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Seated Forward Fold: Mindful Movement (Yoga) Practices K-5

Seated Forward Fold

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 sitting comfortably on your mat. 

Move your legs out in front of your body. If it’s uncomfortable to straighten your legs completely, leave them slightly bent. 

Place your hands on the mat on the outside of your legs. 

As you breathe in, sit up tall, lifting the top of your head toward the sky. 

As you breathe out, press down into the mat through your bottom.

As you breathe in, lift your hands up and out in a sunrise motion until your arms are alongside your ears. 

As you breathe out, fold forward from your hips. 

Allow your hands to rest on your thighs, your shins, or your toes. Pick the spot that feels most comfortable. 

Let your head, neck, and shoulders relax. 

Wonderful. This is seated forward fold. Let’s hold this pose for two more breaths. 

As you breathe in, reach forward with your arms, straightening your spine. 

As you breathe out, imagine all the muscles in your legs relaxing. 

As you breathe in, feel your breath expanding your belly toward your legs. 

As you breathe out, let your belly, chest, and head sink downward over your legs. 

Wonderful. As you take your next breath in, slowly return to a seated position. 


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.” 

Authorship and Provenance

Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile

Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project

Associated graphic

Seated Forward Fold: Mindful Movement (Yoga) Practices K-5
Collection Practices: K-12
Visibility Public - accessible to all site users (default)
Author Megan Downey, Anna Basile
Year published 2019
UID mandala-texts-61411