Instructor: Kelly Gorder
Community: School Setting, 30 minutes
Plan Creation Date: March 30, 2016
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Strength
Class Intention: To increase student’s physical, mental and emotional strength specifically related to fluency and stuttering. I want to work on increasing their confidence to express their emotions, focus on their breathing and develop positive self talk. 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. All students have been identified to have needs in the area of stuttering, learning disabilities and/or anxiety.
- Hoberman Sphere Breathing – Today I want you to notice how you feel before we focus on our breathing. Where do you feel your breath? Is it shallow or is it deep? Now as we use the breathing ball, I want you to notice how watching your breath also slows your mind, it can also help to slow your speech and increase your strength to use smooth speech. Who would like to hold the ball? Who would like to count? Remember at the end, we will give each person a compliment. Are you ready to start? How many breaths should we take? How does the ball act like our speech? If we expand the ball too much, it gets stuck, just like our words if we use too long of a phrase. We want to use a phrase that is four to six words in length. Let’s see if we can breath in for four counts and breath out for four counts. Compliments.
- 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?. Do you think your pulse will be faster or slower if we ran in place for 60 seconds? Let’s see if we are right. Run in place for 60 seconds. Ready. Set. Go. Stop. Feel your pulse and count how many beats you get in 30 seconds. Was your number bigger or smaller than the first time after we completed our breathing? Feel the pulse slow down. We can change our heartbeat, the way our body feels and our speech by what we choose to do. We can use our tools from our toolbox to help up become stronger.
Yoga Based Movement: Yoga Calm Top 10 (modified) to help with the calm yet energized state necessary for communicating effectively with others.
- Volcano Breath – Deep breath in and fill your body with strong, powerful air while raising your hands from your heart up over your head. Then exhale with a calm, relaxing, smooth breath out as your arms back down to your sides. Let go of any emotions that may be holding on to your heart, throat, head, teeth or tongue.
- Woodchopper - Pretend you have an ax lifted high above your head. How heavy is that axe? How strong does that make you to lift the weight of that ax? As we chop the wood in front of us think of using a light onset but powerful breath for our strong exhale using the “huh” sound as the ax meets the log.
- 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. Pretend they are stuck in the spring mud. 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. This is how we should prepare our body before we speak. Now close your eyes and think of a time when you were strong: changing schools, meeting a new friend, going onto WHEN news to talk about Stuttering. When was a time that you were strong? What helped you to feel strong?
- 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.
- Modified Dancer – Now we are going to push ourselves a little further. We are going to try a new pose that will help calm, clear and focus our mind. When we are able to concentrate, then our speech will be able to come on clear and strong too. Stand with feet hip width apart. Shift your weight to the right foot. Left the left foot behind and hold it with your left hand. When in balance and feeling strong, raise the right arm. Look straight ahead focusing on a spot on the wall to help you balance. As you are standing I want you to repeat, “I am strong. I am in control. I can use smooth speech. I can do it.” Repeat on the other side.
- Seated Twist – We have been standing for a long time. We are going to sit in our chairs and do our seated twist. Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, hip width apart. Press down through your feel and sit bones, and stretch up through the top of your head like you have a string pulling you up to the clouds. Take your left hand across to your right knee and place your right hand on the back of your chair. Smoothly and slowly, turn your belly, heart and head toward the back of the chair. Inhale and lengthen the spine, Exhale and twist. Shoulders stay back and down. Repeat on the other side.
- Strong Voice – Remember during the time we were standing when I asked you about feeling strong? Well, we all have a strong voice. I am going to read you a list of questions that I want you to think about and then we will share our responses.
Can you find a strong voice inside of you? Where do you feel the strong voice in your body? Is the voice loud or soft? Does the voice make you think of someone? What does the voice say? What can you do to find your strong voice when you are angry, hurt, afraid or nervous? When do you need your strong voice? Your homework tonight is to draw a picture of yourself feeling strong. What words would you want to say?