Instructor: Laura Barbour
Class: Grades K-2 Classroom or Small Group
Plan Creation Date: March 26, 2009
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Listening
Story: The children will sit comfortably on the floor and listen as I read Each Breath a Smile based on teachings by Thich Nhat Hanh. [Excerpt: Listen to the wind. Listen to the birds. Listen to the crickets and the frogs. Listen very quietly to your breathing.]
Belly Breathing: Place one hand on your belly and one hand over your heart. Breathe from belly hand into heart hand. Listen to the rhythm of your breath moving in and out of your body. As you continue to take deep breaths, bring your awareness to your heart. Listen to the rhythm of your heart pumping gently inside your chest.
Child: Kneel on the floor and with the tops of the feet on the floor, touch the big toes together and sit back on the heels. Bring arms along your side and rest your head gently on the floor. Let your head be heavy. Relax your neck, hips and back. Breathe into your back filling it up with air. As you breathe in, imagine filling a parachute with air and as you breathe out imagine your parachute falling gently. Listen to the sound of your breath moving in and out of your body.
Cobra: Lie on your belly with the tops of your feet on the floor and your legs close together. Place palms flat on the floor directly under your shoulders. With your fingers pointing ahead, press down into the four corners of your hand. Make a hissing sound as you lift your head, heart and belly. Keep your shoulders relaxed and repeat three times.
Superman: Lie on your belly and stretch your arms out in front. Point thumbs up. Lengthen and lift right leg. Lift your arm, chest and head. Look slightly down and lengthen from top of head to tail. Switch sides and lift left leg and right arm. Now lift both arms and legs, the head, and the chest away from the floor. Reach out strongly through your arms and legs. Lengthen the top of your head and tail away from each other. Take a few deep breaths. Relax and repeat.
Dog: Come to all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under and slightly behind your hips. Point your fingers straight ahead and spread them out like rays of the sun. Press down through the four corners of your hands and your feet. Activate and strengthen your arms. Turn your toes under and press up into a shape like the letter “A”. Keep your arms straight with your head and chest slightly lifting to create a flat back from head to hips. You can bend your knees slightly to keep your back from rounding up.
Child: Kneel on the floor, touching your big toes together and sitting back on the heels. Bring arms along your side and rest your head gently on the floor. Relax your neck, hips and back. Breathe into your back filling it up with air. Listen to the sound of your breath moving in and out of your body.
Transition from Child pose into 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 waves in the ocean. Continue for several breaths. Move hands to midback and repeat. Continue for several breaths, then moves hands to upper back and repeat. Slowly and gently switch roles and repeat.
During Back Breathing, I will read a Mindful Moment card for Listening: Take a moment to listen to your body. What is it feeling right now? Is it trying to tell you something? Is it peaceful and content?