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.
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.
When you first start learning yoga and the poses keep your eyes open. As you get more comfortable with the poses, you may want to close your eyes and focus on how your body is feeling.
Focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose. Breathe out through your mouth.
All poses can be done sitting in a chair or on the floor (if you have enough space). Make sure each student or child has enough space around them to fully stretch their arms and legs.
Each pose should last for at least three full breaths. (One full breath is breathing in and breathing out.)
Always end yoga with a short relaxation exercise of just breathing, at least five full breaths.
Encourage the students to focus on their breaths and how their body feels.
Breathing is an automatic reflex. You don’t even have to think about it – it just happens! But being aware of your breath can help you feel more relaxed. An easy way to be more mindful is thinking about when you smell your favorite scent. Smelling is actually taking in a deep breath on purpose.
Birthday Balloons and Candles Sit with your legs crossed (feet flat on the floor if you are sitting in a chair) and your back straight. Breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your lungs like a balloon. Imagine seeing your birthday cake with all its bright candles. Blow them out by breathing out strongly through your mouth.
Depending on how much time you have, you can take your students just through the mindful breathing and add in the Moon Walk Yoga activity to engage right and left brain thinking.
Optional: Do eight of our Power Charger yoga poses/movements in order:
Lie on your stomach on the floor. If you are sitting in a chair, sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
Put your hands on the floor under your shoulders. If you are sitting in a chair, put your hands on your knees or desk.
Stretch your upper body up high, with your arms straight and your stomach resting on the ground. If you are sitting, lean forward slightly, push your hands against your knees or desk and push your shoulders back to look up slightly, keep your neck as straight and in-line with your spine.
Stretch your head as far up as you can and HISS! Feel the stretch in your spine.
You are a very fierce cobra snake!
Keep stretching and breathing in and out, and make a hissing sound when you breathe out, continue this breathing and hissing for a minute.
If you are on the floor, breathe in and lift your “tail” (feet) up by bending your knees. Try to bring your head and “tail” (feet) close together. Can they touch each other?
Pass out one hacky sack (often called a footbag) to each student. Explain and demonstrate the basic concept of using their feet, legs and head to keep the bag off of the floor.
Hands are only used to start the movement of the hacky sack, but shouldn’t be used once the bag is in motion. Once the students have had a few minutes to experiment with the hacky sack, tell them to pair up with another student or two. Have each group try to use the hacky sack between their group members. Remind the students to count the number of times it hits a body part before falling to the floor.
Other variations include:
• The person who can keep the hacky sack in motion the longest wins.
• The person who was able to bounce the hacky sack off of the most body parts wins.
• Challenge a group of three or more to pass it to each participant at least once before it hits the ground.