Affirmations and mantras can be an important tool to help children develop positive foundations on which to grow. A positive self-belief system built in childhood will hopefully stay with a person throughout their life. While attending the National Kids Yoga Conference, I got the pleasure of meeting Erin Hurley, an elementary school guidance counselor from Virginia. Erin was also named “School Counselor of the Year” for her school district.
She is the kind of guidance counselor that any of you would love to have your children work with and learn from. Erin has a kind and creative spirit and truly cares about children. Plus she definitely understands the importance of introducing yoga and mindfulness to children so they will have these skills for life.
Erin shared with me how she uses the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards when she works with students in her elementary classrooms. She has loved using these pose cards with her students as they are visual, age-appropriate, and include simple yet memorable mantras.
Each yoga pose card has a corresponding empowering mantras for success such as “I am strong” or “I am fair and equal.” This ensures that the students are not only receiving the health benefits of each pose, but also the mental and mindfulness benefits as well.
Erin shared with me one incredible activity and lesson plan that she did with her students that I wanted to pass along. This lesson could be done anytime throughout the school year, but would tie in nicely with the beginning of the school year, Thanksgiving or a kindness theme.
Mantras and Mindfulness Kids Yoga Lesson Plan
This lesson would work well with children ages 5-11.
First, brainstorm with the students about positive qualities that they see in themselves. For example being kind, honest, hardworking, caring, strong, etc. Write these qualities on the board.
Next, the students took the “hand template” and wrote qualities that described themselves. They did this by writing around the hand template.
Finally, the students were able to put the yoga poses and mantras for success together to practice and perform. This absolutely made the lesson even more memorable as it ties together so many different types of student learning such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning.
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