Movement for the Classroom: Chair YogaPosted: March 28, 2012
Reflections from Sonja Arneson-Ecklund, FFI AmeriCrops
The "Whole Wellness: Whole Curriculum" teacher workshop was all about getting teachers to integrate wellness into the classroom. My role was to educate teachers about how to use their desk as a foundation for a physical activity routine in the form of chair yoga. It's part of the growing effort to create places where people have abundant opportunities for physical activity in the places where they live, learn, work, and play.
Chair yoga is beneficial for teachers to practice during their long stretches of desk-time and for students, who spend hours sitting in their desks without many opportunities for physical activity breaks. My presentation included chair yoga stretching poses chosen to address "swayback posture," which develops in teachers because of rocking back and forth on the hips during classroom lectures. The teachers received a handout about the six poses to practice at work.
Participants in "Whole Wellness: Whole Curriculum" talked about ways yoga could enhance their curriculum. Math teachers suggested using triangle poses and extended side angle poses to illustrate math terms; history teachers suggested using a pyramid pose while studying ancient Egyptians; music teachers talked about using yoga breathing principles during warm-ups; PE teachers suggested using yoga for relaxation or during indoor recess; and art teachers thought they could use the poses to practice human gesture drawing. Do any of these ideas sound like they will work in your classroom?