Five Parts of Practice
At Challenge to Change, we follow the Five Parts of Practice when we are teaching children our Yoga and Mindfulness program. These Five Parts of Practice are:
+ Seated Practice
+ Heart of the Lesson
+ Guided Mindfulness Practice
+ Close of Practice
Molly, our Founder and the CEO of Challenge to Change, created these Five Parts of Practice when she was receiving her certification to teach children’s yoga. As a former classroom teacher, Molly was aware that children learn best when there is structure and routine in their lessons. While Molly learned many wonderful strategies and ideas for teaching yoga to children in her training, she felt that the missing piece to making her lessons most effective was a consistent structure to her practice. Hence, the Five Parts of Practice were born.
This series of articles is designed to inform our readers what each part looks like and why we include it in our teaching.
Close of Practice
At the end of a lesson comes the close of practice. These activities are designed to gently wake the children up from their guided mindfulness practice, or Yoga Nap, and bring the lesson to a final conclusion.
The close of practice activities are songs or chants cited in unison in order to build classroom community. Many often also include hand movements that require fine motor skills and possibly even jump the midline of the brain in order to promote cognitive development. Let Peace Begin With Me, in which the children manipulate opposite fingers, is one such practice.
One of the most popular close of practices is Sa-Ta-Na-Ma, which translates to I Am Awesome. We tell the children we chant this mantra over and over again to remind ourselves that each one of us is incredibly wonderful and unique, and each one of us has gifts that help make the world a more awesome place.
As participants recite each syllable, they touch a finger to each thumb, starting with their pointer fingers and ending with their pinkies. The students follow along to sing the word three times, whisper it three times, and then just think the syllables in their minds three times each. The word is then whispered three times again, and finally sung three times again to bring the activity to a close.
And now, as we end this five-part series on our Five Parts of Practice, we will bow to you and say the word, “Peace!”