School blog 2017

Welcome to the Yoga & Mindfulness Program Blog. In this blog, parents/carers will find the purpose and the outcomes of the lessons, plus activities which can be practiced at home. This enables parents/carers to see what your children are learning in the yoga lessons and also how children can practice yoga at home. You can also find interesting articles and updates on the Mr Yoga Australia Facebook page – www.facebook.com/MrYogaAustralia

Week 1 – “Gratitude” 

Week 1 is a gentle and fun introduction to yoga & mindfulness. It’s an opportunity to introduce some friends of mine such as Pygmy Possum, Tasmanian Tiger and Desert Dingo. These are great exercises to help you warm up your bodies. I take every class through mini-sun salutations at normal, slow and fast paced. Make sure you practice them every night to calm your body and mind down. Click here to watch a video with the poses we learnt today so you can practice at home.

Mindfulness Activity

The start of the term is a great time to concentrate on what we are grateful for in our lives. Everyone has the chance to share with the class something for which they are grateful. It could be “I’m grateful for my family”… “I am grateful for my friends”… “I am grateful for fresh fruit and vegetables”… “I am grateful to live in Australia”…. It can be anything for which you are grateful. Then, ask the person next to you to tell you something for which they are grateful.

Try this at home

Pick someone, it can be a family member or a friend, and tell them why you appreciate them. Start with “I appreciate you because…..”. Watch their reaction and how you feel after you’ve told them what you appreciate about them.

Parents/Carers

Here are some ways to practice the power of gratitude every day:

1. Encourage your children to write a gratitude letter or make a gratitude visit: Martin Seligman, Ph.D., the father of positive psychology, suggests that we write a letter expressing our gratitude to someone. Then we visit this person and read them the letter. His research shows that people who do this are measurably happier and less depressed a month later. Click here to see a Youtube clip of author Martin Seligman discussing how to do a gratitude visit.

2. Take a gratitude walk: Talk a walk to the park or down the street and point out things for your children to say why they appreciate it. For example, “I am grateful for the trees as they create fresh air for me to breathe”.

3. Meal time thank you’s:  Share something for which you are grateful at the dinner table. It’s a positive activity where everyone can contribute. By doing this at dinner each night, it’s a great way to habit to get into.

Keep calm and be kind…..

Mr Yoga Australia

Week 2 – “Kindness”

This week we are talking about kindness and how an act of kindness can have a positive effect on yourself, the recipient and others. Everyone was focused on saying kind things to one another.

Some of the new poses introduced during this week include ‘Sydney Harbour Bridge’, ‘Kindness’ , ‘Canoe’ and ‘Murray River’. These poses all focus on flexibility and core strength – and of course being kind to our bodies so they stay flexible as they get older.

Mindfulness activity

This week, we look at some “Random Acts of Kindness” – (RAK) to do before, during or after school. Here are 10 acts of kindness students have developed.

The RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) List. How many can you do????

  1. Do a household job without being asked (this could be to help your parent with washing the car or making your bed)
  2. Let someone go in line in front of you at the school canteen
  3. Hug a family member or a friend
  4. Call your Grandma or Grandpa and tell them what you appreciate about them
  5. Smile and say “Good Morning/Good afternoon” to 20 different people
  6. Be kind to yourself and eat a healthy snack
  7. Compliment 5 people
  8. Write a kindness note to your teacher
  9. Make a new friend – play with a friend you usually wouldn’t play with
  10. Pick up rubbish in the playground, beach or local park

Try this at home

Now your challenge is to see how many you can complete over the next week. Share your stories with your class and we can count how many everyone completed altogether. Good Luck!!!!!

Parents/carers

Discuss the concept of “Pay it Forward”. Perhaps you could watch the family movie “Pay it Forward” (PG) beforehand and get your children to come up with a list of RAKs and ways you as a family can ‘pay it forward’.

Keep calm and be kind….

Mr Yoga Australia

Week 3 – “Happiness”

Our theme this week is happiness and exploring what makes us happy. Happiness is when you and your friends, family and community members smile, laugh and communicate with each other. Every student is valued and it’s our choice to be happy. That’s right, it’s a simple choice of saying “YES. I want to be happy!”.

Every week during Yoga & Mindfulness, we calm our bodies and minds. We gain strength in our minds and bodies so we can overcome any obstacles in our lives. When you find happiness, don’t forget to share it and your happiness will grow.

Laughter Yoga: laughing has many health benefits. When you laugh, you exercise all your internal organs. The movement of the diaphragm massages and increases blood flow to the internal organs keeping them healthy. It is also proven to decrease stress, depression and increase productivity, health and happiness. When you laugh (even if it’s a fake laugh), you are focused in the present moment and your mind is not worrying about the past or future. The result is enhanced focus and concentration in your work. So during these two weeks, we will be working on a variety of laughter yoga exercises to get the whole body moving.

Mindfulness activity

Write a list of the 5 things that make you happy. Examples of this may include: going for a swim, walking your dog, making pancakes etc. Share this list with your family and friends.

Try this at home:

Say this chant while clapping “Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha”. This will help tone your abdominal muscles. Modify your movements, swing your upper body from left to right and change the tone of your voice. Try it with a big smile on your face. Once you are warmed up, take a deep breath in and let your breath out in a big laugh! Laugh using your whole body and gently shake all parts of the body while making different laughter sounds. Enjoy!

Parents/carers:

Laughter is a great way to relieve stress. Sometimes we are so busy, we forget to laugh. Try to include laughter in your home every day. Try different laughs using the Laughter Yoga techniques. It’s a real workout! Click here to read more about the benefits of Laughter Yoga.

Keep calm and be kind….

Mr. Yoga Australia

Week 4  – “Strength/Emotional Resilience”

Emotional resilience means staying positive, calm, relaxed and looking up when you feel upset or angry. It’s also about overcoming your fears.

It’s good to try new poses, even though you may find the poses challenging. You are more likely to be successful when you give it a go. This week we are looking at improving our Desert Dingo, the Boomerang and Cassowary. Over the remainder of the term, we will try really hard to improve on these three poses. They require concentration and focus.

Mindfulness activity:

Find your inner strength. Draw a short cartoon/story about when you used your inner strength when you were faced with a challenging situation. How did you feel when you overcame that challenge?

Examples may be completing a homework exercise which was difficult, sorting out differences with other students in the playground or getting back onto the sports field when you’ve been hurt.

Try this at home:

Practice the cassowary pose using this video of Mr Yoga doing it in the Sacred Valley in Peru. http://bit.ly/19N6rNG

Parents/carers:

When things go wrong, you can use the following ‘restorative practice’ questions to help deal with the situation. This helps them to come up with the answers. Ask your children:

What happened?

Who or what was hurt?

How can we fix it?

Keep calm and be kind…..

Mr. Yoga Australia

Week 5 – “Calming/living in the present”

Wow! Week 5 – we are half way through the term already. I can’t believe how quickly the first half of the term has gone. The value for this week is “Calming” – something very important to pratice as sometimes we have so much going on in our lives with school, homework, after school activities, weekend sport and family commitments – it’s important to stay calm.

Many years I started my Yoga & Mindfulness program with the main focus to calm the classroom, so students are ready to learn and focus more during the lesson. This made my job a lot easier as a classroom teacher as my students were more focused and calm during lessons.

How do we calm our bodies before, during and after school?

There is a very simple way to calm down your bodies and minds by taking several deep breaths. When you take a deep breath, you concentrate on the breath going in through your nose and out through your nose. Calming means staying calm when you might feel frustrated, by someone or something.

This week we are concentrating on our breathing, the Murray River and Frangipani poses, which really calms down our body.

Mindfulness exercise

Sit with your legs crossed, hands in your lap, spine straight. Sit for 1 minute concentrating with breathing in though your nose and out through your nose. We will increase the time of this exercise each week so at the end of the term, you will spend 5 minutes practicing mindfulness.

Try this at home

Practice the breathing demonstrated in the video of Mr Yoga in Peru. Try counting in your mind when you breathe. Breathe in, 2, 3, 4, pause, then breathe out, 2, 3, 4, pause.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1miWFlLC86k

Parents and Carers

Practice mindfulness with your children at the dinner table. Encourage them to focus on the food they are eating. Ask them to describe the taste, appearance, texture and smell of their food. Practice mindful eating by chewing each mouthful 20 times. It’s about cultivating awareness and beginning to focus on the present. Click here to see the “Mindful Eating Marathon” steps to mindful eating.

Keep calm and be kind…

Mr. Yoga Australia

Week 6 – “Respect”

It’s great to see the improvements in the children since the beginning of the term. Last week, we focused on calming/mindfulness. I was so impressed with the students being able to meditate for 1 minute. We will increase the calming time each week. Some of the kids have told me that they’d like to try it for 10 minutes. We’ll keep working on increasing the calming time each week and aim to do it for 5 minutes by the end of the term.

This week’s topic is “Respect”. Some of the new poses for the week are Superboy/Supergirl, Top End bend and Echidna. Remember to practice your new poses once you have warmed up doing your Mini-sun salutation and if you ever need a rest go to Pygmy Possum.

Mindfulness exercise

In pairs discuss:

What are 3 ways you can show respect to your teachers?
What are 3 ways you can show respect to your parents?
What are 3 ways you can show respect to your classmates?
What are the key ingredients for a recipe for respect?

Try this at home

Practice mindful listening. When someone at home or at school is talking, listen to what they are saying. Show you are listening and don’t speak until they have finished speaking.

Parents/carers

Think about the top 5 pieces of advice you would like to pass onto your children. Here is an article about some Aussie dads and what they want to pass onto their kids to get you thinking. http://www.essentialkids.com.au/younger-kids/kids-development/what-should-you-teach-your-children-20130620-2okw6.html

Keep calm and be kind…

Mr. Yoga Australia

Week 7- “Determination”

Last week we looked at Respect – to both ourselves and to others. Thank you to all students last week who showed respect to me when I was teaching. Students were listening and looking at me for each instruction and actively participating in the lessons – all of which was very respectful behaviour.

Some of the new poses we are practicing this week are the Brolga, Rainbow and Tablelands. Remember to practice your new poses once you have warmed up doing your mini-sun salutation. If you ever need a rest, go into Pygmy Possum.

Mindfulness exercise

Chose a pose which you find challenging during Yoga or a subject at school, for example writing. Make an effort to practice this pose/schoolwork every day for 5 to 10 minutes over the next 30 days. See how you improve through making an effort and trying your best and not giving up.

Try this at home

Persistent behaviour helps create good habits. Here are some tips on how to turn your determined energy into positive habits:

▪                Continuing to try even when schoolwork is hard

▪                Not being distracted by others

▪                Checking schoolwork when finished to make sure it is correct before handing it to your teacher

▪                Trying and completing work you may find ‘boring’

▪                Listening to your teacher’s instructions

▪                Finishing work instead of playing (playing once you have finished your work)

▪                Not giving up too quickly

▪                Do what you say you are going to do

Parents/carers

Here are some helpful terms/phrases to use with your children to encourage persistent behaviour

▪                “You kept trying. Great effort”

▪                “You sure do not give up easily”

▪                “Your effort is important. It will help you succeed”

▪                “The more you practice, the better you become”

Keep calm and be kind…

Mr. Yoga Australia

Week 8 – “Harmony/getting along with others”

Last week we learnt about determination and showing determination during Yoga or school to persist and keep on trying your best. I was impressed with the students for showing determination during tree pose and boomerang by keeping their balance. During week 8 we are looking at our harmony and getting along with others. How do you feel being part of a team? Some words that come to mind are confident, trusting, caring and happier. This could be a chess, drama, speech, art or sport team. Every week we have Yoga and we are a team all participating together and working together to calm our bodies down, in order to achieve more during class time. New poses introduced this week are the Bondi wave, Emu, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and the Rainbow Serpent.

Mindfulness activity

What makes you a good friend? A good friend listens, includes, cares and laughs with you. Write down all the qualities that make you a good friend. How can you be a better friend? Finally draw a picture of people getting along in harmony with each other.

Try this at home

Some yoga poses can be done as a team. Ever heard the saying “Many hands make light work?”. Well, here’s one to try at home. Try the boab tree pose with your brother, sister, neighbour, parent or friend. Hold onto one another so you help the other person balance and stay upright. This requires lots of focus, concentration and teamwork. Here’s a video of me doing the tree pose. See how you go doing it with a partner.

Mr Yoga’s tree pose

Keep calm and be kind….

Mr Yoga Australia

Week 9 “Follow your dreams”

I’m very fortunate to be doing a job which I’m passionate about. I look forward to getting up everyday and teaching yoga to primary school students. I found my talent in teaching and practicing yoga.

We all have a talent, whether it be sports, maths, story writing, singing, yoga or making people laugh – just to name a few. It’s important we are aware of what our talents are and to work hard to pursue them – and also work on our areas that need a bit more work.

Yoga, when practiced regularly, is something we can all be good at. It can help us in so many ways – for example if you play football, yoga can help you warm up and strengthen your muscles so you improve your flexibility and reduce the risk of an injury. For dancers, yoga can help develop your core muscles so you can improve your posture and core strength.

This week we will introduce poses that focus on balance and strength including magic spear, boomerang, crocodile and pelican.

Mindfulness activity

Write a list of the top 5 things you enjoy. This could be having a bubble bath, listening to music, walking the dog or going to the movies. Share this list with the person next to you.

Try this at home

Write a letter to yourself when you are 21 years old. What are you doing with your life? You are doing something you’re passionate about and telling the story on how you achieved your dreams.

Parents/carers

Encourage your children to develop their talents. Help them with the activity listed above and keep the letter somewhere safe so they can open it when they are 21 years old.

Keep calm and be kind….

Mr Yoga Australia

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4 thoughts on “School blog 2017

  1. Pingback: School blog for Rozelle Primary School now online | Mr Yoga

  2. Pingback: Making a difference at Rozelle Primary School with Random Acts of Kindness…. | Mr Yoga

  3. Pingback: Mr Yoga’s classes supporting R U OK day | Mr Yoga

  4. Pingback: School blog for Bronte PS now up | Mr Yoga

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