Instructor: Mary Tesoro
Community: Grades K-4, Enrichment Classroom Setting, 45-60 minutes
Plan Creation Date: April 30, 2014
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding
Props/Music Resources Required: Hoberman Sphere, Stones, Ready, Set, R.E.L.A.X. Book, Music Playlist Grounding
- Belly Breathing – w/ Hoberman Sphere Ask for a student to lead breathing and someone to count breaths. Ask the class how many breaths they need to feel calm. After breathing, ask for compliments for our leaders. Close your eyes and feel yourself connect to the earth for 30 seconds.
- Pulse Count – Find your pulse and take a count for 10 seconds.
- Introduce Theme – Grounding What does it mean to be physically present in your body?… How does it feel to be safe?… What does feeling safe mean?…How do we connect to the earth?…what is balance?…How does balance look/feel in your body?…in your mind? These ideas are about helping us feel grounded or connected to the earth, our minds, and our hearts.
- Past, Present, Future – with Stones I want you to think about the people or a person who helped you feel grounded and safe during a difficult time. Choose a stone and just feel the stone in the palm of your hand. Feel the weight of the stone and think about your connection to that person. Wrap your hand around the stone and think about how this person held you, physically or mentally, during a difficult time. Leave your stone on the top of your mat as a reminder of support during our practice today.
- Cat/Cow – Come to all 4s with hand under shoulders and knees under hips. Breath out, lower head, and tuck your tail. Allow the back of your heart raise up to the sky as your spine rounds. Breath in, look up, and lift your head and collarbones. Allow your belly to drop downward. It is always important to warm up our spines for movement.
- Alternate Arm & Leg Kicks – Use the earth below to you help you stay balanced in this next pose. Staying on all fours, stretch your right leg, straight back and point toes downward. Keep hips and leg level with the floor. Now lift your left arm straight ahead. Lengthen your left arm with thumb pointing up. Imagine the hand and leg below you pressing into the earth as you find balance. Repeat on the opposite leg.
- Plank – Imagine your breath moving from your belly into the earth as you press away from your mat. Move your breath from your belly in the opposite direction as it travels down the backside of your legs, through your toes into the earth.
- Downward Dog – Press into you hand and left your tailbone. Breath in and think, “I am connected to the earth.” Exhale. Inhale, “I am connected to people who love me”. Exhale. Inhale, “I am balanced in body, mind, and heart.” Exhale.
- Forward Bend Allow your fingers to touch the floor. Bend your knees if you need. Relax into your back as your breath.
- Chair – Bend your knees and reach toward the sky with your hands. Let your heart raise upward as you send heart thoughts to the people who support you. Stay here for a few breaths in balance thinking about how their support fills your heart.
- Partner Pull/ Teeter Totter – With a partner hold onto one another’s hands and slowly start to sit back into chair. Support each other to stay balanced. Breath in as you begin to sit back and breath out as you rise again. Repeat this 5 times together.
- Mountain – Meet me in mountain. Imagine your loved ones holding your feet to connect you to the earth.
- Roots – Find stillness as you being to imagine roots growing from the bottoms of your feet into the earth to support you as you begin making small circles with your body. Allow the circles to become larger. Reverse direction of your circles and start to draw smaller and smaller circles until you are back to stillness.
- Tree – Put your weight into your right leg and allow that let to become a strong tree trunk. With your left leg, lift your foot, placing the sole as high on the inner of your right leg as feels comfortable. Find stillness with your hands at your center and eyes focused ahead of you. As you feel balanced begin to grow your branches tall or wide. Imagine the roots of your tree trunk holding you in balance with the earth. After a few breaths, repeat on the other foot.
- Warrior II – Pick up your stone from earlier in the class. Place the stone in your left hand. Step back with your left leg into Warrior II. Think of the person who has helped you in the past. Look at the hand holding the stone. This is a reminder that you will always carry that person with you, inside you. Look to your forward hand and know you can conquer difficult situations with his/her support.
- Triangle – Straighten you right leg. Shift your upper body to the right and windmill your arms over, taking the right hand to the shin, ankle, or block. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling. Press out through your legs, arms, and top of head. (Repeat from Tree to Triangle on the alternate leg).
- Woodchopper – Return to standing with legs a little wider than hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Using your strong voice, imagine chopping a piece of wood on the floor in front of you as you make the “Huh” sound.
- Downward Dog – Press the palms of your hands into the earth as you raise your tailbone upward to the sky.
- Plank – Come forward on your hands until your shoulders are above your hands and hold in plank with strength as you breath from your belly.
- Cobra – Lower yourself down to the earth and lie on your belly feeling the support of the earth holding you. Place your hands on the mat beneath your shoulders. Pull your heart forward while keeping your shoulders back and down. Keep your elbows slightly bent and close to your ribs. You can pick up your hands from the mat to allow the muscles in your back to support your body.
- Bow – Relax again into the mat. Move into Bow pose. Allow your body to rock back and forth with the rhythm of your breath. Breathe 3 to 5 breaths.
- Child’s Pose and Pulse Count – Remember a special time with a friend or family member. Take a 10 second pulse count.
- Rock and Roll – Lie on your back and bend knees toward chest. Grasp knees and move them in small circles.
- Twist – Pull your knees up toward your chest, then over to the right and all the way to the floor. Stretch arms out to the sides and look to the left. Breathe in and think, “I am connected to the earth.” Exhale. Inhale, “I am connected to people who love me”. Exhale. Inhale, “I am balanced in body, mind, and heart.” Exhale. Repeat to the other side.
- Relaxation – Read Pillar of Strength from Ready, Set, R.E.L.A.X. (I am important to myself and others.)