Skip to main content Skip to search
Seated Twist: Mindful Movement (Yoga) Practices K-5

Seated Twist

A K-5 Mindful Movement Practice


Type of Practice: Yoga

Recommended Grade Levels: 3-5


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 the mat in easy pose. 

Take your right leg and lift it over your left leg, placing your right foot on the mat. 

Sit up tall so that your back is straight. 

As you breathe in, gently twist to the right. Breathing in before you twist helps to protect your spine. 

If it is comfortable for you, you can put the outside of your left arm along the outside of your right leg. 

This is seated twist. 

Let’s stay here for two breaths. 

As you breathe in, sit up a little bit straighter. Do you feel taller than before?

As you breathe out, twist just a tiny bit more toward the right. 

As you breathe in, notice any parts of your body that feel tight.

As you breathe out, imagine those parts of your body relaxing. 

Wonderful. As you take another breath in, come back to center. 

Let’s repeat this on the other side. 


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.” 

Tell students that it is important to inhale before they twist; this will help protect their spines.

As students twist, invite them to check in with their bodies to ensure that their heads are aligned directly over their tailbones. They should be sitting up straight rather than leaning forward to get a deeper twist.

Authorship and Provenance

Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile

Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project

Associated graphic


Seated Twist: 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-61451