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You hear it coming up more and more here and there, yoga in class.
But what exactly is that? And how do you get started with this?
In my regular children's yoga classes I often take children for an hour into the wonderful world of children's yoga. But when I apply yoga in class, my lessons take on a completely different approach.
No room for floor exercises
No material such as mats
Need for short snacks
In this way I adapted the postures step by step to the classroom context. With postures and breathing exercises standing or sitting on the chair, where the shoes can remain on and no mats are needed at all.
Difference from other brain breaks
Other exercise snacks often focus on the physical . Obviously an important aspect to give children that movement after sitting for a long time. Yoga does not only focus on the physical, although when we think of yoga we often think of taking different postures. Yoga requires attention and focus to assume a posture or perform a breathing exercise. As a result, children bring their attention inwards, away from the stimuli around them. This brings children into the NOW , an important condition for learning.
Yoga asks children to consider their own possibilities, their own wishes and feelings. As a result, they create more body awareness and self-confidence is strengthened. Children learn to recognize their body's signals and are better able to respond to them, which has a positive effect on the development of self-regulation .
Yoga is not a competition
There is no right or wrong, everyone does it their way, away from the competitive. Maybe you are good at a balance posture, but it is more difficult to perform a different posture. In this way you create a positive classroom climate where students respect themselves but also each other.
Because it can sometimes be difficult for children to correctly place or correct their emotions, breathing exercises can be an important key in this.
When you are calm, your breathing and heart rate are normal, your muscles are relaxed.
However, when we experience stress or anxiety (also in children), your muscles tense more quickly, your heart rate goes up and your breathing becomes shallow. This is also the case with children. You can imagine how difficult it is for a child to learn this way.
Breathing exercises allow your body to get more oxygen into the blood, helping your body to return to that calm state. The breathing exercises are therefore a powerful tool to bring children back into the moment in a simple and 'quick' way. An important condition for learning.
Is there sufficient space during the lesson for self-development, self-confidence, resilience, attention for yourself and attention for the other?
Do you notice that your class could use a break?
The wobbling and fidgeting takes the upper hand?
The unrest is increasing?
Then a yoga break in class can offer a nice break to bring more peace and focus to your students.
I would like to give you 3 exercises from the 'yoga in the classroom' training. These are postures and breathing exercises adapted to the classroom context . This means: short snacks, no mats needed and the shoes can remain on.
The When Breathing
Sit quietly on a chair.
Place both hands on your face so that your eyes are covered but your nose and mouth are still free. Close your ears with your thumbs.
Breathe in deeply through your nose.
When you exhale slowly through your mouth, you make a buzzing sound like a bee. Keep your mouth closed while making the buzzing sound.
Do this 3 times in a row.
– With this breath I always take the class on a mini vacation. Away from everything around, in peace.
Operation : this breathing exercise brings peace to the child, brings attention inside. The buzzing creates vibrations in the body so that the child can easily draw attention to himself, away from the stimuli around him.
Quickly walk on the spot and then STOP. Stand completely still. We do this 2 more times. Then stand firmly with your feet on the floor. Reach your arms all the way up. Now bring your arms back next to your body. Can you stand super still like a solid mountain?
– Pay attention to tension in the shoulders, shoulders away from the ears. – Do not place your feet too wide, because then you have less balance. – Pupils like it when you visit them and gently touch the shoulder to see if they are standing firmly. Can you stand steady?
Operation: the mountain provides peace, but also a safe base. Like a mountain, you stand firmly on the ground, firmly on your feet. This posture also ensures correct body posture. When sitting for a long time, students often let their shoulders hang forward, which means that they do not sit nicely upright. Just think of the use of a mobile phone or tablet, which often cause a wrong sitting posture. The posture of the mountain teaches students to adopt the correct posture.
Rock your baby
Sit down. Place your foot on your other leg at knee height. Make sure you place your foot just above your knee. Now take hold of your right foot with your left hand. Place your right hand on your right shin so that your right knee is level with your elbow. Gently rock your baby back and forth. Don't forget the other side too.
– Make sure that children do not rock too quickly, but carefully. – Do not attach too much importance to the correct placement of the hands. The focus is on gently rocking the hips.
– Attention to a straight back!
– Affirmation: “I am caring”. Who are you caring for? What is Caring? Can you only care for people?
Operation: By visualizing 'the baby', students will calmly perform the posture, encourage them to do this as well. This posture ensures that the muscles in the hips are stretched, for example after sitting for a long time.
I'm curious about your experiences, feel free to share them in the comment at the bottom of the page.
A fortune teller with 4 yoga postures, 2 breathing exercises and 2 mindful snacks.