Leg Lifts (3 ways)


1) Ask youth to pull their chairs out from their desks and sit in their chairs. Remind them to sit up straight, while holding onto the sides of their chairs. Then ask them to bring both of their legs up (keeping their ankles together and legs straight) and extend their legs as high as they are able. Hold at the top, do a small “pump” action and lower legs back to the floor. Repeat 15 times.

2) Ask the youth to stand behind their chairs, holding the back for balance. Then ask them to bring their right leg out to the side to a 45-degree angle. Hold at the top, do a small “pump” action and lower leg back to the floor. Repeat 15 times. Switch legs.

3) Repeat #2, lifting leg behind to a 45-degree angle.

Modification Option

Seated Options: Leg kicks, seated marching, moving legs apart and together (adding theraband for resistance)

Clean a Mess


After a messy art project involving paper, place four waste baskets around the room (one in each corner). Ask youth to clean up the mess by crumpling up the paper and shooting the paper balls into the waste baskets. Youth must be standing before making a basket. The game is over when all paper is picked up (including any paper around the baskets, floor and desks).

Quick Posture Check


Ask youth to stand up and clasp their own hands together. Then ask them to take a deep breath in, turn their palms out and breathe out as they stretch their arms away and in front of their bodies. Encourage them to stretch their shoulder blades apart while bringing their chins down to their chests. When they are ready to breathe in again, ask them to move their shoulders up, then roll them back and down, as they release their hands and bring them down to their sides. Continue breathing. Finish by asking them to raise their heads to look up at you and slightly tuck their chins in (as if their head is a drawer, sliding into a dresser). Repeat. Important: Make sure youth are maintaining a good posture. To do a posture check, ask youth to stand against a wall. Their heels, hips, shoulders and the back of their heads should all be touching the wall. Ask them to tuck their chins in slightly, hold the position and step away from the wall.

Follow the Leader


When youth are in a single-file line (on the way to lunch, gym, music class, etc.), have the leader make a gesture as he or she starts walking (example: raising arms above head and bringing them back down to the side). Make sure each gesture is something that can be done as the youth walk. After the leader finishes the gesture, the next person in line follows by doing the same gesture (the “domino effect”). The next person can do the gesture only after the person ahead has finished. When the leader thinks everyone has had a chance to move, he or she can start the next move; however, the leader can choose how long to wait before starting the next move. A small break between moves can be more fun! The line can also move in an s-shaped pattern.

Yoga For Any Room! Animal Pose: Sea Turtle Relaxation


Lie on the floor on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides. Or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on your desk or lap.

The palms of your hands are facing up and resting on the floor, desk or lap.

Close your eyes and breathe gently.

Focus on your breath and allow any thoughts or distractions to come to you and just let them go, refocusing on your breath.

Sometimes you might need a word to focus on, or a favorite place to imagine like lying or sitting on a beach. Imagine the warm sand, the hot sun and the cool breeze off the water. Your breath sounds like the waves! As you breathe in, listen! It sounds like the waves coming up to the shore. As you breathe out, imagine the waves going back out to sea. Keep breathing with the waves for another minute or two.

Yoga For Any Room! Animal Pose: Relaxed Monkey Pose


Kneel on the floor on your knees, and then sit back on your heels. If you are sitting in a chair, keep your feet flat on the floor.
Lean forward and stretch your arms forward to the ground. Continue stretching as far as you can. Can you touch your forehead to the floor? If you are sitting on a chair, just reach down to the floor as far as you can.
Stretch your arms out as far as they will go, allow your body to relax.
Take in big monkey breaths, feel your chest rise with each breath in and your chest relax toward the floor with each breath out, breathe in and out at your own pace. Relax for a minute.

Star Burst


Students start in a squatting position, knees directly over ankles. On command, they jump up reaching both hands high into the air and slightly outward.  At the same time their legs should come off the ground and then land in a jumping jack position. The burst of energy makes the body look like a rocket or star bursting in the sky.  Have them return to squatting position, rest for 5 seconds and burst upward again.