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 last few cycles we have worked on backbends, which has been an interesting experience across classes. For some kids (mostly the girls) backbends come so naturally and they are itching to get into Wheel as soon as the word "backbend" comes out of my mouth. For other kids, they seem bewildered by the idea of stretching their bodies backward and its a risky understanding to move in that way. But I have to say - no matter the kid or the flexibility of their spine or the strength of their shoulder - this was the class that all seemed to enjoy the most. I opened it up more as a "lab" style class where I demonstrated the poses and then they practiced/played while I walked around to support (as opposed to a "flow" type class). For Shark (Locust) pose I held some of the kids legs down to help them stretch their shoulders and upper back more, which was an eye-opening experience for many of them as they lifted higher than they thought possible. For Wheel you could see the pride on kids' faces as they got up into the pose for the first time with my hands supporting their upper back. In fact this class was so much fun I did second round, focusing on the poses of Dancer, Bow, and Camel. Lots of laughter and learning in both rounds - I'll definitely revisit this practice!