When we bring our yoga practice off the mat and into a chair, it becomes more accessible, more sustainable, and easier to integrate into the busy school day. In a system that is increasingly promoting rigor, standardized assessments, and cutting important hours dedicated to the arts, health and physical education; children are sitting still at school for developmentally inappropriate periods of time.
Chair-based practices provide a sustainable option for schools, both those bringing in external providers, and those classroom teachers who wish to incorporate yoga daily in their classes.
Finding the space and time to roll out 30 mats can be one of the most prohibiting challenges for potential school yoga programs. Many public schools have limited access to gymnasiums and larger spaces more suitable for yoga classes, and transitioning children to these kinds of spaces can be time consuming and logistically complicated for administration. In addition, getting down on the floor can be both a physical and psychological barrier to participation for many people. Chair yoga can offer students and their teachers all the benefits of a mat based practice: A physical and mental break, increased focus, greater energy and tools to support emotional regulation. In this workshop, we will explore tangible, effective ways to bring yoga into the classroom without yoga mats or any other props, adapting yoga poses and activities through the creative use of a chair.
This interactive workshop is appropriate for both yoga teachers working in schools, and classroom teachers interested in incorporating yoga into the school day. We will explore current research connecting movement based practices to learning readiness, and discuss implementation strategies for schools that support both student and teacher self-care and wellness. Participants will experience a sample chair-based practice incorporating movement, breathing, mindfulness, and relaxation and learn a variety of activities available for immediate use.
Based on this workshop, participants will be able to: