Namaste! During these uncertain times, one thing is certain: You ALWAYS have your breath! Each week I will offer Students, Educators and Families a variety of Yoga & Mindfulness activities that connect to a competency in the CASEL Framework for Social Emotional Learning! This is a free resource to support everyone’s mental health during a time when anxiety and stress levels may be higher than usual.
Implementing these activities as Brain Breaks, or part of your family’s Daily Routine, from a Morning Meeting, while you are doing Household Chores or before Bedtime! No mat is required! All you need is an open mind and open heart!
Week 2 (March 23-27): Self Management
What is Self Management? Self Regulation! Self Management is the ability to manage your behavior, emotions and thoughts in any situation, along with the ability to set and achieve personal goals !
Breathing Exercise: Alternate Nostril Breathing
This breathing exercise naturally balances the body, mind and breath if you feel off balanced with overwhelming stress and anxiety.
Place your Pointer Finger and Middle Finger in the space between your eye brows. You will be using your Thumb and Ring finger to close off the nostrils for this exercise.
Step 1: Using your right hand, place the pointer finger and middle finger in the space between your eye brows. Place your Ring Finger to close off the left nostril and count to 3 as you inhale through the Right Nostril (Breathe in 1…2…3).
Step 2: As you take your 3rd inhale (breathing in), place your thumb on the right nostril (closing off both sides of the nose) and count to 3 as you retain (Hold) the breath (1…2…3).
Step 3: On your next breath, keep the thumb on your right nostril, as your release your Ring Finger and Exhale (breath out) of your Left Nostril as you count to 3 (1…2…3).
Step 4: As you take your 3rd exhale (breathing out), place your ring finger back on the left nostril (closing off both sides of the nose) and count to 3 as you retain (Hold) the breath.
Step 5: Repeat the same exact process, but now you are inhaling through the left nostril for 3 breaths, hold the breath, and exhaling through the right nostril. Inhale through the right nostril, hold the breath and exhale through the left nostril. Try this routine 2 times, and gradually build your stamina to increase the rounds of breath!
Alternate Nostril Breathing soothes the nervous system. It brings the body from the Sympathetic Nervous System (fight/flight) to the Parasympathetic Nervous System (rest/digest) to create balance and ease in the body. Stress and fear causes DIS-EASE, and this is one simple breathing technique to bring you back to EASE.
Mindful Movements of the Week:
Whether your new or seasoned to Yoga Asana (movement), the following 5 poses are great to get the heart rate up, create clarity in the mind, and grounding in the body. Do all 5 together, mix them up or just Stop, Drop and Yoga and strike a Pose! A Pose a day keeps the doctor away! Physical movement helps to reduce fear/stress/anxiety and boosts immunity!
Challenge: Show off exploring these poses around the house! Stay connected to our Green Wave Community by using the Hashtag: #LBfamilyYoga and Tag Amy @amyzambranoyoga
Side Angle Pose
Star Pose/Take A Wide Legged Forward Fold (Reach for your toes!)
Mindful Mudra: Unshakeable Trust
Bringing your hands together, gently pull them apart and feel your strength! This Mudra reminds us to TRUST ourself! That we have the power to be the best we can be, as it begins with SELF REGULATION! A natural way to boost confidence, reduce anxiety, and create connection to ourself! When you are connected to yourself, you are able to connected better with others!
Healthy SELfie Activity: Design a Vision Board of your Healthy Self! What can you do to keep yourself healthy, both physically and mentally to achieve your goals? Use magazines, newspapers, and other arts and crafts to design your own vision board! You can make one designated just for healthy foods, healthy hygiene routines, exercise routines, or even just cut out words of inspiration to motivate you to be your best SELf!
Meditation Relaxation Station: Mindfully Make Your Own Forts!
A fun family friendly activity to create a meditation fort for self regulation! Use blankets, pillows, and household furniture to create the ultimate indoor fort!! Work together as you create your meditation hOMe! The sky is the limit for how creative you can be! Practice the Alternate Nostril Breathing and Balloon Breath in your fort! It can also be a change of scenery to Color to Calm, or use it as a space to listen to your favorite song or read a book!
Remember to take a Brain Break at least every hour or as often as needed! Wash your hands, drink lots of water, move your body! In yoga, we practice “Saucha” which means cleanliness: Cleanliness with our body, as well as our thoughts! Limit exposure to the Media & Social Media for current events. This becomes a mindfulness practice of Self Awareness.