Yoga Mornings: Balance with Sun Salutations

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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.

After Winter break, I wanted to reinforce the poses of Sun Salutations with my morning groups and revisit this incredibly beneficial and fundamental sequence of asanas.  We spent the first week just going through the postures for Sun Salutation A. However, the second week I added a twist, by introducing balancing postures throughout.  We did three rounds of Sun Salutation A, with increasingly challenging balances added to Plank pose. On the first round, instead of plank, students came to tabletop and lifted opposite arms/legs, and then lifted back to plank to continue the sequence.  On the second round, students stayed in plank but lifted one leg at a time and the opposite arm if they felt steady, before lowering both feet/hands and continuing with the sequence.  On the third round, students lifted one leg in plank and lowered to the ground for Cobra with one leg lifted (and then repeated with the other leg before coming back to Forward Fold to finish the sequence).  We walked through each of the balancing poses first before integrating them into the sequence.

This was a GREAT 20-minute class, as it provided challenges for all levels of students and reinforced the idea of a drishti (concentration) point.  And it was super fun :)  

Disclaimer: I did not do this class with my first-graders and I probably would have modified the last sequence a bit for them - but it was appropriately-paced for 2nd grade and up.