Recently our Lead Teachers attended the MEPI Conference, where I attended a session on the topic of peace. A large part of the session was based on regulation of the energy in the classroom. The presenter discussed that having the children do yoga in the classroom is a great way to bring the energy of the classroom to normal. When I came back I decided to introduce this to the children in my class. They loved it! When I could feel them getting restless and needing to stretch their bodies, I would call a circle and we would do a few positions. The positions that I have introduced are windmill, waterfall, and having the children do a breathing technique.
• Windmill- The children stand with their feet hip width apart and use their opposite hand to reach their opposite foot
• Waterfall- The children stand with their feet together and fall over while curving their hands as if falling over a cliff. They work towards reaching their toes and hanging their bodies this way.
• Breathing technique- The children create a “balloon” with their arms. As they breathe in the balloon grows and when they have filled their balloon they hold their breath. When they exhale, they imagine the balloon deflating.
Benefits of yoga in the classroom:
• Provides movement, stretches, and builds the muscles
• Helps the child calm and center himself in his body
• Helps the child calm and center his mind
• Increases the ability to focus and concentrate
• Increases attention span
• Reconnects the child to his body
• Helps the child cope with stress