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Name of Activity:
Purpose of Activity:To teach beginning yoga poses.
Suggested Grade Level:K-2
Yoga mats are helpful but not necessary
Hoberman sphere ("breathing ball")
-Yoga playlist - some calm instrumental music, as well as "Dance for the Sun" by Kira Willey (Yoga Songs for Kids, available on Spotify)
Description of Idea
Intro: Gather students at the center circle. Review that yoga is a great way for people to become more flexible and practice balance. It’s also a way to help them be more calm, manage big emotions, and feel strong.
When we do yoga, we all have our own mat, and we stay in our personal space on the mat. It’s important to listen and follow along with the teacher so you know what to do and how to do it safely. If something feels too hard, you can always do an easier version. In yoga we are quiet and calm, and we focus on taking deep breaths.
Have students transition to the yoga mats. I like to set them up in a circle like a sunburst (mats radiating outward like the rays of the sun) or in a rainbow formation (my mat at the center, two arched rows of mats spread out before me).
Breathing: Let’s all come over to our mat and we’re going to start today in pretzel pose (criss-cross applesauce, hands resting on knees). We’re going to start by calming our bodies and our minds and taking big breaths. (Show Hoberman sphere) I’m going to pass this Breathing Ball around to help us. This ball is like what your lungs are doing inside your body when you take deep, relaxing breaths - expanding and contracting. So all together, we are going to breathe in and out with the breathing ball. When I open it, breathe in with me, and when I close it, breath out. So I’ll start, we’ll all breathe together with me, then I’ll pass it on to ---, and we’ll all breathe with him/her, and we’ll keep passing it until everyone has had a turn. When you hear the chime, our yoga session begins.
Teach new poses: Sun Salutations
Mountain Pose (standing tall, feet rooted into the mat, hands by sides, palms facing out, deep breaths)
Hands up (stretch up high - wave to the sun)
Forward fold (hang down low - tickle your toes)
Plank (feet jump back - just like a frog - body flat like a log)
Upward dog (belly on the ground - just like a snake, look toward the sun)
Downward dog, then look at your hands, feet jump up - just like a frog
Forward Fold (hang down low - tickle your toes)
Rise (stretch up high - wave to the sun)
Play "Dance for the Sun" (several versions of this are on YouTube if you are using that platform to play music) on the speaker and lead students through Sun Salutations to match the words in the song.
Guided Rest: Savasana (You may lie on your side, on your back, on your belly. Lie as still and quiet as possible. Breathe calmly. You can close your eyes. When you hear the chime, you know it is time to open your eyes and sit up slowly.) (Guided meditation: scrunch up your face, relax it. Squeeze your fists and arm muscles, then relax them. Squeeze your leg muscles, then let them melt away slowly. Close your eyes and imagine that you are somewhere that makes you happy.)
Let students do the "Dance for the Sun" song a second time without you leading. See if they can follow along with the words in the song and do the poses when cued by the lyrics. This will help you know what poses you need to spend more time on later.
Yoga cards or printouts of the pictures of the poses can help students. Place the yoga cards or printouts of the poses on the mat right in front of the student so they can see them up close.
A classroom aide can support the student in getting into each pose and positioning his/her body as closely as possible to the pose.
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