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Classroom Activities: Morning Meeting Yoga

Janelle Cox

The start of the school day sets the tone for rest of the day. While many teachers choose to start the school day by having students do seatwork, others are choosing to start the day off on the right foot with some classroom activities like morning yoga. Too often, young children are required to sit for long periods of time while learning. Today, educators are starting to take notice at the negative effects that this sedentary lifestyle is having on our youth, and have decided to combat this lack of exercise by incorporating classroom activities like yoga into their morning meetings. Yoga is a simple and effective way to get children up and moving while also proving a way for them to achieve a relaxed state of mind. The benefits are needless from reducing anxiety to increasing focus. These classroom activities can also help cultivate mental skills such as self-regulation and sustained attention. Here is how you can implement a yoga morning meeting sequence into your school day.

Classroom Activities: Yoga Morning Sequence

Depending on your students’ energy levels in the morning, you can choose to either calm them or balance them. All you need is about five to ten minutes to ensure you will have a positive and productive day ahead. Follow these easy steps.

  1. Begin in a mountain pose. Have students stand next to their desks with the feet shoulder-width apart, hands to their sides, and eyes closed or facing forward. Instruct students to inhale as they slowly raise their arms to their ears and exhale as they roll them back down to their side. Encourage students to ground their feet into the floor and repeat this for a few breaths.
  2. Next, have students lift their right knee to their left elbow, then the opposite side, as they slowly breathe in and out. Continue this sequence for a few more breath cycles.
  3. After a few breaths, have students reach their arms up and over their heads then dive down to touch their feet as they exhale. Encourage students to hang here for a few breaths and shake their heads “Yes” and “No” while either holding their elbows or hanging their arms loosely.
  4. Next, have students do a sitting mountain pose by sitting at their seats with their feet planted firmly on the ground and their hands on their laps. Instruct them to sit up tall and slowly breathe in and out through their nose.
  5. After this sequence, have students do a seated back bend. To do this pose, students should start in seated mountain pose, place their hands on the back of their chair, and push back so that they are looking up at the ceiling. Another option is to do this pose standing.
  6. The last pose in this sequence is to come back to step three, where students are standing in mountain pose and dive down to exhale. To end the sequence, have students slowly roll up and place their hands together at their heart and chant “I am ready to start the day, I am ready to focus and do my best.”

Once this becomes a daily ritual, you can add more poses or change them up. You can also add chants for each pose.

Teaching Tips for Morning Meeting Yoga

Start Slow -- You don’t have to do the entire sequence on the first day or even for the first week if you don’t feel that your students are ready. Each day, you can add a pose until students are conformable with the entire sequence.

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Model Every Pose -- Make sure that you are modeling each pose as you walk students through them. These poses are just as beneficial to your state of mind and health as they are to your students.

Encourage Breathing -- One of the hardest things students have when first learning yoga is how to breathe properly. If you find that students are forgetting to breathe, then encourage them to count as they inhale and exhale. You can also teach them how to properly breathe when just sitting in a chair before you even teach them a new pose.

Practice Makes Perfect -- Practice these poses daily and you will see that the more you practice the easier it will become. Once students feel comfortable, encourage them to take turns leading the class in a few poses. You will be surprised how beneficial this can be for your students.

Have Fun -- Yoga is fun, so feel free to try out new poses or even make up some of your own.

Before trying it in the classroom, make sure that you take a class or try a free one on YouTube. This will help you feel confident when instructing students. Namaste.

Do you incorporate yoga classroom activities into your morning meeting? Which poses do you like to do? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.


Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.