Yoga Mornings: Sun Salutations

sun1.jpeg

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.

These first two weeks of the Start Right Yoga Mornings with students focus on the much loved Sun Salutations.  There are some great songs/chants that you can use to guide Sun Salutations, especially for younger kids.  I was inspired by my OmSchooled teacher Sarah Herrington's chant to make up my own, which are below.  There are loads more ideas on Google - check it out!

For all grades, we started out by practicing some of the fundamental poses that we will flow through in a Sun Salutation.  This includes Mountain Pose, Standing Forward Fold,  Downward Dog, and jumping/walking from Downward Dog to the front of the mat,  We also reviewed cat/cow for the little ones (see below) and plank/cobra for the older kids (see below).  A Word document with the below lesson plans can be found here.

 Grades 1 and 2

Breath: begin with three sun breaths; Om on the third exhale

Connect: Explain that we honor the sun because it gives us light and warmth, and it helps plants and trees grow tall.  The sun gives us rainbows and beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  The sun adds all the color to the world.

Move: Demonstrates individual poses (mountain, forward fold, downward dog, cat/cow, jumping to the front, and extended mountain). Walk students through each pose on its own before moving to another one.

Focus/Flow: Put the poses into a Sun Salutation flow using the below chant

Arms up high 

Arms down low 

Walk your feet back 

Nice and slow 

Stretch like a dog 

Ruff Ruff Ruff 

Stretch like a cow 

Moo Moo Moo 

Stretch like a cat

Meow Meow Meow 

Back to dog 

Jump to the start 

Arms up high 

Hands to heart 

Sit on the final "hands to heart"

Relax:  Have students put their hands on their heart and walk them through a mini-meditation

Imagine you are outside in a big open field.  It is a beautiful day.  The grass feels soft under your feet and the sky looks the bluest you've ever seen it.  As you walk further into the field  you look up and notice the sun.  It is bright and shining and you feel your whole body start to get warm under the sun's rays.  You notice the trees and flowers growing a little taller as the sun shines on them.  You feel so happy and peaceful with the sun watching over you and taking care of the earth. You smile at the sun and whisper "thank you" in gratitude for all the sun does for is.

Close with one sun breath and Om

Grades 4-5 

Breath: begin with three sun breaths; Om on the third exhale

Connect: Explain that we honor the sun because it gives us light and warmth, and it helps plants and trees grow tall.  The sun gives us rainbows and beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  The sun adds all the color to the world.

Move: Demonstrates individual poses (mountain, forward fold, downward dog, plank, cobra, jumping to the front, and extended mountain). Walk students through each pose on its own before moving to another one.

Once upon a time there was a bright sun (mountain pose)

Every morning he rises up in the sky (extended Mountain pose)

And every evening he sets behind the earth (standing forward fold)

When Sun sets, he walks behind a mountain  (downward dog)

And settles in for a good nights sleep (plank to floor)

Right before morning, Sun's best friend Cobra wakes him (cobra)

Sun lifts himself up behind the mountain (back to downward dog)

Jumps to the earth (jump/walk to forward standing fold)

And rises again (stand up with arms extended, extended mountain pose)

High into the sky (hands to heart)

Relax:  Have students put their hands on their heart and walk them through a mini-meditation

Focus/Flow: Put the poses into a Sun Salutation flow using the below story

Imagine you are outside in a big open field.  It is a beautiful day.  The grass feels soft under your feet and the sky looks the bluest you've ever seen it.  As you walk further into the field  you look up and notice the sun.  It is bright and shining and you feel your whole body start to get warm under the sun's rays.  You notice the trees and flowers growing a little taller as the sun shines on them.  You feel so happy and peaceful with the sun watching over you and taking care of the earth. You smile at the sun and whisper "thank you" in gratitude for all the sun does for is.

Close with one sun breath and Om