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Kids Yoga Lesson Plan for Emotional Awareness

Creating a kids yoga lesson based on a book or story is a great way to teach literacy, talk about specific themes, and bring movement to your classroom!

It’s also an excellent way to come up with lesson plans for kids yoga in studios and after school programs.

One of the first books I used along with a kids yoga lesson, and a constant favorite, is My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss.

My Many Colored Days talks about how kids may have different feelings and emotions on different days, and how those feelings might affect them.

It’s a cute book great for all ages with vivid images and lots of descriptive language.

The theme of discovering your emotions and understanding how they can change and be different from day to day ties in really well with yoga and mindfulness.

Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and the ability to self-regulate are all goals of yoga and mindfulness with kids.

We want them to be active in new ways, feel connected to their body, and then be able to recognize and deal with the emotions that they are noticing.

Using a book like My Many Colored Days is an awesome way to tie this emotional awareness and body movement together. 

I wrote a whole lesson plan that works great with kids ages 4 and up. I would even use this with my 5th graders (ages 11-12).

The full printable kids yoga lesson is available here and includes:

  • Overview of the yoga lesson
  • Scripted Entrance, Warm Up exercises, Breathing activity, Discussion Questions and Story Introduction
  • Teaching tips for classroom management
  • Images of the poses with pose descriptions in the lesson (two poses for each color in the story!)
  • Discussion topics for each color: feelings, emotions, scents, and chakras (when applicable)
  • Two song links to YouTube videos for each color (all clean lyrics)
  • Full size pose images to print and show with descriptions on the back
  • Scripted Savasana
  • Printable pages for writing and drawing activity
  • Printable How Are You Feeling? chart for the “Fist to Five” check-in activity
  • Image and a basic description of the chakras according to Yoga Philosophy
  • (The book is not included in this printable lesson plan)

For a shorter overview and pose descriptions for each color, animal, and emotion—keep reading!

Click on the image below to be taken to the fully scripted Yoga and Literacy Lesson for My Many Colored Days:

 

Overview of the lesson based on My Many Colored Days: a  kids yoga lesson on emotions, feelings, chakras, and self-awareness.

 

  1. Entrance/Welcome (1 min): Show a “Fist to Five” on your hands to show how you are feeling today.
  2. Warm Ups (3-5 min):  Feelings Freeze dance–each time just before the music pauses, shout out an emotion/feeling for the kids to show on their face as they freeze.
  3. Breathing (2 min): Watch the video “Just Breathe” from Mindful Schools, then breathe in and out while watching a glitter jar (either in real life, make your own! or from this video).
  4. Opening Discussion Question (3-5 min): Start with talking about the saying “I’m feeling blue” and discuss how sometimes people talk about how their feelings are like a color.  What other colors might be associated with feelings?
  5. Introduction to the Story (1-2 min): This story might challenge our beliefs of what colors match which feelings, or it might support it. Pay attention to if you agree or disagree with the author’s ideas and opinions.
  6. Story/Movement (10-20 mi): Read My Many Colored Days, do two poses for each color/feeling, and listen to music that might match the feelings and colors as well. Option to talk about Chakras and other associations with each color.
  7. Relax/Savasana (3-5 min): Rainbow walk: imagine yourself walking through all the colors of the rainbow and feeling them rest gently into your heart as you breathe.
  8. (Optional) Journaling/Creative Project (5-10 min): Write about how you are feeling, or how you feel on “mixed up” days. Draw poses to go with each.
  9. (Optional) Craft project!: Cut and color a “My Many Colored Days” person. Or cut out and fill with tissue paper to make a very colorful window hang.

Red Horse – Excited, joyful

Horse pose (Goddess pose: feet apart with knees out, legs bent and arms up.)

Down Dog (Down dog with one leg up, then do some big kicks!)

Blue Bird – Free, peaceful

Airplane pose (Balance on one leg with your other leg behind you. Bend forward with your arms reaching to the sides or back)

Locust pose (Lie on your tummy and lift your arms and legs up.)

Brown Bear—Sad, lonely

            Cat pose (Kneel on hands and knees, arch your back up to the sky)

            Child’s pose (Sit on your feet and fold over your legs with your arms reaching forward)

Yellow Bumblebee—Jubilant, silly

            Butterfly pose (Sit with feet together and knees wide, hold onto your feet)

            Vulture (Squat on your feet and lift your heels, reach your arms back like wings)

Grey Owl—Curious, shy

            Eagle pose (balance on one bent leg and wrap your other leg around, wrap your arms up at the elbows in front of you)

            Seated forward fold (Sit with your legs out straight in front of you. Reach for your toes or twist gently side to side)

Orange Seal—Silly, goofy

            Up Dog (Lie on your tummy with your shoulders by your ribs. Press your arms straight, lifting your body and legs off the ground)

            Happy Baby (Lie on your back, bring your knees in and grab onto your feet, pressing them up toward the sky)

Green Fish—Calm, Content

            Fish pose  (Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, lean back onto your elbows and press your chest up)

            Locust pose (Lie on your tummy with your arms reaching back at your sides. Lift your arms and legs up and wiggle like a fish)

Purple Dinosaur—Sad, lonely

            Dinosaur pose (stand with feet wide and toes forward, fold over and reach for your heels)

            Rock pose (Lie on your back, bring your knees into your chest and make a small ball)

Pink Flamingo—Happy, Energized

            Dancer pose (Balance on one leg and reach for your other foot behind you)

            Star pose (Stand with feet wide and arms reaching up and away from each other)

Black Wolf—Angry, frustrated

            Wolf (camel pose: stand on your knees, press your hands into your low back and lift your chest up, looking up)

            Cow pose (Kneel on hands and knees, arch your spine down and look forward or up)

Mixed up!—Crazy, wacky, confused!

            Create your own pose! Do a silly crazy pose and make up a silly name!

Me!—How are you feeling? What word best describes YOU?

            Choose your favorite pose, or think of one that fits your personality most of the time. Which color, animal, or feeling do you identify with most of the time?

Savasana:  Imagine the rainbow

Describe a gentle, calming scene and rainbow reaching up and over the sky above.

Guide the students through each color, slowly and calmly letting them imagine the color washing over them, or drifting up into the sky above them. Use a “breathing buddy” to help them focus on breathing in and out through their tummies while they relax.

I hope you enjoyed this yoga lesson plan for kids based on the book, My Many Colored Days!

Emotional regulation and self-awareness in a yoga lesson plan are crucial to kids building self-esteem and confidence. 

What other books have you used to help build up kids’ ability to emotionally regulate their feelings?

Don’t forget to check out the fully Scripted lesson plan with full size pose images and other bonus materials here.

 

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