July 12, 2019
By Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

Yoga Flow

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  • Students will be able to utilize yoga stretches to de-stress and calm their minds and bodies.
(10 minutes)
  • Invite students to join into a circle, either seated in chairs or on the floor.
  • Explain to the class that today, they will be exploring different ways to feel more calm or energized through yoga.
  • Ask the class what tools they know of that help them feel calm (e.g. mindfulness of breath, peace corner, slowing down, noticing sounds, etc.). Write their responses on the board.
  • Ask the class what helps them feel more energized (e.g. playing with a pet or friends, running, time outside, etc.). Again, write their responses on the board.
  • Explain that today, they will practise some yoga, or mindful movement poses. Tell them that yoga is a practise of breathing mindfully in different poses to de-stress, focus, and relax. There are different yoga poses that support calm, and there are some that help us feel more energized.
(5 minutes)
  • Guide the class to stand in Mountain Pose, and demonstrate it for them. As you breathe in, lift your arms up high. Keep your arms lifted and take a few breaths, and guide the class to do the same.
  • Ask the class if they think mountain pose will bring them more calmness or more energy. Have students reflect on how they feel and what they notice. Write students' ideas on the board, and offer some suggestions. (For example, you could say that lifting our spine and inhaling as we lift our arms can help us feel more energized.)
  • Stay standing, fold forward, and reach for your elbows for Rag Doll pose. Guide the class to do the same. Tell them to feel their breath here, and to let their heads gently hang and swing side to side.
  • Ask them to release their arms down to the floor and slowly roll up to standing. As they inhale, they should tuck their chin in towards their chest.
  • Come back into Mountain Pose.
  • Ask the students what they notice and how they feel. Ask, "Does Rag Doll pose support energy or calmness?" (Answer: Rag Doll pose supports calmness.)
  • Explain to the class that any time their hips are above their heart it can help them feel calm, since their heart rate slows down. Write this on the board for students to refer back to.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that later, they will be creating their own sequence or order of poses to guide someone else.
  • Ask for student volunteers to come up to the front of the class and demonstrate and guide the class in different yoga poses. Have them each pick one pose at a time from the Yoga for Energy or Calm worksheet.
  • Support each student as they guide the rest of the class in these poses.
  • After 6–8 students have led the class, ask, "What do you notice? How do you feel after the yoga poses?"
  • Ask the students which poses they thought were more energizing, and which they found relaxing.
  • Explain to students that they will now be going back to their seats to create their own sequence of yoga poses that they would like to teach someone else.
  • Tell them that after they come up with their sequence, they will teach it to someone else.
  • Review the Yoga for Energy or Calm worksheet's instructions.
  • Ask for a student volunteer.
  • Demonstrate to the class how you would choose a sequence of poses, and then teach the student volunteer your poses. Remind them to breathe in each pose.
  • Tell the class that they will also be reflecting on how they feel afterwards on their worksheets.
  • Ask the class if they have any questions.
(25 minutes)
  • Divide students into partners, and dismiss them back to their seats to complete the Yoga for Energy or Calm worksheet. Each student will be responsible for creating a yoga sequence and teaching it to their partner.

Enrichment:Allow students to come up with their own yoga poses to incorporate into their sequence. (Make sure to supervise and approve each pose for safety.)

Support:Create a sample yoga sequence, and give it to students who are struggling to come up with their own. They can be responsible for learning the sequence, then teaching it to their partner.

(5 minutes)
  • Observe students during the independent working time and as they teach their partners their yoga sequences.
  • Collect worksheets to assess students' understanding of how different yoga poses can support calmness or energy.
(5 minutes)
  • After all students have completed their Yoga for Energy or Calm worksheets, ask for a few student volunteers to share the energizing poses in their sequence. Then, ask for student volunteers to share calming poses from their worksheets.
  • Ask the class when and where they can use these yoga poses. (Example ideas: when they feel tense, in the peace corner, in between homework, when they are tired, first thing in the morning.)

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