6 Yoga Poses for Back to School
[wp_ad_camp_1] It is August. Summer is coming to an abrupt end. Its the start of a new school year, whether it be for you or your little kiddos. The beginning of the year can come with all sorts of stressors, not just for the student, such as “Who will I be sitting next to?” “Will I have any friends?” But for moms and dads alike. Its the start of a new routine, new teachers and maybe even a new school. Being a teacher myself, I know the kinds of stress that students, teachers and parents all feel. As I write this, school starts tomorrow. And while I have been preparing for it for weeks now, I am never as stress free as I hope to be. Luckily, yoga can help. It can help not only mom, dad and teacher with the stress associated with a new school year, but it can help little Johnny or Mikela as they begin their first day of Kindergarten, Middle School or even college!
Incorporating these few easy ways into your daily routine, not just at home, but also at school, can help relieve so much stress throughout day-to-day life.
1. Take Five Deep Breaths
During this breathing exercise you will take five deep Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) breaths. Ujjayi breathing is when you take an inhalation that is slightly deeper than normal through your nose. Exhale through your nose (with your mouth closed) while constricting your throat muscles. You will sound like Darth Vader from Star Wars if it is done correctly. What are the benefits to breathing like Darth Vader during the school day you ask? If you, your child or students feel stressed, practicing five breaths Ujjayi will help you to relieve stress and keep aggravation at bay.
2. Alternate Nostril Breathing
Is another breaking exercise. It will help clear your students or child’s mind. You begin by sitting sit crossing legged. Hold your right hand with your palm in front of your face, and fold down your pointer and middle fingers. Before you inhale, use your thumb to hold your right nostril closed. Hold your breath, then release the right nostril and use your ring finger to hold your left nostril closed as you exhale. Now, inhale while still holding the left nostril closed, then switch nostrils to exhale. Repeat for a couple of minutes to focus your mind and clear your head of distracting thoughts.
3. Seated Forward Fold Pose:
A gentle forward bend goes a long way toward quieting your mind. For this simple pose, sit on the floor with your feet out in front of you and a straight back. Inhale, and lift your arms above your head, this will stretch your spine. On your exhale, fold forward at your hips, reaching forward then down toward your feet. Grab your leg wherever it is comfortable for you to reach. Relax into the pose and hold for thirty seconds as you practice your Ujjayi breaking technique.
4.Extended Puppy Pose
A great pose for relieving stress during a chaotic day! Puppy is a combination between Downward Facing Dog and Child’s Pose. Kneel down on the ground, walk your arms forward in front of you as you do this, reach your rear to the wall behind you, careful not to bring it down to the ground. Once you are fully extended forward, press your palms into the Earth while continuing to reach your rear back. This pose will lengthen your spine and calms your mind all while invigorating your body. This pose also relieves symptoms of chronic stress, tension, and insomnia. Perfect for those long stressful days and evenings full of homework, projects and extra curriculars!
This is a great pose to relax your mind, body and soul. The way into this simple pose is to Sit on the floor with your legs spread straight in front of you. Bend your left knee and fold it so the sole of your left foot is placed on the inner side of your right thigh. Bend your right knee so that the sole of your right foot is placed on the outer side of your left calf muscle. Place your hands on your knees. Do not stretch your body. Keep back straight, close your eyes and relax. Breath in and out using Ujjayi breathing techniques.
6. Develop a Gratitude Journal
Take a few moments out of your busy schedules to help cultivate gratitude not only in your students’ or childs’ lives but in your own as well. Have a place in the house or classroom where you, your students or children can go to write down things that they are grateful for. In your classroom, perhaps have a class binder so that the class can create a journal throughout the whole school year. At the end of the year, they can present to the school or parents ways in which they have been grateful throughout the course of the year. Acknowledging gratitude within our lives will help be an immediate stress relief. It will allow us to take a moment and reflect on the great moments within our everyday lives rather than the things we are worried or stressed about.