Yoga can be a great break from the classroom routine
Let's face it. Life is tough and, more than ever, people are searching for ways to get stronger both mentally and physically. While avoiding fatty diets and workouts may temporarily grab headlines, some of our best options may have been around for ages. Along with all the other trends, ancient practices such as yoga and mindful meditation have garnered renewed interest with many finding modern and inventive ways to elevate their practice. Indeed, everything old can be new again.
Core Power Yoga encourages "mindful leadership" and has created techniques for not only managing the classroom but also improving job satisfaction. Classroom yoga can be a great way to calm down and focus... for grown-ups AND for kids. That's why we love yoga. Crowded schedules and crowded classrooms can't get in their way!
Teachers are hearing about the benefits of yoga:
- increases strength and flexibility
- helps them relax, unwind, and calm down to reduce stress and anxiety
- helps them sleep better
- promotes interaction between adult and child, as well as between multiple children
- improves their fine and gross motor skills, as well as their coordination
- develops self-confidence, self-expression, and body awareness
- promotes a healthy, active lifestyle
Kids can try these yoga practices right at their desks:
Bunny Breath: Taking big breaths will re-energize the body and wake up the brain. Inhale 3 sips of air through your nose and exhale 1 long breath through your mouth. Repeat a few times.
Flying Breath: Add movement to your breath to stretch the whole body. Start with your arms dangling at your sides. Inhale through your nose and raise your arms. Get tall and take up space. Breathe out through your nose and let your arms float back to your sides. Repeat a few times.
Neck Circles: We hold tension in our neck - let it go! Pretend you have a witch's hat on and draw circles on the ceiling with the tip of the hat. Go both directions. Now do the same thing with your long, pointy witch's nose. Draw a circle with the tip of your nose, both directions.
Shoulder Circles: Relieve stress stored in the shoulders. Roll shoulders forward and backward, using fluid movements, several times in each direction.
Wrist Stretches: Especially important when doing a lot of writing or typing. Extend the right arm in front with the pam flexed (like the "stop" gesture). Interlace the fingers with the left hand and gently pull the right fingers back. Release and point the right fingers down. Grasp the fingers with the left hand, and gently pull again. Repeat on the other side.
Cat Stretches: Re-energize your spine (which wakes up your mind). Grasp the back of the chair's seat with both hands. Roll the shoulders back to extend the collarbones and open the chest. Pull as much as is comfortable with your hands to initiate a mini-backbend. Then, reverse the curve by grasping the front of the seat with your hands between your thighs. Keeping the arms straight, curl the chest toward the pelvis, the spine to the sky. Repeat with the breath - inhaling hands behind and exhaling hands front.
Half Moon: Raise both arms to the ceiling, keeping shoulders down. Grasp the right wrist with the left hand. Now lean to the left, feeling the ribs open on the right side, being sure to keep the heart facing the front. Hold for 3 breaths. Repeat on the other side.