Instructor: Margaret Craford
Community: Secondary School/Young Adult Ages, School Setting?
Plan Creation Date: December 13, 2013
Yoga Calm Principle/Lesson Goal: Strength
Academic/Therapeutic/Other Goals: Self-conﬁdence, appropriate touch
Props/Music Resources Required: CD Anjali, Hoberman sphere, drum, singing bowl
- Belly Breathing – Standing Hoberman – 5 breaths w/ leader, drummer – Sometimes when we doubt our strength and feel weak, it is as if we have left our bodies. Our breath becomes shallow. Letʼs take ﬁve slow breaths, pausing at the top before exhalation. Two compliments each for drummer and leader from class. Note: A third leader may be added to count the breath and set the cadence for the drum.
- Back Breathing from Childʼs Pose – 2 to 5 minutes – When we build a strong community with a foundation of trust, we are able to give and draw strength from others. Breathe into your partnerʼs hands. Feel the warmth of their hands like the sun rising upon your back.
- Alternate Leg/Arm Kicks – 3 minutes – 20 to 30 seconds each side, repeating 3 xʼ s, Sometimes we need to shake off the thing which limits us. We need to extend ourselves, rather than waiting for what we desire to come to us. Lifting the belly, lengthen yourself from head to toe, keeping the extended leg and arm parallel to the ﬂoor. Reach for what is important.
- Arm Swings – 1 to 2 min (Satya) – Have you ever had difﬁculty beginning a task? Were you afraid? Did you lack conﬁdence? Now as you stand, ﬁnd the four corners of your feet, lift and open your chest. As you follow your breath, imagine your arms pulling you up the side of a building like Spiderman. Propel yourself with each breath, saying, “I am strong. I am in control. I can do it. I can be responsible.” Continue to follow your breath, keep your palms open to scooping up the energy you need for strength. Listen for your strong voice, pausing at the top of your breath. Allow your arms to ﬂow smoothly in sync with your breath. Leader models movement and leads afﬁrmations.
- Shoulder Clock – 3 minutes, switch sides (Surya Namaskar) – Strong people manage their time well and recognize their limitations. Their strength frees them to know when to ask for help from others, with open hearts & minds. Partner/leaders may model and pace the pose.
- Roots – 1 minute – Take this moment to ground yourself on the four corners of your feet. Remembering the shoulder clock you made with your partner, with your arms resting gently at your side, rock clockwise. Begin with a large circle, then moving closer and closer to the core of your being. Now I invite you to rock counter clockwise. Explore which feels more comfortable to you. Then come gently back to center. Which direction did you prefer? We each have our own path.
- Warrior I – 5 minutes – Two leaders model, facing one another – Pair up and face each other. Find strength in bearing witness to the strength in one another. Imagine you are a car traveling through the desert, The road is long and straight. Imagine your hips are headlights, guiding your way. Keeping your body facing forward, the forward knee over your leading foot, as you lift your belly, head and heart. In which ways do you wish to become stronger? Now taking a deep, cleansing breath, pull that wish from within and shoot it through your ﬁngertips as you lengthen – I run marathons. Before each race, I come practice Warrior ll. Ask yourself, “What can I do to prepare myself for the things which challenge me?” Now think of the people who support and encourage them. Take them into your heart to strengthen you. Now as you open your stance, open your heart. What gifts do you bring to the world? Pull the wisdom of your ancestors into your breath, expand into the universe, and share those gifts, knowing you are strong.
- Relaxation/Imagination Exploration – 5 min – You have traveled far. Lying on your back, lengthen your spine. Wiggle your toes and relax your feet. Let your hands rest gently like fall leaves upon the ﬂoor beside you. They have served you well on this journey. You might have made new friends, learned a new skill, or perhaps you fell short of the expectations of yourself and others. Coming back into your body, return to this moment. Feel the weight of your body fall into the ﬂoor. Relax your jaw. Breathe. Tomorrow affords fresh opportunity. Let your body leave the weight of this day upon the ground. Lift your chest and open your heart to second growth. John Steinbeck wrote, “And now that you donʼt have to be perfect, you can be good.” Jane Goodall tells us, “What you do makes a difference. What kind of difference is up to you. (30 second) silent reﬂective pause, rise to the strike of the singing bowl.