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Guidance for professionals in Gloucestershire working with young people with mental health or emotional wellbeing concerns

Yoga resources for primary schools

How to use the resources

These resources are available for you to use in your classroom, during a lesson or when you have a student that needs some 121 support.

The videos breakdown the breath, movement and relaxation techniques that a yoga session is built around. In this way you have flexibility to modify a session based on the students in your class and the time you have available.

We recommend you start with a suggested lesson plan as it provides structure and builds technique for students. Once they have mastered the basics you can then be creative and put the videos together as you wish. 

There are two pathways, one for primary and the other secondary. Each pathway follows the same principles, but the language used and examples will be more age specific. You are best placed to choose how to build this practice in your classroom, we hope that you enjoy playing with the resources and have fun with your class developing your practice.

  • Start with the introduction video on practising safely, this sets the scene providing background on yoga and intention setting 

  • Choose a series of videos to play based on the time you have and the impact you want for your class. You can combine between 2 and 4 videos selecting breath, movement and relaxation which will cover 5 to 25 minutes of yoga practice.

  • Breathing videos – we recommend you start by learning the three-part breathing, and once you are confident that the class are able to do that then progress to ocean breathing, breath ratio/square breathing. For secondary there is also alternate nostril breathing as a more advanced session

  • Movement videos – these cover variations of sun salutations - start with beginner’s sun salutations and then build up to vinyasa flow. Once you have learnt the sequence, try to do it without the video and increase speed with breath
    Alternative movement videos for secondary include chair yoga for limited space and gentle yoga practice for students with chronic fatigue or low energy 

  • Relaxation videos – it's a good idea to end a movement practice with something grounding like relaxation or mindfulness, you can always make this just a few mins if short on time.

  • As your practice grows you can try putting the breathing exercises into the movement practices, trying different techniques like breath ratio as you do poses. 

Suggested Session plan – suitable for all students

Example of a 45 minute beginner class

  • Play the Introduction video on how to work safely and set and intention
  • Start with Three-part breathing
  • Move to sun salutation beginner
  • Finish with Guided relaxation

Example of a 15 minute Short on time class – please follow a beginner work out thoroughly before working on this example

  • Knowing how to set an intention ask the class to do that for themselves at the beginning
  • Move with sun salutation vinyasa flow – asking the group to use their choice of breathing as they go
  • Finish with word meditation

 

Tip: if students are energetic and finding it hard to be still and focus on breath, meet them where they’re at! Try to make it fun and start with something more energising. Go with their energy and attention, perhaps start by getting them moving first before calming their breathing and setting a relaxation. If the energy is lacking then build up to it slowly and focus more their breath to fuel their bodies.

 

Suggestion: You may also like to create your own yoga music playlists on Spotify with your students. This is a great way to engage them in the session, but we recommend that you end the session with a couple of minutes in silence. This ensures that students do not readily associate background music with having to relax. We want them to develop their own inner toolkit to self-regulate without needing anything externally.

Intention - Introduction and Intention setting

5-minute introduction video, giving you all the information, you need to make the most of the Primary series of ‘Shift’ yoga in your classroom. In this video learn how to stay safe while practising, how to combine and sequence your videos and how to set an intention at the start of your practice.

Breath - Beginners 3 Part Breathing

The perfect 10-minute beginners breathing exercise to learn how to breathe properly to feel both energised and calm. Learn how to control your diaphragm, abdomen, ribs, and chest to allow efficient oxygen supply into the blood.

Breath - Release with Ocean Breathing

After learning how to control the diaphragm with three part breathing you can try ocean breathing which is an audible breathing technique, where air flow is directed to the back of the throat, making a soothing whispering ‘ahh’ sound. This technique is great to bring into your vinyasa practice, to combine movement and breath or when holding postures to release muscular tension.

Breath - Calm Down with Your Breath Ratio

In this 8-minute video learn how to change your breath ratio to change the way you feel. Focus on breathing in time to the counting and slow your heart and breathing rate down by extending your exhalations. You can add this technique into your movement practice when your holding a pose and wanting to relax and focus your mind, for example in a forward fold.

Breath - Focus with Square Breathing

Building on your understanding of the breath ratio, square breathing is a guided visualisation where you imagine breathing along the sides of a square, making your inhale and exhale the same length and adding in two pauses. This is a great technique to improve your concentration and sense of clarity.

Movement - Beginners Sun Salutations

20-minute beginner friendly movement video, stretching and strengthening the whole body in a sequence called the sun salutations, perfect for a mid-day or morning energy boost. In this video we focus on alignment, sensations and learning the sequence. This could be practised alone or paired with a breathing video to start and a relaxation video to end. Remember to set your intention at the start!

Movement - Sun Salutations Vinyasa Style

Vinyasa is where we combine breath and movement in a flow, it is like a dance. This 10-minute video shows you how to combine breath and movement in the sun salutation sequence you learnt in the beginners’ video, plus we have a couple of new poses like Warrior II. Try practising ocean breathing throughout this movement video and once you have learnt it off by heart, try adjusting the speed to suit your breath rate.

Relaxation - Guided Relaxation

In this 10-minute guided body scan, learn how to deeply relax and tense and release your muscles to feel more connected, calm, and still. It is recommended do always pair a movement video with this relaxation to re balance the body after movement. It is also a wonderful practice to do on its own.

Relaxation - Meditation

In this 5-minute relaxation video, learn how to practice mindfulness meditation to refocus and calm your mind in the present moment. We will be using a word that we mentally repeat on exhalation to anchor our mind and train it to stay focused and present and to become aware of any mental or external distractions.

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