After students have breakfast and get settled into class for the morning routine, often teachers find themselves having to keep students from dozing off or laying down their heads. To get the day started with increased blood flow to the brain, teachers can try different types of mindful movements to begin the day for students, as well as themselves.
Here are a couple yoga movements I suggest that are easy to learn and appropriate for all grade levels of students!
Downward Facing Dog Pose
The downward facing dog yoga pose is something that all students and adults can practice to get their blood flowing early in the morning. To complete this pose, should start on all fours with your shoulders above your wrists and hips above your knee. Then, take a deep breath in and while exhaling, press your hands firmly and lift the hips in the air with the arms and legs straight. Remind students to breathe easy while they adjust their body to the pose. Then, after taking three long and deep breaths, release the pose and go back on all fours. It is best to repeat this pose a few times. This movement is good for circulation because it allows the hips to be above the heart and the heart to be above the head, therefore increasing the amount of blood flow to the brain (Stelter, 2020).
Camel pose is a kneeling backbend pose that helps participants feel a sense of empowerment, in addition to an increase in circulation. To get into this pose, come to your knees, hip-width apart. Then, inhale and reach the tailbone towards your knees. On the next inhalation, lift the sternum and draw back your elbows so that the rib cage can expand and then tuck your chin to your chest. Keeping the chest raised and chin tucked, reach your hands towards your heels. Keep lifting through the chest while your hands are at your heel. Stay in this pose for 30 to 60 seconds (YJ Editors, 2021).
When working with these yoga poses, you can play videos for students to help demonstrate and model how to get into the pose. You can continue to expand on the poses as students become more advanced. Good luck and keep moving!
Editors, Y. (2022, December 9). Camel Pose. Yoga Journal. https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/types/backbends/camel-pose/?scope=anon
Stelter, G. (2020b, May 12). Yoga for poor blood circulation. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/yoga-for-blood-circulation#Well-Tested:-Gentle-Yoga