5 Fall Themed Yoga and Mindfulness Activities for the Classroom
1. Take a nature walk to find a peaceful token:
Take the class on a nature walk. Discuss the peacefulness of nature and the importance of spending time there. Have students walk mindfully, paying attention to the feeling of each foot connecting with the ground. Encourage them to walk quietly and pay attention to each sound they hear. Ask them to count how many animals they see, or how many types of trees (depending on where you live). Ask them to find one small object to bring back with them like a stone or pinecone. This will be their peaceful token. Whenever they feel stressed or overwhelmed in class, they can hold their peaceful token for a minute with closed eyes and take deep breaths.
2. Do a meditative leaf rubbing:
You can have children collect their own leaves or bring some in for them.
Have tracing paper and crayons ready.
Place the leaves under the paper and run an unwrapped crayon across the page.
Have the children use the leaves to create a work of art.
They can draw other shapes and images around the leaf.
Ask them to do this activity in silence and while staying aware of their breath.
Ask them to work slowly and intentionally with all of their attention
focused on the task at hand.
3. Fall themed yoga poses:
Introduce some fall/nature themed yoga poses like Tree, Mountain, Rock (child’s pose), and Sun Salutations. Then ask students to work in small groups to come up with their own poses. Give them some ideas to work with like scarecrow, pumpkin, and bat. Have them present their ideas to the rest of the class and have everyone try.
4. Gratitude circle:
In the week leading up to thanksgiving discuss the importance of gratitude. Explain that gratitude helps to appreciate what we have rather than wishing for what we don’t. Each day, hold a gratitude circle to end the day. Try using different themes like “people I am grateful for,” “experiences I am grateful for,” and “mistakes I am grateful for”. Frame this activity in a way that makes it clear that appreciating little things is important, rather than material possessions.
5. Leaves fall down yoga game:
Have all the students stand in a tree pose with their hands at their sides. Then move through more challenging variations of the pose. As students fall out of the pose, have them “fall” all the way to the ground like leaves falling down. The last tree standing wins. Here are some variations to try: Hands in front of the heart, arms out to the sides in a “T” shape, hands up to the sky, hands together over your head, gaze up to the sky, eyes closed.