Welcome! Today’s mindful intention is balance –balancing our energy and letting go of tightness held within our mind and body. Tammy’s class can be used as a full lesson plan or as mini mindful breaks throughout the day. Enjoy! Have fun connecting, being silly and present!
Sit on your knees with hips resting on your heels, and put your hands on your knees. Sit up straight and inhale through your nose. Lean forward, bend your elbows, and as you exhale open your mouth wide, stick out your tongue as far as you can toward your chin.
As you exhale, make the sound of a lion, but keep your mouth open wide, and tongue stretching. As you inhale, sit back up straight again, and repeat. Do this lion breath 3-5 times. It is ok to laugh and be silly!
Lion’s Breath releases energy and allows children to settle their minds and bodies with it’s calming affects. The perfect breathing strategy for finding balance and letting go! It is also an excellent hip and ankle stretch!
If you would like to add in a book to go along with this pose – You’ll find Lion’s Breathing in both Where the Wild Things are and The Gruffalo.
Staying down on your right knee, stretch your left leg behind you. Your body is making the shape of a gate. Keep your right hand on the floor directly under your right shoulder, and reach your left arm up toward the sky.
Stay here, working on your balance, or challenge yourself and lift your left leg away from the floor. As you exhale, bring your left knee back to the floor to meet your right knee. If you would like, you can do a cat/cow and then switch to the other side, now stretching your right leg behind you.
Remember poses don’t need to be perfect! Focus on enjoying your time together and connecting with the pose however you can (safely). Find your balance point, feel the pose.
Ask your child to think of what a gate is? What is it’s purpose? Do they have any strong feelings, or habits that may be blocking them from moving forward with a joy and gratitude fulled day? What is one thing you could do together to open the gate? Sometimes just giving feelings a name helps let them go.
Begin standing in Mountain pose with feet hip width apart, and shoulders relaxed.
Take a big breath in, and as you exhale, jump your feet out to wide legs with arms stretching out so that you come into a 5 point star pose. (Your 5 points are your head, right arm, right leg, left leg, and left arm).
Stand tall and inhale, bringing your hand to prayer position in front of your heart. As you exhale, jump your feet together, bend your knees, lowering toward the floor. On your next inhale, jump up and reach your hands over your head. This is called “rocket”.
Put these three poses all together to make a “yoga jumping jack” Mountain, to 5 Point Star, squat, and rocket. Repeat this 5-10 times.
This will warm up your body, and maybe make your breath short. When you are done, come back to Mountain pose and close your eyes. Slow down your breath by taking a few deep inhales, and long exhales.
Warrior 2 to Triangle
From Mountain pose, step your feet wide apart, and extend arms again like you did in the 5 point star pose. This time, turn your back toes to point in and keep your heel flat on the ground.
Keep the toes of your front foot facing forward and bend your front knee to 90 degrees, so that it comes right over top of your ankle. Lower your hips, but keep your legs strong to hold you in the position, and keep your arms reaching out in front of you and behind you.
Stay here for a few breaths and feel how your leg muscles are working hard to hold you. Be careful to keep your knee right over your ankle, it will want to rotate in as your leg gets tired.
Keep your feet exactly the same, but now straighten your front leg as you reach your hips back toward the back of your mat. Let your back arm reach up, and your front arm reach down toward the ground, or place your hand on your front shin. Don’t let your chest drop down toward the floor, keep it stretching up toward the sky. This is triangle pose.
Stay here for a few breaths, and on your exhale, re-bend your front leg to come back to Warrior 2 pose. Step back to Mountain, and repeat these poses with the opposite leg forward so you balance out both sides of your body.
Come down to lay on your belly on the floor. Reach your arms forward, and lift your chest away from the floor. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed, and see if you can also lift your legs away from the floor.
If you cannot, just work on lifting the chest, and leave the legs on the floor. Keep looking down toward the floor so you don’t hurt your neck.
Pretend that you are a super hero flying in the sky. Hold this for a few breaths, but don’t hold your breath! When you are finished place your hands on the floor and push back to come to child’s pose.
Leap Frog Game
Have one partner stay down in child’s pose, and the other partner can “leap” over just like a frog. If you have more than two, form a line with space in between so the frog can leap over all of the players until he/she gets to the end.
The first frog then comes into child’s pose at the front of the line, and the player in the back now becomes the frog. Have fun with this! Make a “ribbit” sound when you are the frog. Stay very still when you are in child’s pose, and make sure the frog is all the way through the line, before beginning again.
Come to a sitting position (crisscross applesauce), and bring the soles of your feet together. Sit up tall, and imagine that you are a butterfly. Your legs are your wings, and they can gently flap up and down like the wings of a butterfly flying through the air.
Flap your wings, freeing yourself of anything that has been weighing you down. Let go of any strong feelings and picture the flight of your silly butterfly. Where are you flying? What can you see and hear? Do you smell anything? Where could you land? What would it feel like on your butterfly feet?
Remain in your butterfly position, but now imagine that you are making cookies, and you are a mixing stand. Your mixing bowl sits between your legs. You can make any kind of cookie that you would like.
Discuss the ingredients that you will need to make your cookie, and then, one by one start to place them into your mixing bowl. Use your hands to pretend that you are mixing up the ingredients. As you stir them around, make a circle with your hips, and shift from side to side and front to back.
Once you have everything mixed together, bring your knees in and straighten your legs out in front of you. Fold over your legs, and pretend that you are now baking your cookies in the oven. Stay folded over your cookies for a few breaths, and then rise back up. Remove the cookies from the oven, and share them with your friends.
Final Relaxation (Beach)
Lie down on your back, or remain sitting with your eyes opened or closed. Imagine that you are on a beach of your very own. (Can add audio beach waves with or without relaxing music) No one else has ever been there but you, it is a secret beach, and only you know where it is.
Look around and notice the color of the sky, and the water, and the sand. Notice the temperature and if there is a breeze. Now you gaze into the water to see if you can see any fish swimming around.
Do you see any? If so, what color and size are they? As they swim away, notice the waves moving in and out. Notice how the waves move like your breath, as you breathe in, the waves come into shore. As you breathe out, the waves move back out to the sea.
Stay here noticing how your breath and the waves move in and out together. When you are ready to leave the beach, start to wiggle your finger and toes as if they were moving around in the warm sand.
Take a big stretch on your inhale, and come back to a seat with eyes open. Share the details of your private beach with others. You can also draw a picture of your beach and maybe give it a name that is special and unique to you.
To finish your practice, sit together facing each other, bring your palms together and place them near your heart. Say the words “Namaste” (na-ma-stay) to each other. This word means that all of the light and good things that are inside of me, see the light and good in you also.
Thank you for reading today! And thank you, Tammy, for sharing today’s class. Sending well wishes to you all. Looking forward to seeing you soon!