Instructor: Laura Barbour
Class: Grades 3-5, Classroom or Small Group
Plan Creation Date: April 8, 2009
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding
Belly Breathing: Lying on your back, stretch your legs out in front of you and your arms along your side. Place your hand on your belly and breathe into your belly. Feeling your belly fill and expand as you breathe in and empty and contract as you breathe out. Feel your belly gently rise and fall like a wave in the ocean. Allow for a natural pause at the end of your inhalation and again at the end of your exhalation.
Pulse Count: Continue to rest and take deep breaths while lying on your back. Place two fingers along the side of your mouth. Tip head back slightly and draw a line with your fingers along the groove along your neck. Press gently to find your pulse. Quietly raise your hand when you find your pulse. Count pulse beats quietly to yourself. Now count for 15 seconds. How many beats did you count?
Leg extensions/foot circles: Stay on your back and stretch your right leg up into the air. Interlace your hands behind your right thigh. Straighten both of your legs as much as you can. Draw circles with your right foot in one direction and then the other. Keep the rest of your leg still. Switch legs and repeat.
Rock and Roll: Lie on your back, bend your knees into your chest and hold on to your shins. Slowly rock your body forward and back on your spine from hips to upper back. Press your belly down into the floor as you roll up and down the spine. Roll slowly enough to feel each vertebra pressing down on the floor as you roll. Now, hold the knees and rock slowly from side to side. Imagine that you are a boat rolling on the waves.
Boat: From Rock and Roll come into Boat pose. Bend your knees toward your chest. Grab backs of thighs and balance on sitting bones. Lift low back, heart and head. Pull your shoulders back. While holding the backs of your legs, alternately stretch one leg straight and then the other, then both. If you want a challenge, stretch your arms our straight and parallel to the floor or even overhead. Continue to take deep breaths, lift the low back and feel your sitting bones connect to the earth.
Volcano Breath: Sitting up cross-legged on the floor, place your palms together in front of your heart. Take a long, slow, deep breath in through your nose and pause when your lungs are full. Hold the pause and bring your arms up over your head, opening your heart. Exhale and slowly explode the volcano moving your arms out to the side and back together at your heart. Practice three more Volcano Breaths together this time in silence. Close your eyes and think of someone or something you would like to send your heart thoughts to. Hold an image of the person, animal or place strongly in your mind. As you breathe out send your heart thoughts out.
Mountain Pose: Stand with feet pointing straight ahead and hip width apart. Place your hands together in front of your heart. Activate your body. Lift your belly, your head and your heart. Relax your shoulders. Feel your strength as you stand with your feet grounded to the earth.
Sun Salutation: Practice the Sun Salutation sequence three times with a different leader each time. Practice the poses in silence maintaining four beats per pose.
Past, Present and Future: Come into Warrior II pose. Stand with your legs wide apart. Turn your left foot in slightly to the right and your right foot all the way out to the right. Breathe in and lift your arms up parallel to the floor with your palms facing down. Exhale and bend the right knee until it is right over the ankle, with the shins straight up and down. Keep both sides of the torso equally long, with shoulders directly over the pelvis. Shoulders are relaxed, back and down. Extend out through the top of your head, tail, feet and arms. The back hand represents the past and the front hand represents the future. We want to be aware of our past and the effect it has on us while maintaining awareness of our future goals. Our eyes are looking to the future while we keep our awareness and respect for the past. We stay balanced and grounded in the middle, in the present moment. Repeat on the other side.
Variation: Think of a person who has been present for you in the past when things have been difficult. With that person in mind, choose a small stone and hold it firmly in your back hand. This stone is a reminder that you will always carry this person with you.
Twist: Lie on your back and pull your knees into your chest. Feel your back press into the ground. Roll your knees to the right until they reach the ground. Stretch your arms out to the sides and look to the left. Breathe deeply and with each exhalation feel your body sink further into the ground. Roll your knees back to the center and repeat on the left side.
I will read a Mindful Moment card on Grounding: Think of your favorite tree. Now imagine that you can plant that tree in a special place. Go to that place, dig a hole and plant the tree. Imagine that you can see into the future and watch the tree grow tall.