For the past couple of years I have been practicing one yoga pose with my students - the tree pose. Watch the 2 minute video below for a brief explanation of this easy pose.
The pose itself is pretty easy to do, so it shouldn't take long to teach your students how to "find their trees."
I tend to do the tree pose in my class at different points depending on the mood of my class:
1) If students are not participating and seem really disconnected from the class, we will do the tree pose for 30 seconds. The tree pose brings awareness back into the classroom so students seem to focus better afterwards.
2) If students are talking too much and can't seem to begin class or an activity efficiently, we will do the tree pose. 30 seconds of calm and quiet definitely slow my students down so that they are ready to begin class.
3) Finally, if my students are stressed with an upcoming test or other events, we will do the tree pose. Deep breathing for 30 seconds and focusing on balance seems to allow us to forget about the outside world for a few seconds.
You may be thinking: "There is NO way I can get my students to do yoga in my classroom." I promise you that it's possible. I have done this for the past 3 years with all different types of students, ages, and levels. My 8th grader love it, and my 11th graders enjoy it. I have gotten the captain of the basketball team to do yoga as well! With a little practice and convincing (at least the first time), students will be asking to do yoga within a few days.
To recap, doing 30 seconds of the tree pose is a phenomenal way to bring focus back into your classroom and lower stress. Try it out sometime soon!