Instructor: Kelly Gorder

Community: School Setting, 30 minutes

Plan Creation Date: March 31, 2016

Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Community

Class Intention: To increase student’s understanding of compassion and caring for one another. To help students learn to express their emotions and demonstrate respect for one another. The students are in a small group, quiet classroom setting with minimal distractions and have been working on developing rapport with one another. Challenging behaviors include anxiety and difficulty establishing and maintaining friendships. Students are all on Individualized Education Plans and receive a variety of special education services.

Lesson Plan:


Breathing Techniques

  • Belly Breathing – with Hoberman Sphere: Feel the weight of your body in your chair and place your hands on your belly. Make everything feel heavy. Breathe into your belly so that hands go out when you breath in and your hands go in when you breathe out. Who would like to be the leader? How many breaths should we take? Do you want to use the breathing ball too? Compliments
  • Compliment Game – This game is a little different than most games you have played before. We are going to form a large circle by connecting arms. One of you will come into the center of the circle, while the rest of us take turns giving compliments. During this game you earn friendship points by making eye contact, saying the person’s name and giving specific compliments. (Give an example of a general non­specific compliment and a specific compliment) The person in the center can earn points by looking back at the person and thank them for their words.


Yoga Based Movement

  • Personal Space­ – Sometimes when we make friends we forget about personal space. That is the bubble that surrounds our body that we can choose to have people enter or stay outside. We are going to work on identifying our own personal space and to accept that we are all different. We are also working on identifying our feelings and reading other people’s nonverbal communication skills. We are going to form two lines facing each other. One line will walk toward the other until each student comes to the boundary of another’s personal space. How should we let the other person know that they are at the right distance for your personal space? What defines our personal space? ­how well two people know each other, hygiene, gender, how a person feels, height, family, culture. What cues should we look for to know that the other person is starting to feel uncomfortable? ­ laughing, turning face away, leaning way back, blushing, avoiding eye contact, etc.
  • Trust Walk­ – Part of good communication and friendship is trusting one another. We are going to play a game that will help us build trust in each other. First I will show you how you will lead each other around the room, then you will take turns leading and following. When you are being led around the room you will have your eyes closed. Your partner will guide you by holding onto your pointer finger with your pointer finger. What are some things you will need to pay attention to while you are leading your partner? (facial expression, nonverbal cues, movement, watching their feet) You will have a surprise partner. Half of you will get up, find a place to stand in the room and close your eyes. The other half will quietly find a partner. Do not talk or laugh because we want to surprise each other at the end. I will have some music playing quietly, make sure you are listening carefully. When the music stops, stop where you are and open your eyes. Let’s try it.
  • Tree -­ Next we are going to move into Mountain, stand with your legs and feet together. Shift your weight onto your left foot. Slowly bend your right knee and draw your foot up, placing the sole as high up as it is available to you (demonstrate kickstand at the ankle, shin or thigh) without strain. Activate your body like we did in the mountain pose and press your standing leg down, rooting yourself like a tree to the earth. Find all four corners of your foot. Press your palms together in front of your heart to help with balance. Then, stretch your arms and head up like branches to the sky, while rooting your standing leg. If you fall out of the pose, it’s ok. Find your strength to come back to the pose and ground your body to the earth again. Repeat on the other leg.
  • Tree Challenge­ – Find your elbow buddy again and face each other. One of you will stand in Tree and the other will try to challenge their balance by jumping, waving, clapping and so on. You can not touch or blow on your elbow buddy. Switch standing leg, repeat, and then partners switch roles. When did you feel safe? When do you feel like you might need a little support? Who helps support you? Who keeps you grounded? What do they do that helps you to stay grounded?
  • Tree Circle­ – Now we are going to make a circle by standing about 3 feet apart and, facing in. We are going to raise both arms and stretch them out, fingers pointing up. Place hands together with the person on each side and lift your right leg up in Tree pose finding what is available to you. Can you raise your leg higher with the support of your friends? Can you stand grounded and stronger being connected to your support system? Friends help us to feel connected and supported. Now let’s try it without touching hands. What does it feel like this time? Are you still as strong? Are you still as grounded? Which felt better to you? Next time we try this we will add some animals to our forest and see if we can still stay connected and supported in our forest.


  • Back Drawing­ – We are going to sit on the ground with our legs crossed and make our circle a little smaller. We have worked so hard that we have all earned a reward and since it is spring we need a little rain storm.. We are going to start by placing your hands gently on the back of the person in front of you. Begin by making rain on the person’s back by gently tapping the back. Now, make it rain all the way down the back by gliding your fingers gently down their back. It’s starting to thunder­ but remember we are safe because we are supported by our friends in our forest and trees need rain to continue to grow. Gently tap your friend’s back. Now I see lightning. Draw lightning on your friend’s back. There are big, puffy clouds. Brush those clouds away by sweeping your hand across the back. Hooray! The sun is coming out. Draw a big sun with a smiley face and sunglasses. Now place both palms on the back in front of you. Close your eyes and feel the warm hands on the person behind you. Imagine yourself in your favorite place with the sun warming your back. When the sun comes out, the grass turns green and the flowers begin to grow. Draw a flower for your friend. Finally, draw a gift for your friend and tell your friend quietly what you gave them.
  • Pulse Count­ – Pulse Count for 30 seconds: This is something new for us. We are going to count our pulse. Does anyone know how to check a pulse? Place your pointer finger and middle finger on your cheek, then slide your fingers down your face to your neck and stop right where it gets soft. Can you feel a beating in your neck? Show me a thumbs up when you found it. Let’s see how many beats we can count in 30 seconds. What did you get? Think about how you feel right now. Supported, calm, special… breathe the way you want to feel for the rest of the day.

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