Sitting with Intention in Oyster Pose

Friends Eating Oyster Pose gives students movement in the classroom.

Friends Eating Oyster Pose gives students movement in the classroom.

Most of our days we mindlessly and habitually sit without being aware of the ground below us. But when students practice oyster pose from the book Breathe and Stretch on the Beach, they become aware of their body and posture. They feel the earth below them as they press their bottoms into the ground. Their spine lengthens and stretches towards the ceiling as their shoulders gently fall away from their ears. In oyster pose, students open their palms like a large oyster and lay them on their bent knees. This allows the chest area to open in order to bring in more oxygen. It is here where deep breathing is practiced. They inhale deeply through the nose and exhale slowly. Each breath allows students to slow down and mindfully increase the length of each exhale which sends a message to the brain to calm down.

Students are trained to find a partner quietly and sit back to back when they hear the teacher say, “friends eating oysters.” This is where the BIG magic happens. In this partner pose, the teacher reads one themed social emotional lesson from the book POWERFUL YOU. The journaling questions are read for the partners to openly discuss and name coping strategies. Students bond during this pose and learn the power of vulnerability by sharing personal stories.

You have now given students movement, practiced self-regulation, allowed talking time, reviewed coping strategies, and completed one social emotional lesson in less than 20 minutes. Why make yourself crazy searching new lessons when it is all done for you! Powerful You!

Julie Frizzi