Friday, February 25, 2011

Yoga on the Ropes Classroom Activities

Jio Jim and Lynea Gillen of Yoga Calm have asked me to find low ropes and experiential learning activities which best fit within the Yoga Calm philosophy. I came up with the term Yoga on the Ropes. I'm going to offer some of these activities in the next few blogs. These are simple, fun and quick activities you can do right in your classroom but you may have to move a few desks! These activities bring students and teachers together in a a playful way. Enjoy!

Energy Ball 1 and 2
Theme: Support/Imagination
Props: None
Energy Ball 1
1.      The group stands in a circle.
2.      Hold your hands together as if you are holding a ball.
3.      Ask the group if they can see the ball.
4.      Tell the group that you are going to ask them to catch and throw the imaginary ball around.
5.      To throw the ball they must first get eye contact with the person they are throwing it to.
6.      Instruct participants that they must keep the ball moving or people will get bored.
7.      Instruct participants that the ball can be whatever size and shape they want.
8.      Encourage participants to use their imaginations.

Energy Ball 2
1.      After participants have played for a while, tell them that the ball is starting to pick up energy from each participant.
2.      In fact it’s getting so heavy that whoever catches and throws the ball will need help on both sides.
3.      At this point the game becomes an elimination game.
4.      If the player catching the ball is not supported on both sides, she or he has to step out.
5.      When this happens, pause and say “I’m sorry _____, you weren’t fully supported.”
6.      That student steps out and the circle closes.
7.      Continue this process until quite a few participants are on the outside.
8.      Start the game over until nobody drops out and nobody is excluded.

Notes: This can be an emotionally loaded game, especially for those excluded.
1.      Ask the group what it takes to feel supported.
2.      What is it like to be unsupported and excluded?
3.      Is there a way we can make sure everybody is supported all day long at least by one person?
4.      Where do you find support the most in your life?
5.      Where do you need a little support?
6.      Is there anything the group can do to give you more support?
7.      How do you support others?

World Champion Rock/Paper Scissors

Theme: Support
Props: None
1.      Review Rock Paper Scissors. Rock smashes scissors, scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock.
2.      Everybody plays “against” everybody else.
3.      Demonstrate with a volunteer how to group how to play rock paper scissors.
4.      The “loser” gets behind the “winner” and chants that person’s name over and over.
5.      The process continues with each winner adding people to the increasing human chain behind them.
6.      Eventually two long chains will face off with only two names being chanted.
7.      Allow one long chain for a brief chaotic moment then announce “new game!”  in a loud voice.
8.      Continue the process, playing 3-5 times or until it seems the group is ready to move on.

1.      Ask the people who “won” what it felt like to have a whole bunch of people supporting them.
2.      Ask others how it felt to support.
3.      Ask participants how their name is used: How is it used for support. How is it used for fun, for discipline, for ??


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