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Yoga in Schools

Yoga in Schools

 

The 3 R’s, Yoga & So much more

By Veronica Greene  (Printed in Om Yoga & Lifestyle Magazine SEP 2018

 

Teaching requires human interaction. The relationship between teacher & student is one of the most important relationships outside the family unit. It requires trust and mutual respect. This is so evident in the early years when a child starts school. Every parent knows that their bond with their child changes as their child develops a new bond with their school teacher. For the first year their sentences often start with “my teacher says….” Successful teachers know their subjects, their students and pick up on their emotions and the atmosphere in the classroom.
However increasing workload means teaching staff are often using online teaching resources to educate the children, allowing them time to catch up on their paperwork!
Often as I enter a classroom for my teaching slot, the class teacher proudly announces that the class are ready for yoga as she has left them in front of the smartboard watching a yoga video. The children are often over stimulated by ‘performing’ their yoga while there is no interaction between classmates or any connection with the children and their bodies.
Developing positive relationships and connecting with our students has a positive and significant impact on students’ lives both academically and socially. This is a missed opportunity for the teaching staff to build a deeper connection with their students – that shared smile as the child becomes unsteady in a balance pose; the shared feeling and look of relaxation on student and teacher as they come out of a relaxation; and the shared sense of achievement as that trickier pose is mastered.

Training our school teachers how to use yoga successfully will not only help them build deeper connections with their students but can also help deal with their own stress levels.

Many teachers relish the thought of learning yoga while others are put off by the thought that it’s another task to be completed in their already busy, school day – so now the 3R’s have been extended to Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Yoga!

However these can be combined and I don’t mean learning long division while standing on your head, although that would certainly make it more fun!

This doesn’t mean taking time out for a daily yoga class but integrating yoga throughout the school day, providing skills for life and perhaps making the job of a teacher just that little bit easier!

Yoga can increase learning potential and outcomes in schools.

Imagine – It’s been a long day and the children are fading fast but teacher has a schedule and was really hoping they could get to grips with long division. A couple of yoga postures, which can bring energy into the body and fresh, oxygenated blood to their brain, and the whole class are in a different learning zone!

The reverse will work too – the class has just come in from playtime, they may even have consumed some sugary snacks! The kids are hyper, and their attention is all over the place! 5 minutes of postures to calm and focus and once again the children are in a different zone, as is their teacher!

This all sounds too good to be true! Yoga, however, has been proven to help cognitive, emotional and behavioural outcomes. It provides the children and teaching staff with a self-regulation toolbox to help manage or alter their impulses or responses.

Peer Mediation has been introduced successfully in schools but combining it with yoga magnifies the outcome!

Many Primary and Secondary schools have successfully introduced Peer Mediation into their weekly schedule. At the end of the week, before Golden Time (where the children get to do a fun activity of their choice), the Peer Mediators visit the classrooms. The mediators are volunteers from the upper school who have had training on helping younger pupils resolve conflict. Peer mediation empowers the children and helps develop a sense of community within the school, however, discussions can become a little heated as emotions run high, posing a threat to resolution.

I have worked with a number of schools teaching the mediators how to instruct some calming yoga postures, to the whole class, at the start of their mediation session. This not only calms the children down, before the session begins, but helps the mediators stay in a calm place leading to more successful dialogue.

Improving literacy skills, even in boys!

There are a many reasons why boys are often categorised into the ‘don’t like to read’ group. Simply put, many of them don’t want to be sitting at a desk and learning to read as it’s ‘boring’! Of course it is to a 4year old boy. He wants to be running about and playing with his friends not sitting for hours at a desk.

Yoga can help achieve both the learning outcomes and the need for activity.

Young children learn holistically – by visual, auditory and kinaesthetic means, often at the same time! Some are more visual or auditory than others but by combining the 3 you are encompassing all and magnifying the learning outcome. Acting the stories out using yoga postures not only helps make the connection in the young brain but also releases feel good hormones as the child has a lot of fun.

Little girls are very visual thinkers and love to tell you the colour of their horse, the length of eye-lashes and how bushy the tail is. Little boys are more auditory and kinaesthetic. They want you to listen to the noise the horse makes, have it neighing on its two hind legs and if they can have a sword, welding Zoro riding it then their little hearts and imaginations are bursting with knowledge and joy!

On the most basic level the child no longer has the association that reading is boring. Instead, the neural pathways are set up that reading is fun and the path is open for successful learning and a positive association with stories and books.

There is no end to the uses of yoga throughout the school day but what is clear is that training the teaching staff to use it has more positive impact than watching a video online.

Over the past 15 years I have trained many teaching staff. The response and success on the teaching outcomes is huge. What’s not clear is whether the impact is due to

  1. yoga opening up the children’s minds and bodies, facilitating greater learning
  2. the children achieving more due to their “connectedness” with their teacher
  3. the teaching staff simply being less stressed as they are practicing yoga throughout their day.

Either way it’s a win-win situation!

 

Veronica Greene founded Little Greene Yoga® and offers a Certified Children’s Teacher Training package (3-5yrs; 5-8yrs; 8-12yrs, Teen – Mind & Body & Postnatal Yoga)

Let’s Get Physical to Connect to the Mind!

Why the physical aspect of yoga is so important for teenagers & children

By Veronica Greene  (Printed in Om Yoga & Lifestyle Magazine AUG 2018)

 

Many yoga studios and teachers in the Western world are often criticised for practising only the physical aspect of yoga, offering instruction on postures and breathing alone!

It’s almost as if doing yoga for physical benefits alone is not following the true path!

Is this wrong to concentrate on the physical and is it the same for teenagers  and children?

‘Mindfulness’ has become the key word in Primary & Secondary education, which is absolutely wonderful. Yoga is, of course, the ultimate mindfulness tool!

Mindfulness is about staying in the present moment, accepting and appreciating everything as it is. It’s a perfect practice to deal with the everyday stresses of school life.

Some teenagers and children, however, do find it more difficult to concentrate, focus their minds and feel the positive effect.

Alignment based Yoga, which takes physical awareness to a deeper level, is often referred to as ‘meditation in motion’. This can help achieve mindfulness for those who struggle to sit still. Here attention is directed to particular parts of the body while the child is in a yoga pose. The awareness is on how the body feels, all the sensations, keeping the child very focused on the present moment. This focus takes the child’s attention inwards and contributes to the withdrawing of all other senses and distractions.

 

Activity Levels

Yoga is, also, often advertised as a non-competitive activity, encouraging those who don’t like sports to exercise and help deal with childhood obesity. The government website www.gov.uk quotes 2018 childhood obesity statistics as more than 1 in 5, on beginning primary education, to almost 1 in 3 children, on leaving primary education.

Generally speaking, children today are not as active as children were 20 years ago. Contributing factors are concerns over safety, more parents working and an increased interest in online activities. More and more children stay socially connected with their friends by playing their computer games online. Hand held devices/tablets are putting strain on young bodies from the hours of sitting in one position, contracting muscles down one side of their body!

Our bodies are, however, designed to move and quite frankly if we don’t use it we lose it.

It’s empowering to move and it’s particularly empowering for children to be able to stand on their hands as well as their own two feet – they feel free, strong, the sense of achievement is huge and it’s not all about strength! It’s about your body being properly stacked – knees above ankles, hips above knees, shoulders above hips and the cherry on top is your head perfectly balanced on top (this of course is reversed for handstand).

 

Correcting Imbalance

Children and young adolescents can and do develop muscular imbalance. Remember that none of us are totally symmetrical but developing body awareness at any age can help avoid imbalances which put strain on our joints and spine and of course cause pain.

Most parents will have seen their child kneeling with one foot tucked under; carrying their bag on one shoulder and rotating their upper body while doing so; standing with weight on one leg? This is magnified when the child moves onto secondary education and spends longer at a desk, in front of a laptop!

All of these habitual problems can be changed once we become aware.

Long term effects could result in shortening of one side of the body, rotation of the pelvis and even scoliosis of the spine.

Remember one of the jobs of the skeleton is to protect the internal organs – mis-alignment can ultimately affect our organs too!

At the age of 8 children have the awareness and ability to feel and understand their bodies at a much deeper level. Yoga can now be taught with more focus on alignment and connecting their bodies to their mind and emotions.

When taught using age appropriate techniques the results are incredible!

This all sounds too good to be true! Yoga, however, has been proven to help cognitive, emotional and behavioural outcomes. It provides children and teachers with a self-regulation toolbox to help manage or alter their impulses or responses.

Stress Injuries

Children and teenagers who are already very active can also benefit from yoga.

A recent increase in the number of young people participating in competitive sports has resulted in an increase in stress injuries. These stress injuries can be difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat.

Some of the more common injuries include Osgood-Schlatter disease, Shin Splints, Stress Fractures and Tennis Elbow!

These injuries occur when too much stress is placed in an area of the body resulting in inflammation, muscles strain, tissue damage and sometimes fracture. This is often contributed to an over developed muscle pulling a joint out of alignment.

Osgood-Schlatter disease is an inflammatory injury of the growth plate on the tibia, top of the shin bone just below the knee. This point, the tibial tubercle, is the bone attachment for the quadriceps (front of thigh muscles). Those who participate frequently in sports, which rely on powerful contractions of the quads, have a higher incidence of Osgood-Schlatter’s. Such sports include football, netball, hockey, gymnastics & ballet.

Although highly active children are at greater risk of developing this inflammatory condition it can also develop in children who go through a very rapid growth spurt.

A generalised simplification of this condition is that the quad muscles become tight and the tendon at the attachment point of the bone becomes highly inflamed, causing much pain. This muscle tightness is caused by either overused muscles shortening or the muscles not growing at the same rate as the skeleton!

The onset of this condition is always associated with a growth spurt in adolesence. Most common in the ages 10 – 16, but could be later depending on development.

Similar conditions are Sever’s disease and Sinding-Larsen-Johannsen disease.

Traditional treatment is to rest and stop the offending activity however the average time for resolution is around 21 months when the growth plates close.

Giving up a sport/activity for this length of time, limits the child both physically and socially.

There are a number of proven physio techniques which use stretching to lengthen these shortened muscles, bringing balance to the knee and allowing the inflammation to subside. These programs can reduce the recovery time from 21 months to just 1 month. Of course, a good stretching program can alleviate this and prevent these injuries from occurring, but children and teens find stretching boring.

An alignment based yoga program, which is fun and uses proper biomechanics, can rectify the imbalance and perhaps prevent it occurring in the first place.

Encouraging the children to participate in yoga will not only balance these overused muscles but teach them how to recognise tight areas in their body.

Although children do develop these overuse injuries the majority are more likely to break a bone than develop ligament or tendon injuries. These are usually ‘mis-adventure’ injuries caused by falling off a scooter, bike or out of a tree. The resulting injury is more often to the arm, elbow or collarbone due to the nature of the child extending their arm to save their fall. The injured child can then be in a cast for 4-8 weeks.

All LGY 8-12yr teachers are provided with training on how to safely include a child with a cast within their 8-12yr alignment based yoga class. Each teacher is examined on the techniques they would use ensuring a duty of care for the child in the cast and the rest of their class.

This training is also provided is our LGY TEEN Teacher training courses where we also educate on how to help young adults modify their yoga practice to encourage quick healing of the overuse injuries, mentioned above.

Many teachers would exclude the injured child from the class but with the correct training you can safely continue to teach yoga to the child. They will be excluded from all mainstream activities at school so excluding them from their extra-curricular activities could be detrimental to their developing body and mind. Muscles begin to atrophy within in the first 2 weeks of inactivity, so 6-8 weeks without exercising would see quite a loss in muscle mass.

Once the cast is removed the child will struggle to regain their full range of movement. With an alignment based yoga program the child could quickly and safely regain muscle and movement without causing extra strain on other joints and return to full activity in a shorter time.

So, yoga for the physical side not only helps develop a balanced body but when practised at a deeper level creates a balanced mind, even in a child who struggles to focus. BKS Iyengar states “Yogic science does not demarcate where the body ends and the mind begins, but approaches both as a single, integrated entity.”

So the question is not why just practise the physical side of yoga it should be “how deep do we need to practise before the spiritual consciousness kicks in?”

Veronica Greene founded Little Greene Yoga® and offers a Certified Children’s Teacher Training package (3-5yrs; 5-8yrs; 8-12yrs, Teen – Mind & Body & Postnatal Yoga)

What about me time – Once your Baby is born? (Postnatal Yoga)

Part 1 – Focus on chest, back & abdominals

By Veronica Greene (Printed in Om Yoga & Lifestyle Magazine JUNE 2018)

 

Congratulations! Your baby has been born! You are relieved, excited, apprehensive but mostly exhausted. You were really looking forward to getting your body back but even though the baby bump is no longer there, you still don’t recognise the person you once were. That’s not just the physical you but also the emotional you.

The past nine months were spent looking after yourself and the bump inside your tummy. If you’re a first time mum then you had all the time in the world to pamper yourself and if not you still would’ve managed some ‘me’ time.

Now the focus has swiftly shifted from you, the expectant mother, to this beautiful bouncing bundle. You’re exhausted and no wonder – the strain of nine months pregnancy, not to mention childbirth are very apparent.

You stand in front of the mirror and assess the ‘damage’ from the front, back and sides. Many of you don’t like what you see and others simply don’t recognise what they see. Let’s look closer beyond the extra pounds which will go, with time, and shouldn’t be the main reason to undertake any postnatal exercise. Your posture on the other hand, does need urgent attention. Stand sideways and look in the mirror. Your pelvis is tilted forward, your buttocks are sticking out and your belly falls forward. This is due to the exaggerated curve of your lower back created by the weight of your growing baby inside your uterus. Your baby is now out, but you are left with overstretched stomach muscles and shortened lower back muscles. The muscles around the hips will become very tight as these will now be the main muscle group used in walking. Unless the muscles are rebalanced this will lead to backache, and pinched nerves. Your pelvic floor will be difficult to re-strengthen due to pelvic misalignment (this will be covered in more detail in Part 2).

Your body cleverly compensates to try and realign by dropping your chin to a position which is not neutral. Your upper back and neck muscles have to work overtime to maintain this position causing upper back strain, neck and jaw pain and headaches. Your shoulders will be rounding forward and your chest folding in. This is partly due to the repositioning of your head and partly due to the extra weight of your baby and breasts. This rounding of your shoulders now continues as you sit and nurse/feed your baby every couple of hours.

The human spine is unique among all mammals. It has 2 kyphotic curves – the thoracic spine (upper back) and sacral spine (tailbone) and 2 lordotic curves – the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back). It acts as a pillar to support the excessive weight of the skull while protecting the spinal cord. It is this curvature of the spine that helps it distribute weight evenly. These curves are now out of balance – no wonder you’re physically exhausted and feel you can no longer carry the weight of your own head!

In summary, your post-natal posture has excessive curvature in the thoracic, lumbar and cervical spine. This is not as depressing as it sounds. The following yoga based programme is designed to stretch your tight muscles (chest, lower back & hips) and restore tone to those that are over-stretched (abdominals).

Simply, the programme is designed to return your body to its pre-pregnancy posture. Once familiar, the complete programme should take about 20 minutes.

Postures can be performed on their own, at any time of day, or in the order given. There’s no need to roll out a yoga mat and no yoga experience is necessary. Each will open your chest providing fresh, oxygenated blood to your brain helping you feel better and more alive – the prefect programme when there’s no me time!

 

Constructive Rest Position

(opens chest, releases neck muscles and pelvis while lengthening back muscles) This is the go to pose if shoulders or lower back are aching or there’s no time for anything else!

  • Lie on back with lower legs resting on chair
  • Knees directly above hips, hip distance apart with 90 degree angle at back of knees (if chair too low then put cushion under legs)
  • Toes point up to ceiling
  • Stay for 5-10 mins working on abdominal breathing
  • (breathe in, let the tummy lift up , breathe out let the tummy drop down)

    Constructive Rest

 

Constructive Rest with Abdominal Strenthening

  • As above, now activate the tummy muscles while breathing out by pulling navel towards your spine.
  • Repeat above in 6 counts – each count draw the navel a little closer toward the spine.

 

Chest Stretch to chair

(opens chest, lengthens lower back, strengthens abdominals)

Chest Stretch

  • Kneel in front of chair, place elbows on chair seat, shoulder distance apart.
  • Move knees back until body is parallel to floor and knees directly under hips.
  • Tuck toes under
  • Stretch buttocks back to wall behind
  • Gently draw tummy and bottom ribs up towards spine to prevent dipping into lower back
  • Steady breathing. Each time you breathe out try to open the armpits towards the ground

 

Seated Abdominal Exercise

Seated Abdominal work

(works the transverse abdominis)

  • Sit at front edge of the chair
  • knees hip distance; ankles directly under knees; feet point forward
  • Place hands on tummy, shoulders relaxed with elbows at your side
  • Breathe in let tummy bloat out , breathe out let tummy move in)
  • As above, now activate the tummy muscles while breathing out by pulling navel towards your spine.
  • Repeat above in 6 counts – each count draw the navel a little closer toward the spine.

 

Seated Neck Stretch

(stretches neck muscles (scalenes) – when tight can elevate the first rib, causing compression on nerves leading to headache and numbness in arm)

  • Stretch arms down and grab chair seat to keep shoulder blades down
  • Breathe in and as you breathe out drop right ear directly towards right shoulder. Hold for around 30s while maintaining even breathing.
  • REPEAT other side

 

Seated Hip Stretch

(stretches inner thigh, deep hip muscles and buttocks)

  • Bring right knee towards chest, let the knee roll out to the right and place right ankle on left knee.
  • Press buttock bones into chair, stretch crown of head to ceiling while flexing right foot (flexed foot will take the movement into hip and protect you knee)
  • To intensify – bend from the hip crease, drawing chest towards the shin bone (hold 30s)
  • REPEAT other side

seated twist

 

Seated Twist

(opens chest; stabilises hips allowing deep twist and stretch to upper back)

  • As above ,right ankle on left knee
  • Place left hand on right knee, right hand through back of chair
  • Press buttocks down, stretch head to ceiling and lengthen spine
  • rotate chest to right (hold 30s)
  • REPEAT to left

 

 

 

Wide Leg Twist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wide Leg Twist

(opens chest; lengths inner thigh & spinal muscles)

  • Sitting at the front of the chair, legs wide, toes turned out, position knees above ankles
  • place elbows on thighs
  • lean forward from the hip crease
  • Place right hand on right hip
  • turn chest to the right (hold 30s)
  • Repeat other side

Veronica Greene founded Little Greene Yoga® and offers a Certified Teacher Training packages for Children Yoga (3-8yrs & 8-12yrs), Teen – Mind & Body and Postnatal Yoga.

Why do Teens do Yoga

By Veronica Greene (printed in Om magazine May 2018)

Nearly everyone can list the benefits of yoga…………increased fitness; better body awareness; better posture; balanced hormones; increased immunity; lower stress and all round better health and wellbeing.
These factors attract many pupils to yoga classes of varied disciplines but often are not enough to keep them attending on a continued basis.
Kids can also achieve the same benefits from yoga and can be enticed by making the yoga class great fun with games or stories or roll play.

What about teenagers?

Teens are at that awkward stage. Questions are never answered by a simple yes or no when one has shoulders that can be shrugged; eye contact is often reserved for very good friends or the family pet; hoods are clearly meant to be up indoors and suddenly the ability to speak without mumbling has been lost.

Nobody understands them and “what’s the point”, so why would they attend a yoga class?

Clearly there is a demand given the number of Teen Yoga Teacher Training courses on the market but do they attend of their own accord or do their mother’s make them?
I’ve been teaching teenagers yoga for about 12 years. I run classes in schools and tailor the class for my audience.
If I’m working with students around exam time then I’ll work on balancing postures for concentration and relaxing postures to help them achieve a good night’s sleep.
If I’m working with a sports team I’ll introduce postures which will help improve a particular sport and if I’m working with the football team I will ‘man up’ my yoga teaching style……………..sorry but it’s true!

So classes are tailored to my audience.

But what about my main stream, public, teen classes? They don’t play for the same team, study the same subjects or have the same personality type. The only thing they share is an abundance of hormones and a love for hoodies!
I decided to sit my girls’ teen class down and ask a few questions about what brings them to yoga and what keeps them coming back. The class is made up of 15 girls. 6 of the girls have been doing yoga with me for more than 6 years and have graduated into the teen class, from my kid’s classes. 4 of the girls are quite shy. 5 are sporty ‘jock’ types and 2 do no other form of exercise! 5 are ‘A’ students while 3 of the girls are not keen on school.

Why do you come to yoga?

“It’s helps me relax and I feel less anxious.”
I have asthma and my attacks are less if I keep coming to yoga. It also gets rid of the tension in my shoulders”
“I like the people here.”
“Helps me stretch my muscles out after a weekend of playing hockey.”

What parts of the yoga class do you like?

“Relaxation at the end!”
“Shoulderstands with a chair”
“Sunsalutaions”

What parts of the yoga class to you dislike?

“Head down dog!”
“Sunsalutations.”
“Balancing postures”

Do you practice at home?

“Sometimes when I’m stressed”
“When I can’t sleep I’ll do some of the breathing exercises.”
“When my muscles are really tight, I’ll stretch them out.”

How would you feel about a mixed class?

“I don’t mind if the boys are good looking?”
“I wouldn’t want that as then we couldn’t ask questions.”
“I’d feel weird doing head down dog.”

The more we chatted the more they opened up about their yoga class and what it meant to them. It became clear that although the girls were all very different they felt they shared this common bond of yoga. They encouraged each other in some of the trickier postures. They felt comfortable enough to discuss hormones, skin breakouts and issues with friends or teachers. The ‘jocks’ were kind to the shy girls. The 12 year olds looked up to the 18 year olds and the 18 year olds in return would give them the time of day.

I sat back and watched this group of teens interact. A group who were very different as individuals and who would probably never be friends outside the yoga studio. A group of teens that only ever came together to share this bond for 1 hour a week. It then struck me that the yoga studio was just like the detention room in the 1985 film the ‘Breakfast Club’, where total strangers, with nothing in common meet, share a moment and accept each other for what and who they are.

A cult movie, even in modern times – let’s hope my yoga class is the same!

Veronica Greene founded Little Greene Yoga® and offers a Certified Children’s Teacher Training package (3-5yrs; 5-8yrs; 8-12yrs, Teen – Mind & Body & Postnatal Yoga)

4 practical ways that yoga can help children to love and accept themselves.

By Veronica Greene (Printed in Om Yoga Magazine FEB 2018)

Children are all different. They come in all shapes and sizes. They each process the world around them very differently and all shared experiences are very individual. Yoga is often encouraged as a ‘non-competitive activity’ where children can learn many of life’s lessons. It is recommended as a practice that can teach children about self-awareness, both physically and mentally – promoted to help kids accept and cherish themselves, just as they are, and to encourage them to become more tolerant of others. All this is very true and can help build the same traits in adults too!
How can you practically achieve this in a kids yoga class?

Competition or a competitive spirit comes from within.

Teachers in schools know this and use it to their advantage, giving extra points to the group who tidy their desks first or the group who sit quietly.

We, as yoga teachers, can very much promote that everyone is a star but how can we get that message across if the children are busy watching each other and comparing themselves with the child on the next mat.

Every child wants to achieve and compete with themselves to master that challenging pose.


Here are some practical tips on how you can encourage each child to be all they can be and to love and accept themselves in that moment.

Lesson 1 – We Are All Individuals (Acceptance of Self and Others) 

Teach them that each of us has different strengths and (as everything has an opposite) weaknesses. Start the lesson talking about opposites (i.e. the opposite of small; opposite of light; opposite of strong). Ask each child to demonstrate a yoga pose that they feel they perform well. Then ask them to demonstrate a posture they feel weak in or feel it’s not one of their ‘best’. Then explain to them why they are strong in that pose. (i.e. you have amazingly long arms so you can catch or you’ve got really strong legs from your football). Explain also why they are weaker (i.e. you are younger than some of the others so you still have to build your upper body strength etc.). What’s interesting is the children will very kindly join in to tell each other about the postures they think their classmates are ‘brilliant’ at! Encourage this group interaction and all the children will leave feeling 10 feet tall (the opposite to small!).

Lesson 2 – Our Amazing Power Within 

Teach them about the power we all have to change how we feel. Sitting in a cross legged, slumped posture is not a ‘good’ posture. Change the posture to an erect spine with open chest and long neck and this becomes a ‘better’ posture. Ask them to move between the two. Which posture do they feel better in? Explain to them they have more fresh oxygen entering their lungs, travelling to their brains helping them feel more alert.
It’s always great to ask them what their younger siblings would do if they didn’t get their own way. Most will automatically show slumped shoulders, closed chest and petted lip! Explain that their posture affects how they feel – it’s hard to stay in a ‘bad’ mood if you stand up tall and open your chest.

Lesson 3 – Love and Energy

Teach them that our thoughts can change our energy. Let the children look at a cute picture of a puppy, kitten or baby. Ask them to close their eyes, think of the picture and to feel any changes in their body. Most will be able to describe a ‘hot’, ‘fuzzy’, ‘tingly’ or ‘happy’ sensation. Ask them to point to their heart. Ask them to close their eyes and imagine their heart glowing. Feel this glow spreading through the whole body, spreading to the arms, down to their fingertips and now down their legs all the way to their toes. Explain that this spreading of light is energy spreading through their bodies. We are just like a huge battery that can feel drained or just run out of energy. If we visualise love from our hearts, filling every part of our bodies, then we can recharge our energy.

Lesson 4 – Nobody is Perfect

Teach them that everyone has a bad day and to accept it as that. Balance postures are perfect for this. Setting the class up in tree pose and holding for two minutes..this will bring out the inner competitor in each child. When a child loses their balance or their foot touches the floor then they sit down and wait. Change legs and repeat. Usually the results will be different for each leg. Explain to the children that just as the results for each leg are different the results on another day will be different – some days you have better balance than others just as some days in life will be better than others. Remember, every day is a school day and in every lesson plan we can find a life lesson!

 

Veronica Greene founded Little Greene Yoga® and offers a Certified Children’s Teacher Training package (for 3-5yrs; 5-8yrs; 8-12yrs & Teens) www.LittleGreeneYoga.com