Practice Room Yoga | Yoga for High School

Hello new friends! My name is Claire and
I am a flute player and a yoga teacher and my greatest passion in the world is
bringing yoga and movement to musicians just like you! So the reason I’m here in
your classroom today is to get you moving and breathing and centered and
focused so that you can have the most productive rehearsal, the best day, the
best class of your whole life! Are you ready? I’m ready! So we’ll start by
standing up. Find a nice comfortable place where you have some room to move,
and let’s get started! So from the standing position begin to notice how
your feet are in contact with the floor. You might like to rock side to side
or front to back on the feet, just noticing every corner of the feet and
how they are connected to the ground supporting you here. There are a
bajillion little bones in the feet that support the weight of your body every
day. How can you give them a little love, a little honor here? Good. And then
find some stillness in the feet. Allow the knees to stack over the ankles
without being locked, so micro-bend in the knees, hips are stacked over the
ankles, heart over the hips. Shoulders are releasing down the back
body as if you could slide the shoulder blades all the way down into the back
pocket of your jeans. Good. The chest is open and the crown of the head
is drawing up towards the ceiling. Take a couple seconds here to either put your
hands on your belly or your heart and just check in with where you are today.
What do you feel like today? Maybe you came to this class from lunch or from
another class, and you need a second to settle in, to fully arrive in this place.
Give yourself that time. One breath here. Good. If your eyes are
closed you can gently open them. Take the hands right in front of you, allowing the forearms to be parallel to the ground. Just begin to
open and close the hands. By doing this, we’re inviting some circulation in the hands. Have you ever noticed that your hands can get really really cold? Yeah! We’re
inviting that warmth, blood flow, to heat the hands so that they can be safe as
you move with them in your class today. But while we’re doing this, let’s do
something else with the neck. As you exhale, send the left ear towards the
left shoulder. Good. Take a deep breath in here, and then as you exhale, send the
chin towards the chest but keep the ear close to the shoulder. Now we’re
getting into the back of the neck, down into the shoulder blade. Deep breath in
here. Nice. This time, as you exhale, take the nose towards the ceiling but keep
the ear close. Now we’re getting into the front of the neck, down into the
pectoral muscle. Good. And with your next inhale, stack the spine once again. Find your way to neutral. Turn the hands over, the other direction. Now, palms
facing the ground. As you exhale, that right ear moves towards the right
shoulder. Deep breath in here, and then as you
exhale, the chin moves down towards the chest. Keep the ear close. Getting into
the back of the neck, down into the shoulder blade. Next exhale, take
the nose towards the ceiling, keep the ear close. Getting into the front of the
neck down, into the pectoral muscle. Interesting! And slowly make your way
back to center. Check in with your shoulders. Keep the hands moving! And then
shake out the hands – ahh! – maybe allowing them to come all the way down to the sides of the body. Maybe they feel warmer now, or a little tingly! Good. Then, find stillness. Just checking in with how your neck feels, how your
forearms and your palms feel. And as you inhale take the arms straight out in
front of you – zombie arms – and then allow them to rise up overhead, fingers
reaching towards the ceiling. Exhale as the palms press down in front of you
like you’re pushing something down toward your thighs. Good. Inhale as you
take the arms up overhead, reach tall, and exhale, press it down. One more breath like this. Inhale. Exhale, press. Allow the breath to
move slow through the body. And with this next inhale we’ll
pause with the arms lifted overhead. As you exhale, slide the left hand down
towards the left hip. Root evenly through both feet as you lean over
towards the left. Good. So, making space here in the right
side body from the fingers all the way down through the side, into the pelvis,
into the hip. As you inhale, restack through the vertebra. Take the left hand
up to meet the right, and as you exhale right hand moves to the hip, left arm
reaches up and over. Good. Take one more breath on each side here, moving at
your own pace. Be sure that you are inhaling and exhaling with these
movements. The way that we slow the breath down to stimulate the
parasympathetic nervous system, which takes us out of a fight-or-flight
response – ask your science teacher about that one –
is to unite the movement with the breath. Smart, right? Alright. So the next
thing that you inhale both arms lifting up overhead, pause again. As you exhale,
take the right hand straight forward in front of you, and take the left hand
straight back behind you, as if you’re going to put your shoulders
in one line, take the heart towards the left. Imagine that your pelvis is in
concrete, so your hips aren’t moving. Good. Inhale as you cartwheel the arms through
center, and exhale this time to the other side. So, the left hand moves forward,
right hand moves back. Imagine you can pull your shoulders into one straight
line here, pelvis stays still. Inhale as you cartwheel through center, exhale
as you twist. Good. Keep with this breath, with this movement. Very nice. And the
next time you inhale through center, pause here. Exhale, take the arms straight
down in front of you, move them to the side of the body. Maybe you’d like to shake the head yes and no, or wiggle through the
shoulders. Just check in with how the arms feel, the shoulders feel. Good. With
your next inhale, take the arms out in a goal-post position, also known as
cactus arms. The upper arms are parallel to the ground, and the forearms
are perpendicular to the ground. Did you ever think you’d be using geometry in a
yoga class? Because here you are! Alright, so as you inhale, pull the elbows back,
towards each other, send the heart forward towards the front
of the room. Good. As you exhale, take the hands forward in front of you, hook the
thumbs together, and press the fingers forward so that you’re rounding
through the back. Inhale as you open across the front of the body, take that
heart forward, and exhale as you round through the back body, hook those thumbs
together. We’ll take one more breath like this, opening and one part of the
body and contracting in the other, creating compression and openness. With
your next exhale, release the hands down towards the sides of the body, find that
nice comfortable standing position we started in. Maybe you’d like to take the
hands to the belly or to the heart, or allow them to rest at the sides. The eyes
can be open or they can be closed. I invite you to just notice what’s going
on in your body here. Your heartbeat, your breath, noticing the connection of
the feet to the ground. How can you be compassionate, gentle,
kind to yourself today? Where can you cut yourself slack? How can you add a little
bit of sweetness? Take one more breath here. When you’re ready, gently allow the eyes
to open if they’re closed. Thank you so much for sharing this time and this space
with me today. It was an honor to be a part of your music classroom. I hope you
have a wonderful class! Thank you!

1 Comment

  1. Every high school band program should use this for their students!

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