10 Social Skills to use in the Classroom from Friends Eating Oyster Yoga Pose

 Friends Eating Oyster Pose from the book Breathe and Stretch on the Beach.

Friends Eating Oyster Pose from the book Breathe and Stretch on the Beach.

The Friends Eating Oyster Pose is the first yoga pose from the book Breathe and Stretch on the Beach.  It provides access to 10 valuable social skills.  Explore them now and improve cooperation, communication and friendship in your classroom or home.

Students will sit cross legged and back to back with a partner.  Teacher will call this pose often throughout the game to practice the skills below.  Each time called, students will "find a new friend." 
Here are the 10 Tips:

  1. Non-verbal Communication – Without using words, ask others to sit back to back with you.  Practice communicating with your hands, face, eyes, and body.
  2. Including – We never exclude others with body language or words.  What does excluding look like?
  3. Inviting - If you notice someone who never gets chosen, give a hand gesture to invite him or her to sit back to back with you.  
  4. Friendship - How do you invite friends in your life?  Start with body language (smile, hand gesture). Practice this on the playground, too.
  5. Positive Self-Talk - Learn the power of talking in your head by saying, “I am a good friend, or I am friendly.”
  6. Calming Down  - When you breathe deep during this sitting pose, you are sending a message to your brain to calm down and relax.  Take 3-5 deep breaths while sitting in the pose. 
  7. Reading Facial Expressions - While you are seated, turn around and look at your partners face.  Make a face that shows anger, happiness, disappointment, frustration, or worry.  Learn to read facial expressions to know how friends feel.
  8. Teamwork - During many games in school, you will be partnered with people who are not your friends.  Instead of scowling, smile and know this is a fun game.
  9. Self-Control - Choose self-control and remember to use non-verbal communication only.  You may need to put your tongue in the roof of your mouth to help you have control when you want to say someone's name.   
  10. Consequences - After learning the game, your teacher may sit you out for one pose when you accidentally communicate with words.  Mistakes are for learning.

PLUS A BONUS:

Manners - Pretend you are eating a delicious oyster.  Sit tall for good digestion, use your napkin for your mouth, and eat with your mouth closed.   

BULLYING TIP:  This is an easy tool to help a teacher/counselor determine if a child is being bullied.   Educator should watch for exclusion or withdrawn child. 

Julie Frizzi