I recently went to Yoga Calm training and was asked to come up with lessons that would fit well in my classroom implementing some of the techniques of Yoga Calm. I am using the book Yoga Calm for Children: Educating Heart, Mind, and Body by Lynea and Jim Gillen.
In the class, we were asked to do some of the poses and partner work taught in Yoga Calm. There were some partner stretches that I thought would be great in my classroom. I was thinking of them as a warm-up to drawing... so in my class, I might call them our drawing stretches.
The two warm ups that I am going to share in this post are supporting three of the five Yoga Calm Principles; Grounding, Strength, and Community. I really like the community aspect of Yoga Calm. I feel that this is a way to connect my students to one another in the art room even if I only have them once every 6 days.
On page 80 of the Yoga Calm for Children book, it explains a stretch called Partner Pull. This stretch involves two people. They need to support each other in this stretch. They hang onto one another as demonstrated in the picture below and lean back. The arm and shoulder muscles are pulled and stretched. The partners hold this pose for a given amount of time. They then switch the pull to the other hand. One thing that was explained was that what ever you do to one half of your body you need to do to the other half, such as this Partner Pull.
On page 86 there was another activity that I thought would be a good drawing stretch. This was called Shoulder Clock. Partners press their hands together in a top position pressing into each other with a fully extended arm. The gradually and slowly move their arms to the back, still fully extended. The arms then end at the bottom position again, still fully extended and still pressing into each other. This would then be repeated with the other arms.
It would be so fun to have a warm up for drawing that I could teach my students and eventually say, 'It's time for your drawing stretches'. They would know what to do after practice a couple of times. My hope would be that they would then be in the mindset to draw, mind and body.