Waterfall: Mindful Movement (Yoga) Practices K-5


A K-5 Mindful Movement Practice


Type of Practice: Yoga

Recommended Grade Levels: K-5


Social Context: Individual

Duration of Practice: 2 minutes

Preparations and Resources


  • One yoga mat per student.
  • Enough floor space that students can spread out. 

Set Up: 

  • Arrange the yoga mats, ensuring that students have enough space to move without bumping into one another. 
  • If you have enough space, consider arranging the yoga mats in a circle so that you can see each student from your own mat. 


Begin by laying on your back on your mat.

As you breathe in, bring your right knee to your chest and then your left knee to your chest. Breathing in helps to protect your back. 

Pause here, and breathe out. 

As you breathe in, lift your feet toward the sky so that your legs are perpendicular to your mat.

As you breathe out, feel the weight of your upper body sink into the mat. 

If it’s more comfortable for you, place your hands under your hips with your palms facing the mat. 

Wonderful. This is waterfall pose. 

Let’s pause here for two breaths. 

As you breathe in, feel your stomach rise as it fills with air.

As you breathe out, imagine any discomfort you feel sinking into the mat. 

As you breathe in, see if you can use your breath to help your body feel calm.

As you breathe out, notice whether this pose helps you feel more relaxed. 

As you breathe in, slowly bring your right knee toward your chest. Then slowly lower your left knee toward your chest. 

Gently lower both legs down to the mat. 


You do not need to read the included script verbatim. Adapt the language so that it is appropriate for your students in particular. 

It is perfectly appropriate to simplify the breathing cues, particularly when you first introduce the pose to your students. You might invite students to simply count several breaths in the pose, or you might opt to omit them altogether. 

It is not important for students to get the pose “exactly right.” Instead, focus on helping them build mind-body awareness each time you practice. 

Offer students positive reinforcements throughout each practice. Focus on qualities and behaviors they can control, like their focus, effort, or persistence. Be specific whenever possible. This will help your students develop a “growth mindset.” 

If any students are wearing skirts, opt for a different pose. 


Rather than inviting students to place their hands under their hips, you can ask them to roll up one edge of their mats and then put their hips on the slightly raised portion of their mats. 

Authorship and Provenance

Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile

Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project