Posts Tagged ‘yoga poses’


Kids Yoga in Schools: Getting First Graders Ready to Write

Sue, a first grade teacher from Michigan writes:

I was wondering the best combinations [of poses] to use [with my students] for getting ready to write.”

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This is a great question!  Yoga in schools can be a powerful resource for helping kids get ready to write, as well as do other school tasks.  Kids’ Yoga is not going to take overly energetic children and mesmerize them into a state of conformity, but it can help a child transform their energy into a more usable form for accomplishing particular tasks. As teachers we occasionally need tiny reminders that children are not built to sit for long periods, and their squirminess might be good feedback to us that their bodies truly need to move in order for their brains to work most efficiently.

I know that, as an adult, when I rush around my world to run errands and then sit down in front of my computer to get some work done, it takes me a bit of time to refocus on my task at hand.  Also, if I sit for an extended period of time I need to get up and move to focus most efficiently. Similarly, if a child is moving from one activity to the next without time to refocus with some deliberate guidance, or is sitting for extending periods of time without a chance for specific movement, then it’s likely that s/he won’t be able to give her best.

Yoga in schools can provide purposeful tools for helping children refocus.  There’s much involved in how yoga can do this.  However, simply put, focusing on one’s body to get into and hold a pose can help quiet the mind’s chatter, allowing more space for purposefully focused thought. And if the yoga movement itself is sufficiently involved it can fulfill the body’s need to move in order to stimulate the necessary systems for optimal learning.

In other words the physical yoga poses and the focus necessary to accomplish them work in tandem to help children refocus.

In addition to this, particular sequencing of poses also has the potential to calm the nervous system, which counters the stressors that physically shut down the brain for learning. The brain of a child who is in distress physically shuts down the networking necessary for learning.  The brain of a relaxed child has much greater learning potential.

When thinking about yoga in schools it might be helpful to know that poses can be divided into three categories regarding their main effects on the nervous system:

  • energizing poses (red – see arrow in pic below)
  • calming poses (blue)
  • neutral poses (yellow)

Poses can be sequenced to deliberately shoot for particular goals. For example, our Brain Break sequence was created to assist students in refocusing within their school day with the least number of poses necessary to accomplish the goal.

Brain Break Sequence includes:

  • Triangle – general movement lengthening and strengthening the entire body
  • Standing V – the inversion allows blood flow to the brain which may enhance mental functioning and forward bends calm the nervous system
  • Eagle – crosses the mid-line helping the two halves of the brain communicate through the corpus callosum (helping to coordinate skills being carried out in different parts of the brain).  Eagle also stimulates the vestibular system (balance), stimulating the brain for new learning
  • Sailboat – crosses the mid-line and twisting allows for additional release of tension

Note below: the color coding above each pose in the app screenshot: red, blue and yellow represent energizing, calming and neutral poses respectively.

Brain Break Sequence shown in Canvas. Press Play to begin video.

Brain Break Sequence shown in Canvas. Press Play to begin video.

 

The Jazz up My Brain sequence within the Sing Song Yoga App is a longer version at 22 minutes. Teachers can throw poses out or add poses within the app within the sequence canvas and make it work for each situation. Sequences you create can be saved and named.  And here’s another example of the app in use.

Thanks for stopping by! We intend to continue growing our posts dedicated to helping teachers enjoy the benefits of yoga in the classroom!

Until next time, Happy Teaching!

 

We would LOVE to hear from you – how you’re using yoga in schools or questions of how to begin.  We are on Twitter @singsongyoga  and Facebook  and really look forward to connecting!

#ssykidquestion green room

 

For more info:

Sing Song Yoga® kids’ yoga DVD

Sing Song Yoga® Kids’ Yoga App

Sing Song Yoga® school program

Sing Song Yoga® website

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 24th, 2015.
Posted in Benefits of Yoga, Education, Kid's Yoga Sequences, Sing Song Yoga, Yoga in Schools.
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Birthday Party fun with Kids Yoga

We had such a great time celebrating with Sing Song Yoga for kids at a recent birthday party for a fun-loving young yogi!  Ages ranging from 3 to 11 melded together beautifully.  The fun was managed through some classic Sing Song Yoga poses as well as games.
SSY group in oval - Version 2

Our masterful yogis flowed through our Sunflower Sequence and incorporated yoga poses into games such as musical mats, tunnel of dogs and yoga freeze tag.

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The room was divided seamlessly as a yoga space and a place to congregate to eat and celebrate further within the birthday party.

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Thank you to the thoughtful parent for the invitation to Sing Song Yoga to join in on the birthday party fun!

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We have limited availability for parties but if you have an interest in having yoga be a part of your child’s birthday party or other celebrations, feel free to connect with Deb Weiss-Gelmi of Sing Song Yoga, through our kids’ yoga website or through our social media pages Facebook or Twitter

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 30th, 2014.
Posted in Parenting, Sing Song Yoga.
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Kids Yoga App – Create Your Own Balancing Sequence

Last week we answered a great #ssykidquestion about Tips for Balancing in kids yoga poses. So, here is our follow up on how to build and save a balancing sequence within the Sing Song Yoga Kids Yoga App. The pics below make it easy cheesy for kids and their parents/teachers to create their own sequence!

balancing sequence Sing Song Yoga App

Go through the SSY App and find the balancing poses that you’d like to include in your sequence.  These can be found under the tabs entitled Standing Poses Sitting Poses, and Floor Poses.  When you find each pose, press, hold and drag it to the Sequence Canvas.  Notice the Total Sequence Time accumulating on the main screen to be sure it stays within your needed period of time.

 

save balancing sequence in Sing Song Yoga kids yoga app

Save your Balancing Sequence by pressing the SAVE button below the Sequence Canvas (on the bottom of the home screen).

 

saved balancing sequence within the Sing Song Yoga kids yoga app

Find your saved sequences behind the main screen by pressing the SAVED icon in the upper left corner of the screen.

 

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Have fun balancing with your kids!

And here are those guidelines again to keep in mind when creating a kids yoga sequence.  Each pose is color coded within the app. The color at the top of each pose picture indicates the influence each pose has on the nervous system:

  • yellow = neutral
  • red = energizing    
  • blue = calming

It is most often recommended to order the poses in this way

  • neutral or energizing poses (beginning)
  • energizing poses (middle)
  • calming poses (ending… Savasana is most often the last pose).

 

Please send your kids’ yoga questions to Sing Song Yoga’s

Twitter or Facebook using #ssykidsquestions

 

Thank heaps!! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Deb

 

 

 

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 1st, 2014.
Posted in Kid's Yoga Sequences, Sing Song Yoga.
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Top 5 Tips to Help Kids Yoga Balance

This topic was inspired by a helpful kids yoga question tweeted by Mrs. Z’s #1stgradeyogis in Michigan…

Do you have any tips to help us balance better?”

 

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Mrs. Z’s #1stgradeyogis doing Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

These talented first graders and their creative, tech savvy teacher have been tweeting about their experiences with Sing Song Yoga and we’re loving it! Thank you @MrsZFabFirsties for sharing your yoga experiences of kids yoga with us and the world! Thank you also for the inspiration for this post!!

Some simple tips to help you balance in your favorite kids’ yoga poses…

1. Know that it’s okay to fall over.  When I was first learning to do headstand, I was unsure about moving my pose away from the security of the wall. However, once my instructor mentioned that it’s okay to fall when trying headstand in the middle of the room, I gave it a shot and never turned back! Now it’s a favorite of mine!  Sometimes children (and adults) simply need to know that it’s okay to lose their balance and fall.  Taking the pressure off can sometimes be all the support they need to feel success in a balancing pose.

2. Try to look at one spot in front of you.  Fix your relaxed gaze on something that is not moving.  To experience how helpful our eyes are when balancing try this:  Before doing a balancing pose, experiment with the kids having them close their eyes while in Mountain Pose (Tadasana).  Even Mountain Pose feels wobbly with our eyes closed.  Then compare how Mountain feels with their eyes open.  Then do Tree Pose (Vrksasana) and compare the different experiences of first, moving your eyes all over the room and second, keeping your eyes fixed on one spot.  Might be fun to illustrate the comparing/contrasting experiences with a Venn Diagram in the classroom, with some interactive or shared writing.

Kids yoga balancing pose

Mrs. Z’s #1stgradeyogis doing Tree, Big Butterfly and Flower

3. Hold your arms out to the side like a tightrope walker.  Children tend to do this naturally, but you can also discuss this with them.  You could also, for example, do Eagle Pose (Garudasana) twice. Once with their arms wrapped together in front of their chest and once with their arms out to the side.  And ask the kids which feels easier. Answers will likely vary but it’s powerful to feel these differences within their own bodies.

4. Start at the ground and move up.  Focus first on having strong balanced feet (or whatever body part is on the ground). Try to distribute weight evenly between the front and back and between the inside and outside of each foot.  Oftentimes when yogis are attempting a balancing pose, they don’t even notice that they are holding their feet crooked and half off the ground because they are so focused on balancing. So again it can be helpful to experiment with Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Close the eyes for a moment to feel how the weight changes within their feet as they wobble.  Try to keep from falling over by focusing on the feet remaining flat on the floor.  And once they open their eyes try to keep their attention on their feet while they steady their balance.  Then try to re-balance the feet before beginning the next balancing pose.  Closing the eyes allows us to attempt to focus more clearly on other balancing systems that we are less likely to notice when our vision is being used — in this case the feet (and vestibular system).

5. Imagine that you’re floating up.  Next time the kids are doing a balancing pose have them imagine that they are really light and nearly weightless — maybe even that their foot is glued to the earth with hardly any gravity.  This one in particular is not based in anything I’ve learned, only in what I’ve experienced.  So give it shot.

Bonus:  And just for fun try thinking about your belly button while balancing.  It seems to help sometimes — and if not, it tends to bring on giggles 🙂 Thank you James Fry for this one!

Please send your kids’ yoga questions to Sing Song Yoga’s

Twitter or Facebook using #ssykidsquestions

 

See this link for an outline of the Simple Process for Creating and Saving a Kids’ Yoga Balancing Sequence within the Sing Song Yoga App

Balancing Sequence Sing Song Yoga App

Creating Balancing Sequence within the Sing Song Yoga App

 

For more info:

DVD: http://www.singsongyoga.com/childrens-yoga-dvd/

App: http://www.singsongyoga.com/kids-yoga-app/

school program: http://www.singsongyoga.com/school-program/

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 19th, 2014.
Posted in Education, Sing Song Yoga.
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Kids Yoga App – Create and Save Your Own Animal Sequence

So much fun to be a Yogi Artist within the Sing Song Yoga app for kids, creating masterpiece sequences to enjoy again and again!  Here is a quick pic tutorial on creating and saving an Animal Sequence with your kids or students! Have a blast!

kids yoga app sing song yogaLike a yogi painter… Create!!  Press, hold and drag animal poses to the Sequence Canvas while keeping these guidelines in mind.  Each pose is color coded within the app. The color at the top of each pose picture indicates the influence each pose has on the nervous system:

  • yellow = neutral
  • red = energizing    
  • blue = calming

It is most often recommended to order the poses in this way

  • neutral or energizing poses (beginning)
  • energizing poses (middle)
  • calming poses (ending… Savasana is most often the last pose).

kids yoga app sing song yoga   Press Save icon on the bottom of the home screen and name your sequence.

 

kids yoga app sing song yogaFind your saved sequences behind the home screen by pressing the “saved” icon in the top left of the home screen.  And return to your custom sequence anytime you wish! Have fun and let us know if you have any questions or ideas!  And we would love to hear about some of your Animal Sequence creations on our Facebook page or on Twitter.

 

For more info:

DVD: http://www.singsongyoga.com/childrens-yoga-dvd/

App: http://www.singsongyoga.com/kids-yoga-app/

school program: http://www.singsongyoga.com/school-program/

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 28th, 2014.
Posted in Kid's Yoga Sequences, Sing Song Yoga.
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