. Close your eyes and feel the warm hands of the person behind you. Imagine yourself in a beautiful or favorite place with sun warming your back. When the sun comes out, the flowers begin to grow so draw a beautiful flower for your friend. Now draw either a gift or a secret message on the person’s back. Whisper into the person’s ear what the gift or secret message is. Thank the person who drew on your back.
Partner Pull: Pair up and hold each other’s right wrist with right hand. Step back about one to two feet, bend knees, and sit back until thighs are almost parallel to the floor and the back is flat. Gently pull the right hip back, stretching the right side of the body from shoulder to hip. Breathe in and fan the ribs out to the right in a side-bending action. Rise up together and repeat on the other side.
Shoulder Clock: Pair students by height and have them stand side by side, about two feet apart. Each partner lifts inside arms straight up and places palms together in twelve o’clock position. Breathe into upper chest and spread fingers. Exhale and take arms back about a foot to one o’clock position. Keep chest and top of head lifting. Repeat breath cycle and clocking of arms until they are down by your sides at six o’clock. Switch sides and repeat.
Tree Circle: Create a large circle, standing three feet apart and facing in. Raise both arms and stretch them out with fingers pointing up. Place hands together with the person on either side of you and lift right leg up in Tree pose. Press into each other’s hands gently until you feel supported. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Community Circle: Ask students to close their eyes and think of the people in their community. Encourage them to think of those they see every day and also those they see only once in a while. Ask them to think of the people who help them in their daily lives, such as teachers, classmates, bus drivers, mail carriers, store clerks and so on. Then give students the Community Circle Worksheet. Ask the students to place themselves in the center and fill in the circles around them with the names of people in their community. The names they put in the inner circle are those people the students sees often and is close to. Those in the outer circle are people in their community who may not be there on an every day basis. Allow students to decorate and share their community circle with one another.
Compliments: Students all form a large circle by holding hands. Ask one student to come into the circle’s center and the others take turns giving the student a compliment. Have the students practice making eye contact with the student in the middle, saying their name, and giving specific compliments (e.g., “I really liked the way you helped me in Tree Pose today”). The student receiving the compliments should look back at the person and thank them for their words.
Mindful Moment Card: Think of all the people in your community that make your life better. You might think about the your teachers, your classmates, cooks, the people who collect the garbage, the people who grow food, and the people in the grocery store. Think of as many people as you can. How can you show these people that you appreciate the work they do?