Population/Setting/Length: Middle School Ages, After School Group, School Setting, 45 minutes
Plan Creation Date: May 1, 2017
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding
- Discuss Theme – Grounding – Grounding is the ability to be present in your body — listening to it — and being connected to the earth. It’s a feeling of being secure and solid in yourself. We’re going to practice some grounding poses. As we do so, remember the listening, stillness and strength themes we have done in the past. All of those will be helpful in today’s poses.
- Belly Breathing – Start in a comfortable seated position – Close your eyes, let your body get heavy. Notice your breath. Start to let go of your day. Let any thoughts crowding your mind wash away with each exhale. Notice where your sit bones (if you are cross-legged) or your shins and feet (if you are sitting on your feet), notice where they touch the mat and hold your weight, connecting you with the earth below you. Imagine that your spine is the trunk of a tree, with roots extending into the earth and branches up to the sky.
- Belly Breathing – with the Hoberman Sphere with student leader and student counter – Allow time for compliments.
- Warming Up Flow – cat/cow, alternate arm/leg kicks, downward dog, forward fold, upward mountain and crescent moon.
- Roots – Emphasize feeling the four corners of the feet. Repeat with eyes closed, for those students who are comfortable.
Reteach mountain pose. Have students pair up and gently test if they move each other’s “mountain.” Reiterate that this kind of full body activation is important in all poses.
- Flow – Mountain, upward mountain, forward fold, warrior I, warrior II, downward dog, plank, cobra, downward dog, warrior I, warrior II, forward fold, chair, upward mountain, mountain. Ask class how many times. Move through the poses slowly, reminding students of proper form and to activate their whole bodies and find a sense of stability in each pose. Ask for students to demonstrate poses for the class.
- Balance Poses (Dancer and Eagle) – Move mats to the wall. This will allow students to use their fingertips against the wall to gain stability in these balance poses. Teach dancer, emphasizing core activation (pulling the belly button toward the spine), finding a focus point and breathing. Challenge students to hold the pose for 10 seconds, only taking fingertips away from the wall when they have achieved stability. Repeat process teaching eagle pose.
- Twist – Cool down –Have students lie on their backs, extend one leg at a time straight up and circle each ankel, pull their knees to their chest and let their legs drop to one side for a twist. Switch sides.
- Guided Relaxation – Close your eyes. Feel your body get heavy and sink into the mat. Imagine yourself rising from the mat and leaving this room. You find yourself on a sandy path; you are barefoot and the sand is warm and soft beneath your feet. The sun warms you and a soft breeze ruffles your hair. You walk slowly through palm trees and then come upon the clearing. In the clearing is a place where you feel the most safe and secure. This place will be different for each of you. Take a moment to imagine it — somewhere, with other people or alone, that you feel safe, secure, confident and able to take on life’s challenges. Spend a moment here soaking in that feeling of security and groundedness. Slowly bring your attention back to this room, back to your mat. When you are ready return to a seated position. Thank you for coming today.
Instructor: Molly Dwyer