Anyone who has sat for long periods of time understands the stress and strain sitting has on the body. In the absence of movement, the muscles shorten and become stiff, joints lose their range of motion, and blood and lymphatic fluid collect in the lower body. This latter fact is of particular concern, as lymphatic fluid (which plays a critical role in the function of the immune system) is pumped through the body solely through movement – and if not adequately distributed, leaves the body vulnerable to infection and disease.
In young students, the effects of long periods of sitting are especially detrimental to the learning process. Physical discomfort is distracting. Lack of movement creates lethargy and fatigue. Poor blood flow inhibits the ability to concentrate. In short, the expectation of sitting for long periods creates a classroom of students who are unable to learn.
The At Your Desk activities are designed with the understanding that it’s not always practical to allow children free and energetic movement through the classroom (even in rooms with ample space), as it can be challenging to keep the time limited and effectively redirect students after a period of active movement.
Yoga 4 Classrooms® At Your Desk activities have been specially modified to work with the tools the children have handy – namely, a desk and chair. Designed to open the joints and stretch the muscles, these simple yoga-based activities provide physical relief, improve focus and keep the systems of the body functioning efficiently. Paired with breathing and visualization/relaxation, a quick break will leave children – and teachers – feeling refreshed and ready to focus on classroom instruction and activities. With minimal instruction, children learn to notice how they feel and begin to self-regulate, calling upon and utilizing these simple strategies as needed.
In this video, Yoga 4 Classrooms owner Sarah Kirk, shares how to use five simple seated postures from the At Your Desk category to focus, center, cleanse, release tension, and stretch the full body.
- Sitting Mountain
- Open Heart
- Seated Pigeon
This seated sequence is great for a break in the day without students ever leaving their desks!
Sarah Kirk, Owner and CEO of Yoga 4 Classrooms
Purchase the Y4C Activity Cards mentioned in the video here: https://yoga4classrooms.com/products/