Mindfulness 2017-05-19T14:53:09+00:00

MINDFULNESS

Relaxation

Expectations:

  • Lay as still as possible on your back.  (Legs are fully extended, arms fully extended down towards hips, eyes may be open or closed)
  • Try your best to not distract a neighbor. (Take this time for yourself to refocus for the rest of your day).
  •  During relaxation your belly should gently rise and fall with every inhale and exhale.

Goal: Is to breathe.  Let go of any tension, stress, anxiety, worries that you may be feeling.  Simply inhale and exhale. (I often say, “The only thing I should notice right now is your breath.  I may see your belly rise for five long, slow seconds and lower for five seconds”).

Relaxation songs:

  • Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles or Nina Simone
  • Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

If you are able, consider taking your yoga practice outside.  I often have students tune into nature and ask them after relaxation what they may have heard or felt during relaxation. For example, if they felt the sun, wind or itchy grass; if they heard birds singing, an airplane, or a lawnmower.  This is often generates an enlightening discussion about stopping or slowing our minds down and being present in the moment.

How to progress the time of relaxation:

For Grades K-3 start with 1 minute.  Weekly add 15 seconds as needed.

Students may finish an 8-10 week class at 2 minutes and thirty seconds.

As students get older, a group may be able to actively relax for up to 5 minutes!

Seated Meditation

Expectations:

  • Try to sit as calm and still as possible.
  • Focus on your body. (Eyes may be open or closed).
  • Try your best not to distract a neighbor from their learning.

During this activity, lead students through a progressive relaxation from their toes to head.  Key points are to breathe while being cued to use flexion and extension to major muscle groups.

Activity:  Read the following at a slow pace in a calm voice.

  • Find a comfortable seat. Feet are resting quietly on the floor. Legs and feet are uncrossed.
  • Starting with our feet. Give your toes the tightest squeeze, squeeze harder, and let go.
  • Inhale and exhale.
  • Next, bring your attention to your leg muscles.  Squeeze them. Squeeze tighter. Let go.
  • Next, bring your attention to your back and belly muscles. Focusing on our breath.  Inhaling and Exhaling. Notice your body is starting to become heavy.  Feeling warm and relaxed.
  • Next focus on your hands. Squeeze the muscles in your fingers and hands. Squeeze tight and let go.
  • Next, your shoulder and arm muscles.  Bring your shoulders up to your ears. Squeeze your muscles tight and exhale let go.
  • Inhaling, filling up our bellies and exhaling.
  • Lastly, we’ll finish up with your head and face.  Squish all the muscles in your face. Squeeze them tight, exhale let go.
  • Excellent job.  Continue to inhale and exhale at a nice slow pace.  When your body feels ready, slowly lift your head up, open your eyes and give your attention to your teacher.