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Yoga in the Classroom: Mindful Movement Breaks for Students

Updated: Feb 21

2020 has presented unique challenges and opportunities. We have had to quickly adapt to this changing world. Our school system is no exception to this. While some students continue to learn in the classroom, other students learn from home. Educators and caregivers continue to demonstrate high levels of flexibility during these uncertain times.


As an Occasional Teacher, I have witnessed the amount of thought, care and effort that goes into the creation of lessons and activities that are both engaging and safe for our students. Educators, THANK YOU for all that you do on a daily basis!


I also commend our learners for respecting the new protocols implemented in our schools. Our students are resilient!


Finally, I applaud everyone for coming together as one. We are doing our very best to make a difficult situation work.


Physical education has presented challenges due to COVID-19. In some schools, gymnasiums are closed. In other schools, equipment cannot be used unless it is sanitized before, during and after use. Educators have been encouraged to take their classes outside for physical education. However, that is not always possible due to the weather conditions.


Not only is physical education a core component of the curriculum, but our kids NEED to move and play! Movement can improve focus, memory, self-regulation, coordination, reduce stress and anxiety, boost energy, build healthy relationships with others, and so forth. There are so many benefits associated with movement!


It can be challenging to find quality movement resources that keep in mind the diverse needs of our students, as well as COVID-19 health and safety protocols. In an effort to support educators, caregivers and our learners, I have created seven Yoga for the Classroom practices on the Yoga with Rachel YouTube channel! The practices are mindful movement breaks designed for both our classroom and virtual learners.


Here’s a brief overview of each practice!


Yoga for the Classroom Practices


Yoga for the Classroom



We explore standing yoga postures that are both energizing and fun in this short standing practice. This movement break offers a gentle stretch to the whole body, while integrating the breath into each movement. This practice is full of imagery, inviting students to use their creative minds as they move. It is my hope that this practice will leave our learners feeling energized, focused and ready to dive right back into learning!


Body Break



This classroom practice begins with a quick warm-up. This warm-up will help prepare the body for some fun movement. After the warm-up, students will get their heart rate up by going through a circuit of familiar and easy-to-follow exercises. I have included some energizing music during this portion of the practice. We end our practice with a short and sweet cool-down. Enjoy!


Chair Yoga



The beauty of this practice is that you can do this at your desk or table! This practice offers a gentle stretch to the neck, shoulders and back body. We conclude this practice with “Bee Breath,” which is a fantastic breathing technique that can help calm down the nervous system. This classroom practice is designed to improve focus, boost energy and decrease anxiety.


Balloon Breath



Balloon breath is a breathing technique that invites fresh oxygen into the body. Balloon breath can help calm down the nervous system, inviting both the mind and body to relax. This is a fantastic way to invite the mind to refocus, while providing a boost in energy!


You can practice balloon breath in a chair, at a desk or on the floor.


The beauty of this breath technique is that you can do it ANYWHERE!


You may begin to feel the calming effects of this breath technique within just a few moments.


All that you need is 5 minutes, an open mind and your glorious breath.


Let’s breathe!


Standing Yoga Flow



In this 10 minute standing yoga flow, we begin with a gentle full body warm-up. About mid-way through the practice, we explore some fun and energizing movement intended to get the heart rate up. We cool it down with a grounding posture.


This classroom practice invites us to use our creative minds as we explore various postures and movements!


This practice is intended to provide students with a quick body break, leaving our learners feeling energized, focused and happy!


Standing Yoga Stretch



This 10 minute standing yoga stretch is a FUN and energizing class for students, encouraging our learners to tap into their creative minds as they stretch it out!


Yoga Break



This classroom yoga practice is a short and sweet movement break. This yoga class has it all - gentle stretches, fun yoga postures and movements, as well as breathwork. A little movement can truly go a long way!


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I encourage you to make use of these resources whenever you feel that the class would benefit from a movement break.


It is my hope that you find these yoga practices useful during these uncertain times.


I encourage you to share these practices with your colleagues.


I appreciate you and all the amazing work that you do every single day!


Take care,


-Rachel

Yoga with Rachel



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