Pre-school Lesson Plan
Week 1:
Unit One: Body
Lesson 3 – Balance
What is balance and off-balance?
Blocks Metaphor. Bring in three blocks for each child.
Allow the children to experiment with balancing them one on
top of another. Demonstrate that when the blocks are aligned
and balanced, they are able to stand tall and strong. When
the blocks are out of alignment and off-balance, they tumble.
Stand up and apply the same principles to your body. Discuss
tools we can use to help keep the body in balance.
Time In:
Introduce the song I’m A Rainbow – Yoga Ed Pre-school CD.
Rainbow Breath
Bring in a picture of a rainbow and make an origami rainbow
(See Games) for the children to view. Invite children to
breathe deeply and sit up tall like the extended origami
rainbow. Coach them to breathe in the colors of the rainbow
and to choose the color that helps them feel most balanced.
Invite them to say words that describe how they feel when
sitting or standing tall and balanced.
Play Fly like a Butterfly (See Warm-up Activities)
Friend Story (these are all poses that require balance)
On the tallest mountain, (mountain pose), there is a forest of
trees. On one particular tree (tree pose), there lives a bird
(bird pose). One morning, bird decides to visit her friend
bear. She flies down to the valley to the cave (triangle pose)
of bear. “Bear, oh Bear! Come out and play”, calls bird.
Bear (bear pose) walks out of his cave. Together they travel
to the nearby lake to find their friend flamingo (flamingo
pose). “Would you play with us?” asks bear and bird.
Flamingo is thrilled. (The teacher invites the children to
suggest another animal that would like to join in the fun.) All
the animals play together all afternoon splashing in the water.
Group Pose - Forest = Tree pose in a circle with everyone’s
fingertips touching, like branches in a forest of trees. Coach
children to notice how in just touching fingertips lightly, they
can feel the support of their friends and use it to keep their
own balance strong.
Play Acorn Balance (See Games)
Rest/Visualization: Rainbow Breath
Rainbow Visualization (See Rest/Visualization)
Class Project: Make and color a Balance Bird. Find the template for the
balance birds in Games. Save the finished balance birds to
use as a game in next weeks class.
Pre-school Lesson Plan
Unit One: Body
Week 2:
Lesson 3 – Balance, Part 2
How do I balance and maintain my balance?
Demonstrate balance using a simple two-sided scale. (You
can make a homemade version by suspending two paper cups
from a clothes hanger using string or yarn.) Discuss how
when the scale is even on both sides, it is in balance. This
applies to our bodies as well.
Time In:
Rainbow Breath
Sit with legs crossed, eyes closed, back and neck long and
straight. Breathe gently through your nose. Notice your
inhalation and your exhalation. Is it even? Imagine you are a
scale and you want to balance your breath. One side of the
scale is your inhalation (breathing in) and the other side is
your exhalation (breathing out). Notice if your inhalation and
exhalation feel even. Like the scale, do you feel balanced?
Introduce a tool for balancing – focus. Demonstrate how to
rest eyes on one spot to help stabilize balance.
Play Stop the Rock (See Games)
Earthquake Story (explore balance with stillness and with
stresses added). Today, we shall visit our mountain again.
Grab your backpacks, hiking boots, and sunhat. Let’s skip up
the mountain (mountain pose). When we get to the top of the
mountain there is an earthquake.
Coach children to begin shaking from the tips of their toes to
the top of their head. Direct them to stop shaking and return
to mountain pose when the earthquake is over. “Is it hard for
you to stay balanced when you are shaking? All the animals
and plants on the mountain shake too. I wonder if it is hard
for them to stay balanced.”
Discuss different plants and animals that live on the
mountain. The children choose some of these plants and
animals and explore balancing in the corresponding yoga
pose when everything is still and then explore balancing in
the pose when everything is shaking. Some suggestions: tree
pose, frog pose, flower pose, dragon pose, and many more.
At the end, the children hike home and remove all their gear,
drink lots of water and rest.
Play Balance Birds (use the balance birds made the previous
week) (See Games)
Play Circus Acts (See Games)
Rest/Visualization: Rainbow Breath
Rainbow visualization (See Rest/Visualization)
Class Project: Balance Collage: Make a poster showing the outline of a
body in a balancing pose. Invite children to draw themselves
in their favorite balance pose. Then, cut out their drawings
and glue them to the Balance Poster.
K-2 Unit 1: BODY
Week 1:
Lesson 4 – Part 1: Your Center
Where Is Center? Do I Have A Center?
Invite the children to find and point to the center of objects in the room.
For example: a mat, a block, the clock, a ball, etc. Ask them to do the
same on your body as you do different poses. Point out that the center
stays the same even as you move. Have them find and feel their own
center. Explain that this is the place where one comes together inside
for the most strength and balance.
While sitting up tall, breathe from your center like a balloon. Feel
yourself breathing.
Play Body Rockets
Rocking Horse / Boat / Peacock / Dragon / Sailboat
Plank / Cobra / Shark / Bow / Rock / Down Dog
Mountain / Tree / Shoulder Stand prep / Lying Twist
Circle of Friends (Games p. 136) or Mother’s Choice
Rest in Beanbag Bodies
The Wisdom Tree visualization
Class Project:
Creative Drawing – Add a drawing to the Posture or Time-in Collage.
Try feeling your center before you do things and see how it affects you.
Show Sailboat to someone in your family. Remember to do both sides!
K-2 Unit 1: BODY
Week 2:
Lesson 4 – Part 2: Your Center
Can I Center Myself? What Does Being Centered Do For Me?
Review the concept of center and discuss the homework observations.
Pebble and Water Metaphor
Teach Dog Breath (cooling) or Bunny Breath (cleansing)
Play Balance Bird or Stop the Rock
(Same poses as last lesson.)
Rocking Horse / Boat / Peacock / Dragon / Sailboat
Plank / Cobra / Shark / Bow / Rock / Down Dog
Mountain / Tree / Shoulder Stand prep / Lying Twist
Refine Sailboat and Shoulder Stand prep
Play Dogs and Snakes
Rest in Beanbag Bodies
Meeting a Friend visualization
Class Project:
Creative Drawing - Add drawings to Posture or Time-in Collages
Try speaking and walking from your center all the time. Write the
word center on a card or paper and keep it in your pocket as a reminder.
Practice Mountain pose each morning.
G3-5 Unit 2: MIND
Week 1:
Lesson 3 – Part 1: Feelings
What Are Feelings? How Do They Work?
Introduce the Feelings poster. Discuss any questions about emotions.
Ask the children to identify how they are feeling today. Explain that
yoga helps one notice what one is feeling. Just observe and allow it.
Demonstrate resistance and non-resistance. Explain that feelings are
part of all of our lives but suffering only happens when we resist how
we feel or what is true. Rocks and Feelings Metaphor
Time In:
Observe and listen to your feelings. Allow them to just be there or to
flow through you on your breath. Allow them to have a color, shape or
texture. If you are not sure what you are feeling, breathe and relax,
paying special attention to any tight places.
Play The Grouch Monster Blues
Review Sun Salute C.
Practice Push-ups. After Standing poses, demonstrate a challenging
Twist. Explain how twists wring out toxins from organs and have a
cleansing effect. Demonstrate with a wet rag or sponge if you like.
Remind the class to drink plenty of water especially after twists. Do an
Inversion to finish.
Partner Play:
Review and practice basic partner poses focusing on Resistance. Coach
kids to use resistance to move slowly and gracefully together.
Rest pose
Color Shower visualization
Class Project:
Journal Writing – Write about a situation in which you feel angry or
sad. Allow yourself to experience how you feel about it. Can you let it
go now? Can yoga help? Do you have any new ideas about how to
deal with the situation?
Practice a Twist (both sides) for a few minutes everyday. Notice when
you are resisting in the pose, creating struggle, and when you are
allowing, breathing and non-reactive. Can you feel the difference?
What is your thinking when you resist? What is it when you allow or
G3-5 Unit 2: MIND
Week 2:
Lesson 3 – Part 2: Feelings
Do I Know What I’m Feeling? Do I Allow My Feelings And Then
Express And Release Them? Do I Use My Feelings To Help Me
Get To Know Others And Myself Better?
Discuss homework observations. Teach the Eagle Wisdom Pose.
Explain that this is a great pose for wisdom because it links your mind
and your heart. Use it to center and balance yourself if you feel
confused, scared, angry or sad.
Time In:
Focus on and accept what you are feeling and breathe. Don’t try to
change or fix it. Just observe it.
Do a warm-up focusing on the heart and the breath. Demonstrate how
to allow poses to unfold on your breath from your inner body and
awareness. Coach non-resistance – don’t force tight places. Use finesse
in thinking, breathing and doing.
Design a sequence that combines poses this group has been working
on. Include a Twist and Inversion. Do the poses as a flow.
Play Cloud Jump
Rest pose
Heart Mail visualization with music to enhance.
Class Project:
Creative Drawing – Add a drawing to the Heart Collage.
Practice three poses in a flow everyday. Do them at different times of
the day and when you are in different moods. Write about your
*Directions for the Eagle Wisdom Pose: Cross legs or feet. Cross the arms in front of you
at the wrists, turn the thumbs down, clasp the hands, interlacing the fingers, fold the
hands under and bring them to your chest at your heart. Touch the tongue to the roof of
mouth. Close the eyes and breathe into the heart, remembering someone or something
you love.
G6 – 8: UNIT 1:
Week 1:
Introductory Lesson – Part 1: What Is Yoga?
What Do I Know About Yoga?
1. Meet the students and learn all their names. Play Spider Dance. Ask
what they’ve heard, think or know about yoga. Tell them a little about
yourself and your background. Share with them why you love yoga and
what it does for you.
2. Explain the concept of yoga as a way to link with one’s self and to
develop awareness, strength, flexibility and balance, both physically
mentally. In yoga class, unlike all your other classes, attention should be
on oneself and one’s inner experience. You will learn not only yoga
poses that enhance your coordination and health; you will learn tools
that you can apply to your life. Give examples and use Blocks
Time In:
Explain the structure and order of class. Do a short Time-In. Invite the
kids to listen to their breathing, or to feel their heartbeats.
Do a sitting warm-up sequence. Discuss what makes yoga different
from other exercises: focus is on the breath, and attention is on process.
Demonstrate yoga poses such as:
Down Dog / Up Dog / Triangle / Warrior / Shoulder stand and their
adjustments. Explain what adjustments are for and that teachers will
always ask permission before adjusting a student.
Teach: Down Dog / Waterfall / Tree / Triangle / Bridge / Twist
Partner Play:
Teach one partner pose such as See-Saw / Elevator / Rooftops.
Demonstrate and explain that the final pose of every yoga class is
called Rest. Coach students to lay back, close the eyes and do nothing.
Test whether they are relaxed by making sure their arm or leg is limp if
you lift it. Do a short visualization.
Class Project:
Hand out file folders for storing work, and have students personalize
the covers using markers or other materials.
Notes: For this introductory class, explain that the traditional way to end each class is to
take a moment to acknowledge our selves and each other. Suggest an appropriate way for
everyone to do that together, or invite students to create or choose one. You may want to
say something such as Peace or Unity or simply: I thank myself and I thank all of you.
G6 – 8: UNIT 1
Week 2:
Introductory Lesson - Part 2: Assessment
How Strong, Flexible, Balanced, Focused, Attentive, Aware and
Creative Am I?
Explain that assessment is a form of measurement. Today we are
measuring things about ourselves like strength, focus and balance so
that we can chart our own progress and be responsible for our own
work and goals. Our job is to follow directions, and to do our best.
There is no right or wrong. Each one of us is different. Yoga is not a
competition. It is about being okay with who you are, and working with
yourself lovingly to make changes in any area that you choose.
Time In:
Bear Breath – Have students record how many counts they can breathe
in and out. Repeat for several rounds. Also measure how long each
student stays sitting still and inwardly focused. Give kinesthetic
imagery or affirmations to help them.
Sitting stretches – Measure spine flexibility. Teach Sun Salute C,
focused on following directions, body awareness, memory,
coordination, and grace.
To measure posture, body awareness, coordination, concentration and
ability to apply directions, use 3-4 of the following poses:
– posture and alignment
Rag Doll
– hamstring / leg flexibility and strength
Down Dog
– leg / shoulder flexibility and strength
– arm / upper-body strength
– upper body strength and flexibility
– leg strength and concentration
– hip flexibility and leg / torso strength
– balance and focus
Twisting Star – torso / hip / shoulder flexibility
Can Opener – hip / back flexibility and concentration
– hip / back flexibility and leg strength
Shoulder Stand Prep – coordination, flexibility, strength,
Partner Pose – ability to apply coordination working with another
Conscious relaxation. Use Balloon Breathing or color imagery.
Class Project:
Creative Drawing – Give each student three pieces of paper and ask
them to draw a house, a tree and a person.
Write down your questions, concerns and goals for yoga class.
MS Unit I: Physical Health
Lesson 2: Alignment
Week 1
Sit up tall in a comfortable cross-legged position. Close your eyes and go inside. Be
curious and pay attention to what’s happening inside you. Allow your torso to lengthen
and invite your breath to become slow and full. Simply observe your breath as it comes
in and as it goes out. Each inhale brings new energy and life force; each exhale takes
away what is not useful. Imagine now that on each inhale, you breathe in light and on
each exhale, you release stress. Breathe in beauty and breathe out tightness.
(2-3 minutes)
Note: Bring in a plumb line to demonstrate alignment.
Sit up as straight and tall as you can. Now bring your awareness to your skeleton. Feel
your VERTICAL - imagine a plumb line that runs through your center aligning you with
sky and earth. Imagine you are being pulled gently in opposite directions - up from the
top of your head and down from the base of your spine. Let your breath deepen and
bring your hands halfway between your knees and your hips. Slide your shoulder blades
down your back and hug them gently together, bring the sides of your neck back until
you feel your head above your shoulders and your shoulder heads directly above your
hips. Your skeleton now easily and effortlessly holds you upright. Your muscles,
organs, nervous system, senses and thinking can all relax. Breathe deeply, go inside, feel
your being… still… balanced…quiet.... spacious. (Allow 2 -4 minutes)
• Display skeleton model or skeletal system poster. Note the length and curves
in the spine. Identify the primary curves in your own spine.
Identify boney landmarks. Include spinal vertebrae (cervical, thoracic,
lumbar), sacrum, hipbones, collarbones; shoulder, knee, wrist and ankle joints.
Review habitual posture and its impact on the body and breath.
Discuss ways that Mountain pose is the blueprint for almost every other pose
in yoga.
• Practice rounding and arching, extending and bending while seated. How do you
feel each way? How is your breathing, your energy? What is happening to the
organs and the bones as we slump stretch or stand tall?
Find a partner and coach each other on alignment first while seated then in
Mountain pose w/feet hip distance. Use boney landmarks in your coaching.
Remind them that developing new and healthy habits takes practice and
PATIENCE and the long-term health benefits are worth it!
Mountain w/feet hip distance, Mountain w/wrists at shoulder height
Extended Mountain w/hands shoulder width apart, bend wrists like handstand
Standing Forward Bend w/knees bent, torso on thighs and fingers interlaced behind back
Roll up to Mountain – carry Mountain pose alignment through all poses
½ Sun Salute
Plank, align wrists/shoulders and shoulders/hips/ankles
Plank, Cobra, Down dog (5x)
Sun Salute A (3x)
Go to wall
Triangle, Warrior II (stand with back against wall for alignment)
Crescent, Warrior I (stand with back heel against wall)
Handstand Prep
King Arthur pose – in deep lunge with one shin up wall
Camel facing wall
Reclining leg lifts
Shoulderstand Prep
Reclining Twist
As you close your eyes, bring your awareness to your skeleton. In your mind’s eye, find
the same plumb line from Mountain pose. Feel the length of your spine, extending and
completely supported.
During seated forward bends or just during rest, House Made of Dawn by Coyote
Homework Handout: Skeletal System
Color in each labeled component of the skeleton below. Show all colors used on the key.
Homework Handout: Alignment Self Portrait
Draw a before- and after- self-portrait of your own alignment. It can be just a line or stick
figure. Use a mirror!
1. “BEFORE” is YOU, sitting or standing at the bus stop, washing dishes, doing
homework, etc.
2. “AFTER”- is YOU, after putting all the principles of alignment into practice.
MS Unit I: Physical Health
Lesson 2: Alignment
Week 2
Sit up tall in a comfortable cross-legged position. Close your eyes and go inside. Be
curious and pay attention to what’s happening inside you. Allow your torso to lengthen
and invite your breath to become slow and full. Simply observe your breath as it comes
in ... and as it goes out. Each inhale brings new energy and life force; each exhale takes
away what is not useful. Imagine now that on each inhale, you breathe in light and on
each exhale, you release worry . . . Breathe in intelligence and breathe out negative
thoughts. (2-3 minutes)
NOTE: Students come to standing in Mountain.
Come to standing. Bring your feet hip width distance. Extend all ten toes up toward the
sky. Look down at your feet make sure they are parallel and lift up on your kneecaps to
engage the quadriceps. Lift your heart and extend your tailbone towards the ground. The
heads of your arm bones should come up so your side body lengthens. Bring your
shoulder blades onto your back. Soften the front ribs. Bring your hands to your heart
and close your eyes. Feel what it’s like to be perfectly aligned. Shift your weight forward,
shift your weight back and then find that sweet spot that belongs to only you. Slowly
open your eyes.
• Review alignment and the body using skeleton model or skeletal system poster.
Review habitual posture and its impact on the body and breath.
Collect homework from previous week. Share posture self-portraits with class.
Review Mountain pose as the blue print pose for all other poses.
• In today’s class let’s find Mountain pose in all of our poses. Let your bones
support you. Hug your muscles around your bones and feel the lightness that
action brings to the body.
Mountain w/feet hip distance, Mountain w/wrists at shoulder height, turn palms up
½ Sun Salute
Down Dog
Plank, Cobra, Down Dog
Plank, Low Plank, Up Dog, Down Dog
Sun Salute A (3x)
Triangle, Warrior II
Go to wall
Crescent (back heel to wall), Warrior III (back foot on wall)
Standing Split, Standing Forward Bend
Standing Big Toe Pose (use belt around foot so spine is long)
Down Dog, Shark (hold block between hands, shoulder blades on back)
Bow, Down Dog, Child’s
Boat, Down Dog
Reclining Twist
Visualization: Ideal Self
Breathe in peace and safety and allow it to melt everything else away… Imagine that
even your body or brain melt away until all that’s left is just your essence. Your essence
may be a color or just a skeleton or light or energy. Whatever forms your essence takes,
take a few moments to get comfortable. Notice the difference in how you feel. Can you
define it? Feel it deeply and let a word or a name come to you…
Now as you watch, invite your essence to take the form of the Ideal You – create an
image of you as everything you want to be. See yourself exactly as you would like to be.
Then observe how you look… how you move… how you’re dressed and how you
express yourself. How is it similar to you? How is it different?
When you are ready, become your Ideal Self and notice how it feels. How do you feel on
the inside? What kind of thoughts do you have? How does your body feel when you
move? How does the world look through these eyes?
As your Ideal Self, think about your current life and concerns. Can you see them now
from a new perspective? Do the same issues or problems seem as important? Can you
see something you can let go of? Something you can forgive or understand that has been
bothering you? Think about how you could change things so that your life would be
more loving, more fun, more fulfilling.
When you are ready, thank your Ideal Self and your Real Self. Take a deep breath,
wiggle your fingers and toes, stretch, roll to one side. Take a moment to embrace
anything valuable that got from this experience.
After a strong yoga practice, rest with Sanctuary by Riley Lee
Skeletal System Quiz
Skeletal System Quiz
Fill in the missing labels on the skeleton below.
Alignment Relay
There are two objectives to this game:
1. To finish first.
2. To do the relay the most like a yogi – quietly, safely, respectfully
Divide class into teams. Each team chose a Captain.
Captain: Please read each numbered instruction OUT LOUD. Upon completion of each
task, get teacher approval before moving on to next number:
1. Starting at the window side of the room, do a line of triangle poses. The first
person starts with their left heel against the wall and does triangle. The second
person puts their left heel at the first person’s right toes and does triangle. The
third person does the same, and so on, until you have a line to the other side of the
room or ALL the players are in the triangle line (whichever comes first).
2. Make a list on the black board of seven things in the room that have a straight line
in them. If the other team has written words down, you cannot repeat anything
they wrote.
3. Get six yoga blocks out of the cupboard and stack them (the long way) from the
floor toward the ceiling, then count to three together. If the stack tumbles before
you reach the top or before you count to three, start over.
4. Hold hands and make a big circle. Step backward until circle is very round. Step
forward into the middle - raising held hands high in the air. Then step back into a
wide circle again. Do this three times (Captain count). Stay ALIGNED and IN
SYNC, use finesse and be careful not to step on toes or squish anyone.
5. Get a blindfold off the teacher’s desk and put it on one volunteer from your team.
Have that person spread his/her arms wide, then try to touch his/her nose with
his/her right pointer finger. If the person misses, then have him/her try again.
Repeat this motion with the left pointer finger.
6. Captain, do a Down Dog and have everyone on the team coach you into perfect
alignment. Show it to the teacher when the alignment is right.
7. Count the vertebrae on the skeleton at the black board. Write the total on the
board and circle it.
8. Stand in a “train” with each person’s hands on the shoulders of the person in front
of them. Have the first person in the line wind around and put his/her hands on
the shoulders of the last person, forming a circle. Sit down in the circle, put your
hands palms together ABOVE your head and say “Victory!”
The End ☺
Week 10: Yoga Mind-Body = Healthy Lifestyle = Awareness of HOW
Anonymous: How you do anything is how you do everything.
John Friend: Advertising agencies and the media inherently define what the most
popular look and image is, and we then often use this definition as a measuring
standard for ourselves. Many times this arbitrary standard sparks self-hate and a war
with our body when we feel that we are far from what it takes to be “attractive” or
B.K.S. Iyengar: Before we can find peace among nations, we have to find peace inside
that small nation which is our own being.
Sit comfortably in your vertical alignment. Close your eyes. Breathe. Settle into the earth
through your sit bones on your exhale. On your inhale, feel your spine rise up and
elongate. Allow your head to rise toward the sky. As you breathe, imagine your spinal
cord becoming energized while your joints, muscles, skin and thoughts relax. Become
aware of any tension or stress you are holding and as you breathe, let it go. Let go of the
outside and connect with the inside. Bring your awareness into your heart.
As you breathe, assume that you are whole, perfect and complete just as you are. Notice
if any objections to that assertion arise and just observe what they are. Now tune out
those voices and shift your awareness back to breathing into your heart and feel your
goodness, your wholeness, your humanity, your vitality. Breathe in love and light and
breathe out love and light. Appreciate yourself, trust yourself, love yourself. From this
place, imagine HOW you could to do your yoga today. Choose to do it as a celebration of
who you are, as a gift to yourself, as a way to feel good and enjoy yourself.
Mind-body science has proven that HOW we think, How we do things, How we relate to
life is a vital component of health. Notice today HOW you do your yoga. Do you do
yoga to punish, fix or improve yourself? That attitude perpetuates the lie that there is
something wrong with you. Do you do yoga from your heart to love and support
yourself? Can you have fun in your efforts, be kind to yourself, laugh at your limitations,
enjoy your body and the amazing vessel that it is, energize, unwind, explore and create
space inside yourself? That attitude is the wellspring and essence of health.
• Reflect on Time-in and the quotations
o Notice your basic relationship to your body and your life (attitude,
thoughts, feelings). Are you at war or peace?
o Notice HOW you are in your life, how you do things. (force or finesse?)
o Discuss the impact of attitude and intention on results, on health
Discuss answers to homework question: Why practice yoga?
o Write down student goals
o Discuss How to achieve them in a healthy way for mind and body
Review yoga principles (the HOW of yoga) as what works for health
o Breathing – the focus / smooth and deep sounding breath / spacious
o Attitude – adventurer / fun in the process/ supportive
o Alignment – elongated / balanced by opposition / safe
o Action – with finesse / graceful / joyful
Rock – Cat - Dog
Rag doll
Rocking Horse from standing to standing
Core strengtheners
Plank – push-up – Up-Dog – Down Dog
Sun Salutes
Focus on smooth transitions
Standing poses
Balance poses - handstand / headstand / arm balance
Shoulder and hip openers
Back bends
Partner poses
Rest/ Visualization:
Relax…Let go… allow yourself to be loved and supported by the floor, by the space, by
each other, by my voice…by life itself. With each breath, receive and refuel…
Think of a child that you love. Imagine being with them and feel how much they mean to
you. Now, imagine that they are scared or sick or sad and help them… Notice how you
are with them – it may be patient, caring, protective, consoling. And notice how it makes
you feel to be able to be that for them. Be that for yourself. Be that for others.
Music: Embracing the Wind by Kevin Kern
• Continue a daily Time-in and yoga practice for home – keep a record and journal
• Read Life Strategies for Teens pages 13 – 49
• Do workbook pages 3 - 22
Weeks 11 – 12: Systems of the Body
Jay McGraw: The world works as a system; all you have to do is learn that system and
then work it, and you, too, will get what you want.
Christina Sell: I realized that if I practiced in a way that ignored my pain with harsh
and critical internal dialogue, I would be perpetuating the same war that I had known
my entire life. I realized that if I could learn to slow down, to pay attention to my
alignment, to honor my pain and respect my limits, then I could make my yoga into an
offering of peace.
Sit comfortably in your vertical alignment. Close your eyes. Breathe. Settle into the earth
through your sit bones on your exhale. On your inhale, feel your spine rise up and
elongate. Allow your head to rise toward the sky. As you breathe, imagine your spinal
cord becoming energized while your joints, muscles, skin and thoughts relax. Become
aware of any tension or stress you are holding and as you breathe, let it go. Let go of the
outside and connect with the inside. Bring your awareness into your heart.
As you breathe, allow yourself to receive the gift of your health, your wholeness and your
vitality. Become present to the miracle of your body and all that it does for you everyday.
Breathe in health and breathe out health. Now simply allow your breath – letting it guide
you to greater relaxation and awareness. Imagine your breath spreading a soft white
light through your entire skeleton, both soothing and energizing your bones. Then let that
light move into your nervous system and brain. It softens your face, clears your mind and
soothes your senses. Your eyes and jaw and mouth and neck relax. Through your
circulatory system now, that soft light enters every muscle and cell. It nurtures your heart
and cleans your lungs. It soothes your belly and energizes your digestion. You experience
moving to a new level of health, balance and awareness as the light revitalizes every
system in your mind and body. It feels good and brings with it a new understanding about
how to honor yourself and maintain your health. Notice any insights or thoughts that
occur to you about your habits and invite this deeper knowing to guide your choices from
now on.
• Discuss homework reading.
o Connect Yoga Principles to Life Laws = what works
o Review why how we do yoga is so important = a way of being
• Review Systems of the Body and how yoga impacts them and our health:
o Skeleton / Alignment = integrity = stability = flow
o Muscles / Joints = balanced action = grace = no injuries
Experiment and explain working with muscles / ligaments /
tendons / joints
o Nervous System / Endocrine System = mental and emotional balance
o Respiration = lung health = energy flow = elimination of toxins
o Circulation = heart health = strength and stamina = flow and vitality
o Digestion = inner organ health = nourishment and elimination = strength
and stamina = clarity of processing
How Yoga affects us:
o Forward bends Calm, quiet and introvert
Stimulate and balance endocrine system and internal organs
o Standing poses Strengthen, ground, energize, focus
Strengthens muscles, joints, circulatory system
o Balance poses Focus, integrate, stabilize
Strengthen core muscles, develop coordination, balance nervous
system and integrate both hemispheres of the brain
o Twists –
Cleanse, de-stress, unwind, integrate both sides of brain
Stimulate and balance digestive system and nervous system
o Backbends –
Energize, extrovert, open
Stimulate spine, hip, shoulder flexibility and respiratory system
o Restorative poses –
Nurture, relax, recharge, unwind
Balance nervous system and all organs, stimulate creativity and
Warm-up: Focus on foundation and leg alignment
Mountain pose
Forward bend with active legs
Squat then up to Waterfall
Blown Palm
Star – Twisting Star
Game: Stand Your Ground – Hold Your Center
With a partner, stand face to face about 2 feet apart. Bend knees slightly to ground
yourself and bring hands up in front of you, palm to palm to your partner. Try to push
your partner off their grounding as they try to push you off yours.
You can also play it from a lunge position and try to pull your partner off center. Partners
stand with their right feet next to each other, pinky toes sides touching. Then, both step
back with their left legs into a lunge. Get grounded and then grip right hands or wrists.
Partners try to pull each other off center without being pulled off them selves.
This game helps students experience being strong, grounded and centered without being
stiff, tense or resistant. The trick is to remain solid in the lower body while being relaxed,
flexible and non-resistant in the upper body.
Partner warm-ups
Sun Salute B
Dancing Warrior
Forearm balance
Dragon with knee down – twist and backbend and thigh stretch
Rocking horse
Back bends
Use Constructive Rest Pose and/or give restorative pose options
Music with visualization: Relaxmore, A Guided Deep Relaxation by Jillian Pransky
• Continue a daily Time-in and yoga practice for home – keep a record and journal
• Research and review the systems of the body. Decide which system in your body
is the weakest and design a short yoga sequence (3 – 5 poses) that will strengthen,
heal or balance it. Be prepare to demonstrate and explain it to the class or write it
down to be handed in.
• Read Life Strategies for Teens, Life Law #1 pages 51 - 65
• Do workbook pages 25 - 43