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Pick It Up: Mindful Movement (Yoga) Practices K-5

Pick It Up

A K-5 Mindful Movement Practice


Type of Practice: Yoga

Recommended Grade Levels: K-5


Social Context: Individual

Duration of Practice: 3 minutes

Preparations and Resources


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


  • Arrange the yoga mats, ensuring that you have one per student. 
  • Ensure you have enough floor space so that students can spread out. 

Imagine you are standing in a magical pool full of whatever [emotional or behavioral quality] you need. 

As you breathe in, take a moment to check in with yourself. What are you needing? Curiosity? Patience? Imagine what might help you right now. 

As you breathe out, bend your knees, fold forward, and reach your arms wide. Then swoop your arms down in a gathering motion and  pick up what you just imagined. Maybe you decide to pick up happiness or courage. 

As you breathe in, slowly stand up straight and hold what you scooped up over your head. 

As you breathe out, slowly bring your arms all the way back down and imagine you are pouring what you scooped up over your whole body.


(Repeat this as many times as you’d like.)

As you breathe in, return to a comfortable standing position. Check in with yourself. Do you notice anything different?  


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.

Authorship & Provenance

Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile

Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project

Associated Graphic

Pick It Up: Mindful Movement (Yoga) Practices K-5

Students imagine picking up whatever quality they need in the moment (e.g., courage) from a magical pool.

Collection Practices: K-12
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)
Author Megan Downey, Anna Basile
Year published 2019
UID mandala-texts-61116