Instructor: Rachel Imholte
Community: High School Ages, Summer School Make-up Recovery, 30-40 minutes
Plan Creation Date: July 8, 2015
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Stillness
- Belly Breathing – Ask a student to lead this activity choosing 5-7 breaths.
- One-Minute Exploration – Read the poem below to the students. Ask them to reflect on and process through the idea of stillness-of being still. What feelings/reactions surface? Is it easy or difficult to quiet your body and mind?
by Chris McCombs
Into the Heart
Let the Love
Whatever is left of you
- Twist – Ask students to twist in their desks-first to one side and then the other side. Do this 3X on each side. Inhale as you sit tall (lengthening the spine) in the desk, and exhale as you twist. Do not force the twist. Place hands gently on the back of the desk and across your knee. See if you can keep your feet grounded on the floor hip-width apart, keep shoulders back and down.
- Roots/Mountain – Have the students stand next to their desks rooting their feet into the Earth with hands at their sides. Ask them to think about a still winter evening where it is so cold it seems as if nothing is alive or moving. Think about the quiet. Put yourself in the picture. Breathe in. Breathe out. What do you see, hear, and smell? What does the sir feel and taste like? Focus on using your senses. Keep breathing.
- Upward Mountain/Crescent Moon – From mountain pose have students reach up to Upward Mountain pose with their palms facing each other. Move slowly into Crescent Moon breathing in as the body stretches to the side, and exhaling as the body returns to the center. Switch sides.
- Tree – Move slowly into Tree pose and try to hold for one full minute. Remember your roots! Try holding Tree with your eyes closed. Think about stillness. Breathe. Switch sides. Do Tree a second time holding for two minutes. What do you need your body and mind to do in order to hold this pose?
- Activate/Relax Walk – As students do this activity encourage them to try and be as still as possible when asked to stop moving. Move from the basic Activate/Stop to adding in various poses that the students have learned (Tree, Mountain, Star, Warrior I and Warrior II, etc.). Create images of Stillness with each pose. For example, when might a tree be still? Before a violent storm? Is the Stillness of a mountain what makes it so majestic? When would a warrior value Stillness?
- Forward Bend – After the students have “played” the Activate/Relax Walk with different poses, ask them to stop and slowly forward bend. Feet should be hip-width apart and toes pointed straight ahead. Bend at the hips. It is okay to bend your knees! Hang your arms in front of you, or touch the floor. Relax your head. Take 3-5 deep breaths in and out of your nose. As you inhale breathe into your back, as you exhale fold deeper-but don’t force it!
- Calm Voice – Ask the students to sit back in their desks. Read the Calm Voice worksheet questions to the students. Give them time to reflect and process the questions, and then have them silently fill out the worksheet. Students may share responses if they would like to do so.
- Follow up Activity – Have students write their own Stillness Poem.