September 27, 2013

How to Start a Classroom Yoga Routine

Awhile back I mentioned how much I love to do yoga in the classroom with my kids, and I had a couple comments asking to hear more.  I tell the kids all the time that everything we do is ON PURPOSE in the classroom--in other words, if I'm having us do something, there's a reason for it.  I have a few reasons for our afternoon yoga--first, it's a perfect reset after lunch.  We rush around all day, and even lunch time really isn't a break for the kids.  They rush to eat, rush out to the playground, rush back inside...taking 5 minutes after lunch to breathe deeply and reset is much-needed for all of us.  Second, I love the quick opportunity to embed a tiny bit of exercise into the day.  If you've read my blog at all, you know I'm an athlete now as an adult.  But honestly, I was never any sort of athlete until my twenties!  I wish I'd been introduced to more non-team, non-competitive sports as a kid.  I figure if I share yoga with the kids now, maybe a few will find a way to keep fit later in life that they didn't know about before.  Long shot, but with the health crisis in the country these days, what harm can it do??

Here's how it works:
I project this on the board during our "practice" and play quiet music

After lunch, my kids wait out in the hall with their lunch supervisor until they hear me begin to play music.  Then, they know that they can silently walk in and either find a place on the carpet for yoga or put their heads down and take a few relaxing minutes at their seat.  (We are still practicing entering quietly this year...)  We then start going through our yoga "flows."  I practice vinyasa yoga, so that's basically what I do with the kids.  I taught them a series of 2 poses at the beginning of the year, and we have added on a little bit.  By the end of last year, the kids were doing a series of about 10 poses!  They loved it.  We will build to that again this year. :)

If you aren't familiar with yoga, watch a youtube video of the Sun Salutation; that's basically what I'm doing with my kids.  Here are the poses we will "flow through":
  • Standing, hands at heart center
  • Forward fold
  • Hop back to plank
  • Lower plank to floor; push up into cobra pose
  • Push back into downward dog
  • Step forward into Warrior 1
  • Open to Warrior 2
  • Hands back to the floor for plank
  • Repeat on other side
We also end with tree pose usually--the kids' favorite.  This is also a great opportunity to talk about trying your best, and how if you fall out of the pose, just try it again.  Great life lessons from yoga!

The whole thing takes literally less than 5 minutes.  It was seamless with my class last year, and I feel like it was so beneficial.  While my new class is not quite there yet, we will get there!


  1. That is cool. I really need to get back to yoga.

  2. I just started back with yoga too. I found my favorite teacher again!


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