- 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.
Let’s start on our hands and knees.
We’re going to practice child’s pose.
First, keeping your knees where they are, move your feet in toward one another until your big toes touch.
Now move your hips back toward your heels.
Gently stretch your arms out in front you.
And let your chest slowly sink down toward the mat.
This is child’s pose.
A lot of people think child’s pose feels safe and cozy. Check in with your body and see if you agree.
Let’s take three quiet breaths while we’re in this pose, letting ourselves relax. Count each slow breath in your head.
Wonderful. Good job.
Check in to see how your body is feeling.
This is a great place to come anytime you need a break.
Take one more big breath in this pose.
Now lift your hips up and move back to hands and knees.
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.”
Invite students to opt into child’s pose if they find another posture too difficult or if they just need a break. This will encourage them to listen to their bodies and respond according to their individual needs.
Some students prefer to place their arms alongside their bodies, with their palms facing up and their fingers pointed toward the back of their mats. This is meant to be a restorative posture, so invite students to find versions of it that work for them.
Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile
Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project