There are so many different activities that need to fit into your daily classroom schedule that it can be hard to find the time for one more. Even though you know taking brain breaks and doing yoga is great for your students, you also have a curriculum which to adhere. But what if you could combine yoga and academics? Try our ideas for weaving yoga into one of your daily curriculum.
Choose a video from amaZEN U’s online library of yoga and mindfulness videos (www.amazenu.com). Before you show the activity, ask students to write about how they are feeling, mentally and physically. As a class, watch and participate in the video exercise you have chosen. Then have students write about how they feel, mentally and physically, after they’ve participated in the yoga and mindfulness activity.
After a video or yoga activity, ask students to identify the body parts that were used during that particular series of exercises. For younger kids, print out a coloring sheet of the human body and ask them to shade in the muscles and body parts that they just stretched. Older kids can use yoga as a way to learn the proper Latin names for the different muscle groups in the body, and what those muscles do. The class can also study how a regular yoga routine affects the body and mind.
As part of a Math lesson, have students count their pulse before yoga and after yoga. To make it even more challenging for older students, create a story problem around it. For example: “If your pulse is X number of beats per minute before 5 minutes of yoga, and Y number of beats per minute after 5 minutes of yoga, how much yoga do need to do to get your heart rate to Z beats per minute?”
Extra Group/Team Work Activity
Separate your students into partners or groups and have them create their own breathing exercises. You can show examples from www.amazenu.com. Then, as a team, students will teach their breathing exercise to the rest of the class. Leave it up to the students as to how they want to do this – perhaps one person narrates while the other demonstrates, maybe both students teach at the same time, etc.
amaZEN U has more than 100 yoga and mindfulness videos, all available for a monthly or yearly subscription. Subscriptions start at just $9/month. Visit www.amazenu.com.
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