Guidance for professionals in Gloucestershire working with young people with mental health or emotional wellbeing concerns
Yoga resources for secondary 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 Secondary 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 8-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 you’re holding a pose and wanting to relax and focus your mind, for example in a forward fold.
Breath - Alternate Nostril Breathing
15-minute advanced breathing technique to learn after feeling comfortable with controlling breath ratio. This technique is useful for concentration and by alternating breath flow through each nostril you stimulated the left and right hemispheres of the brain. It is calming and opens the sinuses and deeply oxygenates cells.
Movement - Beginners Sun Salutations
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 video shows you how to combine breath and movement in the sun salutation sequence you learnt in the beginners’ video. 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.
Movement - Chair Yoga
Quick 20-minute chair yoga sequence, ideal as a break from studying as you can stay at your desk. In this video we focus on opening the chest and sides so that we can improve our posture, motivation and breathe deeply into the lungs helping us gain energy.
Movement - Gentle Child Pose Salutations
Child pose is a restorative pose stretching the spine and lower back, in this flowing sequence inspired by the sun salutations we stay low to the ground and move slowly, this is a great practice if you want a gentler, more restful option to the sun salutations.
Relaxation - Guided Relaxation
In this 8-minute guided body scan, learn how to deeply relax by scanning our awareness through our body from our feet to head. This will help you to feel more grounded, connected, and aware of your body and mind. 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 focusing on our natural breath to anchor our mind and train it to stay focused and present and to become aware of any mental or external distractions. Try and build up the time and sit for 10-15 minutes as you build up your practice.
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