We are having fun this week with outer space relaxation! Just looking at pictures from outer space elicits a feeling of calm and serenity within me, so I am sharing this experience with my students. Here are some discussion ideas and activities for you to try out in your relaxation practice with your child or the children in your life.
In group, I talk with the students about how our energies can become “ungrounded,” how it can feel like we are spinning without gravity in outer space when we are stressed out, unfocused, tense, or distracted. When we are not relaxed, our bodies and minds can feel out of control, like they are floating far far away in outer space. Relaxation practice helps us to get grounded and to return to Earth! By relaxing we can calm our bodies and minds so that we can focus and feel good. In our relaxation practice today, we are going to “prepare our bodies and minds for landing.” When our energy gets too BIG or too scattered, we need to bring it back to ourselves. How are we going to do that? Through deep breaths and using our imaginations to relax our bodies and minds.
We start our groups with a little help from technology. Our school utilizes the relaxation videos from GoNoodle! Here’s the link: https://app.gonoodle.com
You can sign up for free! This site has a multitude of relaxation, stretching, exercise, and other videos to support your relaxation practice in the school setting. For outer space relaxation, I highly recommend searching the site for the AIRTIME Space video. Not only does it lead students in deep breathing, but at the end of the deep breathing practice, they can learn a few space-related facts.
This GoNoodle game guides students in breathing with a star-like sparkly ball as it takes off, and rises and falls throughout space in a slow, steady flight pattern until it arrives at its destination.
The music is “space-like” and ethereally soothing. The gentle voice, asks you to “breathe in and breathe out” with the sparkly ball and to “continue breathing as you float through outer space.”
I also love this video because at the end of the “deep breathing flight,” a screen pops up with a space fact that you can click on to learn more about something in outer space such as the Hubble Telescope, the sun, etc…
After GoNoodle, we sit down on the floor to practice another couple of deep breaths. Meteor deep breath is done using what I refer to as the “breathing balls.” These are the Doberman Expanding Mini Sphere Toys. Click on the photo below for a link to Amazon.
To take a Meteor Breath, hold the breathing ball up to the left. Breathe in, expanding the ball fully. Then explain that as you breathe out, the breathing ball slowly collapses and decreases in size until it lands on Earth, fully collapsed, breath fully exhaled. The “meteor” effectively travels across your body from upper right to land on the floor to your side. Repeat and have each child lead the Meteor Breath, verbally prompting him or her to exhale slowly while moving and collapsing the ball slowly to the floor.
Next, we “take off into relaxation” using the Rocket Breath. Stand or sit with a straight back. Hold your hands gently together in front of your chest, getting ready for the take off. As you count to five, press your hands together and inhale during the count-down. When you get to five, blast off with the exhale, moving your hands in an upward take off motion until arms are straight up. When your hands and arms reach straight up, you can separate your hands, allowing them to circle back around to starting position. Make a whooshing sound during the take off, fully exhaling as your arms circle back around to the start position.
Use this routine to blast off into relaxation during various times of day. It can be used in the classroom, before school, before bed, or just as a relaxation practice. Make rocket ships as visual aids and blast them off for Rocket Breath as well. Most importantly, though, is to:
Have FUN relaxing!!!
photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/28634332@N05/29344111420″>Hubble Peers into the Storm</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
photo credit: PeterThoeny <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/98786299@N00/29796647042″>High power rocket certification flight</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>