With the holiday season upon us, I’ve been making it a point to emphasize the themes of family, gratitude, and kindness in my yoga classes. I encouraged my students to embrace each other as a family, a group of students and teachers who should always make it a point to support and encourage each other. We talked about being grateful for little things, like the sun which gives us light, food, and energy. We discussed ways that we can help others who feel left out or sad. All of these themes are important to discuss throughout the year, but a wonderful reminder to children about the true spirit of the holidays.
Here are some of the activities I did with my elementary students:
We practiced yoga in a circle, rather than in lines to feel a sense of unity.
2. We made use of poses that connected us to each other. We held hands in tree, invented our own partner poses, and created shapes together.
3. We practiced sun salutation in a “round”. Similar to singing in a round, or doing the wave, each person started one breath after the person before them. This took quite a bit of team work, patience, and practice.
4. We sat in a circle and said one thing we liked about the person to the right.
5. We made breathing bracelets, associating one thing we’re grateful for with each beads. Then, used these bracelets to practice meditation, taking one deep breath in and out for each bead, moving the grip around the bracelet, and acknowledging each of those things we’re grateful for. Then, we’ll cut the string of our bracelets, mix the beads together, and make new ones that will forever link us with the rest of the class.