Instructor: Jill Essner-Dodds, OTR/L

Community: A student who shows difficulties with keeping hands and feet to self. This child seeks out tactile and movement experiences that impact his/her functional abilities, academic work, peer interaction, and social/emotional status.

Plan Creation Date: January 14, 2012

Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding  The intention of this lesson to help the child regulate him/herself and feel grounded. This lesson will enable the child to feel a sense of calmness, organization, and boundaries of body in space.

Lesson Plan:

Setting the Tone/Environment: The lights will be dimmed and a steady drum beat will be present upon entering the room. Vanilla scent will be used in a spray or on a cotton ball. The child can choose from a bowl of rocks with words written on them, e.g., “stable”, “control”, “calm”, “rooted”, etc. to bring to his/her mat. Chime will be used to gain focus, control and organization.

Breath Work/Calm: Volcano breaths will be used for breath work (10 times). “Stand up with your feet hip width apart. Place your palms together at your heart. Take a deep breath in and reach your hands over your head and pause; exhale slowly bringing your hands back together at the heart. As you take in breaths and explode the volcano; I want you to think of a time when you felt grounded…, stable…, aware of your body and what is around you. Breath in and as you exhale, send out a word that helps you feel grounded or rooted- maybe it is the word on your rock.”

Opening Remarks: The student will sit on the floor and I will introduce the principle “Grounding”. “Do you know what grounded means?” We will have a discussion of “grounding” and similar words that relate to that feeling.

The poses chosen are all poses that are very grounding.

  1. Mountain: “Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Press your feet down into the earth and imagine that you are contacted to the earth by roots growing into the ground. Mountains are tall and sturdy. You are connected to the earth. Place your hands at your heart center and breathe in and out. Say to yourself, “I feel steady, rooted. I am in control” Take a breath in and bring your hands up and slowly bend over.
  2. Star Pose: “Now move your feet apart and keep your toes pointed. Lift arms out to the sides. Breathe in and out. Feel the inner power and stability throughout your body, i.e., legs, arms, stomach, chest, head, etc. “
  3. Warrior II: “Turn your right foot to point forward and left in slightly. Arms remain up and palms down. Breathe in and out and bend that right knee forward. Keep your arms, shoulders strong. Feel your inner power, control and connection with the ground.”
  4. Side Angle: “Continue to press your feet into the ground and stretch your left arm out over the left ear. Place your right forearm on your knee. You are very rooted in this pose and also reaching/growing toward the sky.”
  5. Down Dog: “Now take your arms and move toward the ground like windmill and place your legs back a step or two. Press your hands and feet into the ground and imagine you are growing roots into the ground. You are grounded. Push with your strong arms and bend your legs a little bit and push your bottom up high. Breathe in and out.”
  6. Warrior I: “Bring your right leg forward and lift your body from the ground like you are a growing flower or tree. Stretch your arms high and reach for the sky. Grow towards the sun. Breathe in and out.
  7. Star Pose: “Slowly rotate your hips and feet so they are facing forward. Bring your arms to shoulder height with palms up. You are a star. Say to yourself, I am grounded and in control.”
  8. Mountain: “As you take a big deep breath in, reach high toward the sky and bring your hands to heart center and feet hip width apart.” (Repeat this for the left side.)
  9. Try some partner poses for more grounding. Work on maintaining a stable position with the partner giving some resistance. Partner Pose would be another appropriate pose to try at the end.

End this session on the mat with progressive relaxation. Tensing and relaxing from feet to face. Another nice idea would be to use and Grounding Mindful Card and share each other’s thoughts. The students then can take their rocks with the inspirational word written on it.

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