Instructor: Betsey Ashley

Community: Pre-K ages, Child Development Center Setting in a Women’s Residential Treatment Facility, 30 minutes

Plan Creation Date: February 3, 2016

Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding

Lesson Plan:


  • Intro – Opening Activities: Hi friends! Thank you so much for coming to our Yoga group today! In this group we are going to do some fun things that will help our bodies, our minds, and our hearts to feel healthy.
  • Hoberman Belly Breathing – The first thing we are going to do today is start with taking some good, deep breaths. Everyone sit on your chairs and put both feet on the ground. Now place one hand on your belly, and one hand on your heart. I have with me today a Breathing Ball. See how it opens and closes? When I pull the ball open, I want you to take a big, deep breath through your nose. When you breathe in, feel your belly fill with air so much that it moves the hand over your belly. Let’s try it…Good job! Now, when I close the ball, breathe out through your nose and slowly blow out all the air from your belly. Great job, everybody! Now let’s do three all together with the Breathing Ball. Now, would anyone like to hold the ball and be the leader? Great! _______________please choose a number of breathes between 5 and 10. Is there anyone who would like to be our breath counter? Thank you, ____________Wow! You all are really great breathers! Would anyone like to say something nice to ____________ about how well they did leading with the ball? ____________Would you like to give a compliment to ________________for their counting? You can do this breathing anytime your body is feeling extra wiggly, or you have really big feelings and you want to calm down a little.
  • Discussion – (Show a picture of a tree with roots.) Can anyone tell me what this is? Yes! Good job! This is a big, strong tree! How can you tell this tree is healthy? (Short discussion about healthy looking leaves, strong trunk etc.) Do you know why this tree is so healthy? How does the tree get the food it needs to grow? What keeps the tree from blowing over when there is a strong wind blowing? Yes! That’s right, the Roots! The roots of this tree are nestled deep into the warm, soft earth. Roots are how the tree drinks water out of the soil, and what keeps the tree standing straight and tall. Now we are going to do some exercises that help you to feel grounded, just like this tree is grounded with it’s roots.


  • Cat/Cow – First I would like everyone to get on your hands and knees. Feel your hands and legs really touch the ground. Pretend you are a gentle cow, standing in the grass. Take a deep breath, just like the ones we did with the ball, through your nose. Now, as you breathe out through your nose, lift your back up, so you look just like a kitty when it gets scared. As we breathe in again, we’ll lower our belly again as we go back to cow. We’ll do this together 5 times. Ready? Everyone take a big breath through your nose…nice work, everybody!
  • Star – Ok, everybody, you did such a great job being cows in the field, but now we are going to pretend it is nighttime, and we are headed up from the field, and into the night sky. What do you see in the night sky? That’s right, stars! I want everyone to stand with your feet wide apart, and your arms straight out. Spread your fingers apart and pretend rays of starlight are shooting out of them and shining bright in the night sky. What bright and shining stars you all are!
  • Star Galaxy – Does anyone know the name for a group of stars that are all together? It’s called a Galaxy! Now, little stars, let’s stand in a circle as stars. Hands straight out at your sides, feet apart. Now make sure your feet are touching, your hands are touching, let’s shine the same light as before, only now we are going to shine through the circle, the galaxy, and into our friends!
  • Woodchopper – Wow, now that it is nighttime, I am feeling a little cold. What can help when you’re outside at night and it’s feeling cold outside? That’s right, fire! And what do we need to make a fire? Yes, we need wood to make a fire! In this exercise, we are going to pretend we are chopping wood to build a great big warming fire. Stand with your legs apart, like mine. Now, put your hands together and pretend you’re holding a big axe, and imagine a piece of wood is lying in front of you on the ground. You have to be very careful when chopping wood, so I want you to make sure your feet are firmly on the ground, and that your legs feel strong underneath you. Imagine you have roots, just like a tree, that are reaching from your feet into the ground below. Now, breathe in and raise your axe over your head, like this. On the count of three, swing your axe and chop the wood. Great! Now let’s chop the wood together. Would anyone like to be the leader and count how many times we chop? Great! ________________will be the leader. How many times should we chop wood, ________________? Ok, let’s begin. Wow! Thank you, friends! We have so much firewood now to build our fire!
  • Activate/Relax Walk – Ok, now we are going to play a game. For this game, I am going to beat a rhythm on my drum. As I beat the drum I want all of you to walk around the room. But, when I stop beating the drum I want you to stop moving and become a big strong tree. Feel your roots deep in the ground, your legs are the strong trunk. Use your arms as the branches, and your fingers are the leaves. Then, when I start beating the drum start walking around the room once again. (Do this for one minute.) Would anyone like a turn at beating the drum? (Do this for another 30 seconds, giving verbal cues and reminders). Would one more friend like a turn playing the drum? Wonderful job, friends! Does anyone have anything nice to say for our drum players? Thank you, friends! How did your body feel different when you were walking and when you were a tree. Which one felt stronger? Which one felt more relaxed? Which one felt safer? Thank you for sharing, friends!


  • Back Drawing – Ok everyone, let’s all come back to circle. Now, sit in a chair, and place your hands gently on the friend’s back in front of you. Begin by making a gentle rain on the friend’s back in front of you by gently tapping on their back. Tap, tap, tap! Now make it rain all the way down their back by gliding your fingers gently down, down. Now let’s make a gentle rumbling thunder. Rumble, rumble! Now, let’s draw zig zag lightening strikes. Zip! Zap! Now we’ll draw big fluffy rain clouds! Brush those clouds away , gently sweeping your hands across their back. Now, friends, the sun is coming out! Draw a big happy sun with a bright shining smiley face in the middle! Place your whole hands on the back of the person in front of you. Close your eyes and feel the warm hands of the friend behind you. Imagine yourself in your favorite place, with the sun warming your back, sitting underneath a beautiful tree. The branches swaying slowly, the leaves gently fluttering in the breeze. Now, open your eyes and draw the tree on the back of the person in front of you. Make sure you draw the roots going deep into the ground. Now imagine you have a present to give your friend. Draw the present on their back. Now, whisper what the present is in your friend’s ear.
  • Chair Twist
  • One-Minute Relaxation – Think of your favorite tree. Now imagine that you can plant that tree in a special place. Go to that place, dig a hole and plant the tree. Imagine that you can see into the future and watch the tree grow tall.

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