Adding yoga in elementary schools can be simple and approachable! These yoga activities can easily be done at a desk or in the group area of a classroom. Use these in preschools, kindergarten, or early elementary grades.
Here are a few easy ways to bring yoga into a classroom and the benefits they offer:
- Yoga to books: During read-aloud time, have children move their bodies to the story! Our library contains easy-to-follow, full color photos of kids in yoga poses, that teachers can pull up on the SmartBoards or Apple TVs. The books in our library are frequently found in classrooms and school libraries. Yoga story time is often used in the group area of a classroom, and gives children a chance to stretch their bodies and use their large muscles, expending extra energy.
- Belly Breathing: When students are having a hard time settling in, have them practice this breathing exercise. It’s easy to do from their chair, or in a quiet corner to help them recenter. Children will find they are more in-tune with their feelings, and have a technique to help them focus and learn.
- Seated stretches: Sometimes, kids just need a quick stretch, and this can be done right from their seats! A quick Rainbow Stretch gets their blood flowing, loosens up tense muscles, and brings focus back to the class. Have kids reach one hand up and over, recite the colors of the rainbow, then repeat on the opposite side.
It doesn’t require a large commitment for kids to benefit from yoga in schools. A few stretches a day, a book or two each week, and they will quickly catch on and begin using the self-regulating techniques that they are learning!