Yoga Mornings are quick 15-20 minute yoga classes that engage kids in movement and mindfulness while having fun. These classes are designed to fit into my school's Start Smart program which designates the first 15 minutes of each day to be dedicated to some sort of physical activity. I work with lower grades (1-2) and upper grades (3, 4, and 5) each week. Each grade level focuses on the same types of poses, but they are modified for the different ages as needed.
These next two cycles of Yoga Mornings are focusing on the foundational poses of the Warriors (One, Two and Three). To help the kids make a connection between the breath and the focus needed for these poses, we started with alternate nostril breathing. While the demonstration and initial practice of course feels a little strange for the kids, they seem to get the pattern and movements a bit more on the second round. We talked about how this is a great breathing exercise to do when feeling nervous, worried, or anxious as it calms the mind and helps increase concentration/focus. We are going to continue working on this in the next cycle as well.
We went over each pose individually on the first round, and then put them into a flow practice. As always, the first side was a little tricky, but by the second side, they got the hang of it. We have talked about finding your drishti point for focus before, so the kids recognized the lingo and were able to find their balance so much quicker. A 5th grade teacher told me later that her students were really proud of themselves after their Yoga Morning time as they could already feel improvements after just a few classes! And just this morning as I worked with a group of 2nd graders, I could already see how their concentration during Yoga Mornings had improved and how quickly they took to the poses and the flow.