This was my second time bringing my Yoga-Snack program into Ms. Forzaglia’s fourth grade class and I felt the kids’ energy right from the beginning. They were all psyched to see me when I came into the class and we pretty much got started right away (well we start class but then have to take a break for the Pledge and for school announcements).
I have been reading up a lot on the Fight or Flight Response in conjunction with my Warriors At Ease program that I am involved in (Warriors At Ease is a yoga program that is geared to the military community that I am becoming certified in. I will be teaching a class at Edwards Church in Framingham MA) and it came naturally into the beginning of today’s class as we discussed that yoga helps us reduce the stress in our lives.
We began sitting comfortably on the floor and for an exercise in changing our habits, I had each student notice which way they originally crossed their legs (making that their natural criss-cross position) and then had them switch the cross, just to feel the difference (Yoga is a great way for us to notice our habits and change them). We did three belly breaths and I explained that for good yogic breathing, when we fill our bellies with air on our inhale to think of a beach ball and if you press down in the center of it, the two sides would lift around your hands).
Next we play a right brain/ left brain game called The Nose Knows (slap legs two times, clap two times, grab nose with right hand and reach across with left hand to hold right ear; slap legs two times, clap two times, grab nose with left hand and reach across with right hand to hold left ear. Repeat trying to get faster and faster-a great brain balancing activity).
With some music, we did three modified A series: mountain pose, arms up for high mountain, breath in and drop your head back and gaze at your hands, breathing out, folding forward, breathing in 1/2 way lift, breathing out to plank: here we did knee to nose, before melting down to the floor, then breathing in, cobra pose, hissing up and down making our bodes move like a snake, then with a good out breath, pressing up into downward facing dog pose. Here we lifted our legs for three legged dog and let out a few woofs and barks.
Resting in child’s pose and then getting onto hands and knees, we did table top balance pose (right hand off floor and left leg stretched back, then switching sides).
Star pose to triangle to side angle stretch to warrior 2 for a short flow sequence.
Lastly, I went for an all time favorite, Yogini Went to Sea which is a yoga song with movement that I use (created by my dear friend and mentor Shakta Khalsa of Radiant Child Yoga). This song is actually a way of getting children to mediate by focusing on the song only and breathing well during the movement and singing along.
Savasana to end class.