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.
Bend forward with your arms hanging down.
Clasp your hands together, with fingers interlocked.
Walk around the room, bent over, and swinging your trunk.
After a minute, stretch your trunk high up into the air. Lean back and let out a big elephant sound like a horn!
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?
- 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.
- Mindful Breathing
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:
Take time for each, doing at least five full breaths each. You can also time each pose/movement for one minute. Allow two to five minutes for the Sea Turtle: Deep Relaxation pose at the end.
Studying one of the 50 great states in the U.S.? Take a tour by physically moving through the landmarks! For example, take a tour around Minnesota: walk across the Mississippi Headwaters in Itasca State Park, climb a white pine, walk tall with a moose, swim in one of the 14,000 lakes, play an instrument at Orchestra Hall, climb Eagle Mountain (the highest point in Minnesota), march up the steps at the State Capital and run around the Spoonbridge and Cherry in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Follow the curriculum for pictures and maps.
Before taking a test, send youth on a short walk through the hallways of the school. Ask them to take deep breaths as they walk (and remember, no talking!). After 5 minutes, return to the classroom to take the test.
Write names of various sports on pieces of paper (e.g. Basketball, soccer, bowling, baseball, swimming, etc.) Depending on the number of students, consider writing the same sport name on more than one piece of paper.
Lay the pieces of paper in a row on one end of a gym, large open space or an outdoor area.
Divide students into teams of 6 to 10.
One player (per team) at a time runs to the other end of the room or outdoor area, grabs a piece of paper and runs back to their team to act out the sport. (Remember, don’t let your teammates see what it says on the paper.)
When the team answers correctly, the next player runs and grabs a piece of paper and runs back to act out the sport. This continues until each team member has had a turn.
The team who finished first wins. This game is a good way for students to learn about a variety of sports.
Place the hula hoops into six separate areas of the gym. If hula hoops are not available, choose four corners and two middle areas of the gym. Label each hula hoop or area of the gym with the five food groups, (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein, plus one hula hoop for unhealthful food (to supplement the ‘Fast Food Alert’ lesson). Scatter the laminated food cards or photos throughout the gym. The goal is for students to run around the gym and sort the foods into the right food group.
For example, a photo of an orange goes in the fruit category. A photo of a steak goes in the meat category.
*For the Fast Food Alert lesson; have one more hula hoop labeled with unhealthful food and laminate fast food/unhealthful food for this hoop.
Play one school-appropriate song and encourage youth to move! Make sure they have enough room to move around the room. Show youth how to do the twist, jump, lawn mower, wave, water sprinkler and high knees.