Seated Stretches for Homeschool Breaks
This is an old post for school teachers that I thought parents navigating new-homeschooling territory may find helpful…. If your dining room table has suddenly converted to a classroom, you can provide essential mini-breaks to optimize learning and keep your kids fresh, focused and relaxed, without disrupting your “classroom” set-up.
Mindful Movement and Mindful Breathing are extremely beneficial in a classroom setting to facilitate learning and help kiddos cope with stress. Regardless of space or time limitations, simple mindfulness practices can be incorporated throughout the school day with a little creative thinking. I recommend teachers introduce mental and physical mini-breaks (30 secs to 1min long) every 2o minutes, to optimize learning.
“How can I bring yoga-based movement into a classroom setting when there is no space for yoga mats with desks and chairs taking up most of the space?” No yoga mat, no problem!
Below is a simple seated routine that I recommend to teachers to use as a guide in their classroom. Remember, many poses and stretches can be adapted to a chair and a desk, and standing postures are suitable in a relatively confined space too, for example: Mountain, Standing Crescent Moon, Tree and Crane.
Most breathing, mindfulness and relaxation techniques are accessible seated in a chair, these provide kids with centering and self-regulation skills they access long after the bell rings. Check out previous posts for inspiration on introducing breathing and relaxation to kids.
Yoga-Based Chair Stretches for Kids
Ear Bug – Inhale center, exhale drop ear to shoulder, inhale center, exhale repeat other side. 3-5 full rounds.
Chinny-chin – Inhale center, exhale chin to chest, inhale lift. Repeat 3-5 full rounds.
Chinny-chin-chin – Inhale center, exhale chin to chest, inhale chin along chest to left shoulder, exhale chin along chest to center, inhale chin along chest to right shoulder, exhale chin to along chest to center. Repeat 3-5 rounds. Inhale to neutral.
Moo/Meow Seated Cat/Cow – slide palms along thighs
Fingernail Moon Lateral Side Stretch – Half moon (with or without arms raised)
Twisting Torpedo Gentle Spinal Twist – Slide palms along thighs
Eagle Eyes Eagle Arms (switch arms)
Flying Eagle Eagle Arms Crunches (switch arms)
Sleeping Eagle Seated Forward Fold
Eagle Stuck in Peanut Butter Hip Circles (both directions)
Figure Four Seated Pigeon Stretch
Mud Walk Leg Lifts
Bow and Arrow Flex foot (Flex bow); Point foot (Shoot arrow)
Happy Feet Ankle Rolls