Population/Setting/Length: High School Ages, Community Mental Health Setting, 60 minutes

Plan Creation Date: 11/5/16

Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Listening


  • Belly Breathing – have child lead and choose number of breaths and another child count.  As you breathe, make your eye lids heavy and your gaze soft.  See if you can feel your breath entering your body and follow it’s path, imagining it delivering oxygen to all of your cells from your heart to the tips of your fingers and toes and the top of your head.  As you exhale, imagine your breath reaching out to the far edges of this room, out to the edges of portland, and some small molecules providing sustanence for the trees, and coninuing on to the edges of the country, out to sea, and finally drifting out to space.  As you breathe in again, try to gather your breath from far away, all the way down deep inside of you.  Have time for compliment of leader and counter.
  • Pulse Count – find your pulse if you can, if not place your hand on your heart and close your eyes, if this feels comfortable to you, then listen to and feel the beat of your heart inside of your chest.
  • Mountain, Roots, Upward Mountain – Sway like trees in a forest with rustling leaves.  First have participants list off and tune into five senses.  Then have them stay tuned in to their senses while in these poses, being silent and instening both inside and outside of themselves.  Invite them to tune in to their hearts and bodies throughout and see if they have anything to tell them. Invite them to share if they would like.  Check in about how they are feeling today and a little about why.  Let them know theme is listening within and without and have them set intention for class. Invite them to sit out or go slower or a little faster at times if that is what their body feels it wants.


  • Activate/Relax – Have students feel and demostrate what it is like to activate in mountain and relax, then to be both activated and relax, and tune in to how each of these and the combination feels to them.  This will help warm up their bodies and be ready for yoga series. 
  • Yoga Series – with expansion and contraction, tuning in and outStop in each pose and listen. From Upward mountain, move into crescent moon on both sides, shooting laser beams out through fingers toward the sky and reaching down through soles of feet to ground and root in the earth. Spread arms wide and dive gently downward into forward bend, gently bending knees to have hands reach the floor, allowing head to release and relaxing jaw, nodding yes and shaking head gently “no.” Step back into plank and hold with calm, deep breaths, listening inside to the world inside, feeling the strength in your muscles, and the sensations in your belly, and your toes.  Lower down slowly to rest with right ear on your folded arms beneath you. Breathe.  Listen to your body and when ready, place hands on either side of chest with elbows close in to your ribs and push up gently into cobra.  Breathe, sink into this pose, relax.  Breathe in and when you exhale, find your way back into child’s pose, with hands placed on top of your head, as if for protection or to hide inside.  Breathe and feel what it is like to be drawn into yourself.  When ready, up into plank again, and then when ready, lower back down with left ear on folded arms beneath you.  Breathe, and when ready, place hands either side of chest and press back up into cobra , this time, gently pick up hands and breathe and stay calm and strong in cobra for one deep full breath in.  As you exhale, find your way back into child’s pose again.  Rest there for three full breaths in and out and feel how it is to be hugged into yourself.  When ready, on all fours, go through cat/cow three full times watching breath.  When ready, press up into downward dog.  Spread fingers out like stars and press into mat with knuckles at base of pointer fingers and outside of hand, look down at your belly and lift it gently while pressing toward the mat with your heels.  Peddle your feet if you would like.  When ready, bring right foot forward between your hands and rise up into Warrior I, being aware of your breath the entire time as it flows into and out of your body. Place hands back down on the ground and flow back into downward dog, tuning in to how your body feels after Warrior I.  Then bring left foot forward into Warrior I.  Then place hands back down on the ground and flow back into downward dog, tuning in to how your body feels after both sides, breathing and sinking into this pose, with awareness of whole body.  Walk feet forward to meet hands and hang out in forward bend, then place hands on shins or thighs, lengthening out through crown of the head toward wall in front of you. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, come up to standing, hands in front of heart in mountain.  Then turn to facing one side of room and widen feet and open arms for star.  Notice how your body and heart feel while expanded and open like a star.  Bring hands back in front of your heart and feet hip width for mountain and feel how your body and heart feel when close in to your heart.  Repeat star and then hands in front of heart and feet hip width for mountain.


  • Belly Breathing – seated or laying down on their mats at their own pace – Have students get ready for guided relaxation.
  • Personalized Relaxation – Ask each student to name something that helps them remember to listen inward or outward. Write all their words down. Lead them on a listening journey, tuning in and paying attention outside of themselves.
  • Sharing Circle – Ask if students would like to share their intention for the class and how it shifted or their practice responded to it/how they are feeling about it now or one thing they learned from listening in and out.

Instructor:  Batinah Dawdy

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