Calming Poses

 These calming poses can be used to center your students before an important task or calm them after physical/social projects. These poses are also useful in line before transitions. For all positions, be sure to set the expectation that you will demonstrate the poses first as students look and listen.
Hold Your Own Hand
  • Have students take a comfortable cross-legged position or stand calmly in line.
  • "Spread your fingers apart and join your palms and fingers together...hold your own hand."
  • "Take in a deep breath, up through your nose, up into your brain, hold."
  • "Breathe out slowly through your nose and imagine a gray mist coming out of your nostrils."
  • Repeat slowly 3 times.
There may be times you want students to visualize and focus on the positive parts of themselves. Describe the breath in as fresh prana which is our life force through fresh oxygen. Each breath is a new beginning. The breath out is blowing out anything negative. Tell students to concentrate on a feeling they want to get rid of. The valuable lesson here is that each breath is a new beginning. Children will slowly begin to practice this strategy throughout their daily lives; learning to calm and center themselves as they move throughout their day.


Seashell Breathing.MOV

Sea Shell Breathing

  • Have students take a comfortable cross-legged position 
  • "Take your index finger, your pointer finger, and gently press it against the cartilage of your ear. Apply gentle pressure so you block out noise." 
  • "Relax your face...don't squeeze your face."
  • "Take in a deep breath, up through your nose, up into your brain, and hold."
  • "As you slowly breathe out through your nose, you should hear the sound of ocean waves. Each breath in and out should sound like ocean waves going out and coming into the beach. This is the same sound we hear when we listen to a seashell. Nod gently if you hear the ocean."
  • "Be sure to adjust the gentle pressure on the cartilage of your ear so you can hear the ocean"
  • Repeat slowly 3 times

Tree Pose 

  • Have students stand behind their chair pushed into their desk OR find a predetermined "safe spot".
  • "Stand up straight and take in a deep breath through your nose, hold."
  • "Slowly breathe out through your nose."
  • "Find a drishti. A drishti is a focused gaze that helps us concentrate in yoga. Find a place on the floor or the wall in front of you and stare at this space while we do this pose. Tree Pose takes concentration and a lot of practice. Remember to breathe."
  • "Lift one knee and grab your foot. Place your foot on your thigh just below the crease in your leg. Find your balance. Stand up straight and tall."
  • "If this doesn't work for you, place the bottom of your foot gently on your ankle and find your balance."
  • "It is important that you keep the bottom of your foot away from your knee. The side of your knee is a sensitive area and we don't want to put pressure on our knee."
  • "When you find your balance, hold your own hands in front of you. Keep staring at your drishti."
  • "Take 3 slow, deep breaths. Your breath will help you to balance so keep breathing."
  • "If you feel comfortable in this pose and you are able to keep your balance, feel free to raise your hands and hold them together, up, over your head." 
  • "If you would like, let your branches rock slowly back and forth as you maintain your balance. Stare at your drishti. Breathe."