Instructor: Kelly Gorder

Community: School Setting, 30 minutes

Plan Creation Date: March 30, 2016

Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Grounding

Class Intention: To increase student’s physical awareness and to develop an awareness of their abilities and needs. Help prepare students for learning and how to stay connected to their learning. The students are in a small group, quiet classroom setting with minimal distractions and have been working on developing rapport with one another. There will be quiet music playing and the lights will be turned off to increase comfort levels. Challenging behaviors include anxiety and lethargy. It will be a challenge to balance calming and energizing Yoga Calm techniques into this practice. Students are all on Individualized Education Plans and receive a variety of special education services.

Lesson Plan:


Breathing Techniques

  • Belly Breathing – 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 up and out when you breath in and that your hands go down 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.
  • Back Breathing (modified) – Now we are going to do the same thing but place our hands on our backs by our hips. Make everything feel heavy like you are a part of the earth. Breathe into your belly so that hands go out when you breath in and that 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.


Yoga Calm Top 10 (modified)­ to help with the calm yet energized state necessary for communicating effectively with others.

  • Mountain -­ Now we are going to pretend we are a mountain. Stand with your feet hip width apart, pointing straight ahead, and press them down into the earth. Hands can be down at your sides or palms together at your heart. Lift your belly, head and heart. Shoulders should be back and down. Look straight ahead. Your body is now activated. The top of your head should be reaching to the sky to feel the warmth of the sun and your feet should be pressed into the ground like a strong, heavy rock. Now I want you to pair up with your elbow buddy and make sure that there body is activated when in the Mountain pose. Practice standing slumped over versus standing up. If your partner presses on your shoulder from the side, what happens?
  • Roots­ – Now that you have done mountain we are going to try roots. What do roots do for a tree? They keep the tree in the ground. They also keep the tree centered. As we do this activity, think about what helps you to stay centered, focused or strong. At the end we are going to share, using our smooth, strong speech. Stand with your feet hip width apart. Rock your body back and forth slightly with your body activated and all four corners of your feet strongly on the ground. Make the rocking movement smaller and smaller until you balance on the center of your feet. Now rock side to side then return to center. Make big, strong circles to the right. Think about how you have to shift your weight to each of the four corners of your feet. Start to make your circles smaller and smaller until you come back to center. Make big circles to the left now feeling each of the four corners of your left foot. Then make the circles smaller and smaller until back at center.
  • Tree­ – From 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?
  • Star­ – From standing, take feet wide apart­ about 3 to 4 feet and point toes straight ahead. Take arms out to the sides and parallel to the floor. Activate or firm your muscles and extend out through arms, legs, head and tail. Spread your fingers out like a ray of sun.
  • Triangle­ – Stand with your legs wide apart­ about 3 to 4 feet. Activate and straighten arms and legs. Turn your left foot in slightly to the right and your right foot all the way out to the right. Lift your arms up and parallel to the floor. Now, shift your upper body to right and windmill your arms over, taking the right hand to the shin, ankle or knee. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling. Press out through your legs, arms, and top of head like we did in Star. Why are triangles strong? What makes them grounded? What is the shape of a mountain? What makes a mountain strong?


  • Back Breathing -­ Find your elbow buddy and one of you will get into Child pose while the other partner will kneel alongside and place their hands gently on your elbow buddy’s back. For the partner in child pose, breathe slowly into your lower back and into your partner’s hands. Feeling the rise and fall like waves in an ocean. Keep breathing until you hear the chime. Move your hands up to mid back and repeat until you hear the chime. Now move your hands to your upper back and repeat. Switch roles.
  • One Minute Exploration­ – Rest your head on the desk or lie on the floor. I want you to picture yourself on the top of a mountain. How did you feel as you looked from the bottom of the mountain to the summit? What did you say to yourself to keep yourself focused? How did you feel when you reached the top? What does it look like from the summit versus the bottom? Look at all the trees down below. Think about how they are all grounded to the earth by their roots. Who helps keep you grounded and safe? Think about the waves in the ocean that you can see from the top of the mountain. Remember what it felt like to breathe in and out like the waves of that ocean. Lie there quietly until you hear the chime. Give me a thumbs up when you can no longer hear the chime.

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