- One yoga mat per student.
- Enough floor space that students can spread out.
- 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.
Today we’re going to practice chair pose to help the muscles in our legs grow strong.
Let’s start in mountain.
Begin by taking a big breath in and lifting your arms up and out in a sunrise motion.
Now as you breathe out, pretend like you are sitting on an invisible chair, lowering your hips toward the mat. Leave your hands in the air as you pretend to sit backwards.
Well done! This is chair pose.
Take a moment and check whether you can see your toes. If not, move your hips back just a little bit until you can see them. This helps to keep your body safe.
Now see if you can lift just your toes up from the mat and wiggle them.
Gently lower your toes back to the mat.
Let’s stay here for two big breaths.
As you breathe in, press down through your feet into the mat.
As you breathe out, see if your legs are starting to feel warm or even a little bit shaky!
As you take another breath in, reach your hands higher toward the sky.
As you breathe out, imagine your legs growing stronger.
Now gently stand up straight.
Move your hands out wide and then down in a sunset motion.
Wonderful. We’re back to mountain pose.
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 students find this pose too difficult, invite them to lower their arms, placing their palms together in front of their chests.
Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile
Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project