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Sunrise: Mindful Movement (Yoga) Practices K-5


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. 

Today we’re going to practice sunrise pose. 

Begin by standing comfortably in mountain

Gently lift your head a little higher toward the sky, noticing the stretch in your back as you do so.

As you take a big breath in, stretch your arms out to your sides and bring them up over your head until your hands meet. 

Excellent. As you breathe out, bring your hands down through the center of your body and then gently lower them to your sides.

Wonderful. Let’s do that one more time. 

As you breathe in, sweep your arms up and out, imagining the sun rising in the sky. 

As you breathe out, bring your hands down through the center of your body and then gently lower them to your sides. 


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.” 

Though not required, sunrise pose is often paired with sunset pose. If you opt to create a mini-sequence using these two poses, invite students to breathe in as they move into sunrise and breathe out as they move into sunset. Cue students to bend their knees as they move between sunset and sunrise. This will help to protect their backs. 

You can also integrate “sunrise breathing” into other poses. For example, when students are in victory pose, invite them to take a big breath in as they sweep their arms out and up, stopping when their arms are next to their ears. 

Authorship and Provenance

Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile

Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project

Associated graphic


Sunrise: 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-61661