Skip to main content Skip to search
Standing Starfish: Mindful Movement (Yoga) Practices K-5

Standing Starfish

A K-5 Mindful Movement Practice


Type of Practice: Yoga

Recommended Grade Levels: K-5


Social Context: Individual

Duration of Practice: 1 minute

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 standing comfortably on your mat. 

As you breathe in, bring your arms out to your sides in a T-shape as you jump or step your feet apart like you’re doing a jumping jack. 

Take a look at your toes. Are they facing straight in front of you? If not, move them so that they are. 

Check in with your body. Are your feet so wide apart that it is uncomfortable? If so, bring your feet in a little bit. 

Are you able to move your feet out without losing your ability to push down evenly through both of them? If so, move your feet out just a little bit. 

Wonderful. This is starfish pose. 

Let’s hold this pose for two breaths. 

As you breathe in, reach your fingertips away from you as if someone is pulling gently on your hands in opposite directions. Feel the front of your body open. 

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

As you breathe in, notice the front of your body. Do you feel a stretch anywhere? 

As you breathe out, feel your body relax. 

Wonderful. Now jump or step back to mountain pose.  


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

Standing Starfish: 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-61536