FAVORITE PRACTICES BONUS CONTENT

We’re happy to welcome the new year by sharing five of our favorite practices. Try them yourself, and share with the children in your life.

Come back every week for a new offering!

Wide Legged Forward Bend / Chair Yoga Break

Chair Yoga lets us bring the benefits of the practice to our every day life in a way that is simple, effective and sustainable. Try practicing a simple wide legged forward bend any time your body or brain needs a break. Want a bit more? Practice along with this 7 minute chair yoga video to release tension in your lower body.

Sit towards the front of a chair with your feet on the floor and your spine tall.

Separate your feet wide and turn your toes out slightly. Make sure your chair is firmly on the floor.

Take a full breath in. As you exhale, bend forward at your hips bringing your hands to rest on your knees.

If it feels comfortable you can slide your hands down toward the floor and let your head dangle.

For stability press the bottoms of your feet into the ground, and feel your hips connected to the chair.

Hold for a few breaths. If it feels good, imagine letting your body release a little bit more each time you breathe out.

When you’re ready to sit up, pull your belly button in a bit and slowly come back up to sitting.

You can use this practice any time you’ve been sitting for a while, and feel like your brain and body could use a break.

 

This practice and more like it can be found in our Mindful Chair Yoga Card Deck

 

Explore our School Wellness Program for access to 35 video and audio practices for children and adults.

Heart and Belly Breath

Heart and Belly Breath is a simple practice that helps us settle our nervous system, and connect to our own body in any moment.

We love using this practice as an opening ritual, as a reset after dealing with intense emotions, and also as a check in point after completing other activities. A great way to help students notice how a practice may change how they are feeling is to do Heart and Belly Breath both before and after, and notice any changes in their body, breath or mind.

You can do this practice with your eyes open or closed, and your body sitting, standing or laying down.

 

Bring one hand to your belly and one to your heart.
Let your hands be heavy on your body. How does it feel?

 

Can you feel your breath moving in your body? Pay attention to the sensation of your breathing, without trying to change it.

 

After a few moments, start to slow your breath down. Can you make your breath steady and even, so that your inhale and exhale are the same length? How does it feel if you breathe in and out through your nose?

 

Can you feel your breath moving through your belly? Can you feel it moving through your chest?

 

When you’re ready, bring your hands down and notice how you’re feeling. You can use this practice to help yourself slow down, and settle your body and mind any time throughout the day.

 

This practice and more like it can be found in our Mindful Chair Yoga Card Deck

 

Explore our School Wellness Program for access to 35 video and audio practices for children and adults.

HAND TO HEART PRACTICE

This variation of Heart and Belly Breath is a nice option for a quick check-in, especially if you’re around other people and don’t feel comfortable with a full Heart and Belly practice.

Excerpted from Yoga & Mindfulness Practices for Children Activity and Coloring Book

Layers of Sound

If you ever get overwhelmed throughout the day, this can be a nice way to reset, and orient yourself to the present moment. It can be done in as little as a minute or two, or you can experiment with a longer version of the practice and notice how you feel.

We also love using this for our students during transitions (both between spaces and subjects) and for a quick re-focusing if they get distracted. It’s an easy one to teach older children to do themselves, and a favorite tool for bringing attention back to the task at hand when needed.

Sit or stand for this activity. It can be helpful to close your eyes, but if that doesn’t feel right, try looking at one spot that isn’t moving.

This is a listening practice, and the first thing that we are going to listen for are the sounds that are far away from us.

Imagine opening your ears as wide as you can, and stretching your hearing way out beyond the room you’re in. Find the farthest away sounds that you can hear. Listen for as long as you like (5-10 seconds is great to start).

Now bring your sense of hearing closer. Find the sounds happening in the building or house you’re in. Listen for as long as you’d like.

Bring your sense of hearing closer.

Find the sounds just inside of the room. Finally, listen for the sounds happening inside of your own body for as long as you’d like. Notice how you’re feeling. If you get overwhelmed throughout the day, this is a great way to reset and orient yourself to the present moment.

 

This practice and more like it can be found in our Mindful Chair Yoga Card Deck

 

Explore our School Wellness Program for access to 35 video and audio practices for children and adults.