Hands and Knees Pose
A K-5 Mindful Movement Practice
Audience: K-5 students
Time: Any time of day
Duration of Practice: 1 minute per session
Social context: Individual practice or group practice
- 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.
Begin on your hands and knees with your fingers facing forward and your palms and the tops of your feet flat on the ground.
Check to see if your hands are directly underneath your shoulders. If not, move them so that they are.
Now look between your hands and see whether your knees are the same distance apart as your hands are. If not, move them so that your right knee is behind your right hand and your left knee is behind your left hand.
Wonderful. Now look between your hands again. This time check to see whether you can see your feet. If you can, move them so that they are behind your knees.
Now straighten your back.
And now gently lower your chin just a little bit toward the mat. Check to see whether your neck feels different after moving it in this way.
Pause here as you take slow breaths in and out.
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 explicit reference to breath 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.
Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile
Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project