Shaunquetta N. Johnson
Phase I: Exploring feelings and character education
It is essential for students to become aware of their feelings and moods. Students will gain the ability to verbalize their thoughts and feelings rather than internalizing them. Also, students will understand good character and how to live as a good citizen. The sample activities are a guide to introduce the yamas and niyamas of yoga. In addition, students are encouraged to keep a journal throughout the entire unit. Students are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings in written form as well as verbal discussion.
Objectives: Students will be able to describe and explain their feelings and emotions. Students will be able to explain the yamas (restraints) and niyamas (perceptions) of yoga.
Each yama and niyama is posted on a large poster-sized paper. The teacher will write the meaning of the yamas and niyamas and the students will illustrate each yama and niyama. Students will write a paragraph explaining how the illustration defines the yama and niyama. Students will record their illustrations and paragraphs in a yoga journal. Teacher will model illustration and explanatory paragraph of a yama and niyama.
Students can role play the yamas and niyamas. Class can have a discussion on the scenarios and explain the meaning of the yamas and niyamas.
Each student can keep a journal to record their feelings and emotions. Students can illustrate their feelings and/or write at least a paragraph on how they feel and why.
Teacher can have a class meeting in which students are encouraged to verbalize their moods and feelings. This meeting can be held in the morning, midday, and/or at the end of the day. Class is encouraged to sit in a circle if space is allotted. Student arrangement is contingent upon space. Teacher will guide students to describe their mood/feelings. Students will answer the sentence starter, "I feel_____________because_______________________." Teacher will model how to complete sentence starter. Students will follow teacher's lead. (Students are encouraged to participate. It may take some students a little longer to get comfortable in sharing their feelings in a large group. Students should not be forced to share.)
Phase II: Exploring yoga exercises
Students will learn Hatha yoga by performing yoga poses/postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation exercises. Hatha yoga is a healthy form of yoga that joins the mind and body. Students gain strength, focus, tranquility, and stamina. Students perform yoga within their own capabilities. Teacher should not expect or promote perfection.
Objective: Students will demonstrate yoga exercises and breathing techniques.
Teacher should always practice poses and postures before teaching students. Teacher will demonstrate a yoga exercise to students. Students will repeat exercise. Teacher and students will practice exercise together.
Note: There is no one correct way to do a yoga pose. Students will practice poses within their abilities. Teacher should encourage students to try each pose. It is acceptable for students to decline.
Warm-up (5-10 minutes): Teacher will demonstrate various breathing techniques such as belly breathing or bunny breathing (inhaling 4-6 quick breathes through the nose and exhaling though the mouth saying 'aah'). Students will practice breathing techniques. Teacher will model non-strenuous stretches such as raising arms in the air and stretching arms to the ceiling. Students will practice simple stretches.
Asana(s) (15-20 minutes): Teacher will model 1-3 poses/postures. Students will practice poses/postures. Teacher will model animal poses as well as postures such as Tree and Volcano.
Cool-down (5-10 minutes): Teacher will model sitting pretzel-style. Teacher will close eyes and model breathing technique. Students will practice sitting pretzel-style and breathing technique. Teacher will focus students on the rhythm of their breathing. Teacher will inform students to relax their bodies and clear their mind.
Students can write in their journal how they feel before and after each yoga lesson. Over time students may revisit their journal entries to determine the effects yoga has on their feelings and moods.
Phase III: Exploring Fables
Objectives: Students will determine the moral of stories and fables. Students will create a dramatization of the stories and fables using yoga poses.
Teacher will choose a fable to read to class.
Teacher will think aloud and retell the fable in his/her own words.
Teacher will connect the fable to a yama or niyama to determine the moral of the fable.
Teacher will explain the moral \lesson of the fable
Teacher will model appropriate poses that coincide with the fable.
In small groups of 3-5 students, teachers will guide students to choose a fable.
Student groups will discuss the details of the fable through retelling important parts.
Groups will connect their fable to a yama or niyama to determine the moral of the fable.
Groups will explain the moral/lesson of the fable.
Students will create a small skit of yoga poses that coincide with the fable.
Groups will present their skit to the whole class.