Need a Halloween-themed class for your older students? This is a Halloween twist on a chakra lesson plan. Having knowledge about your chakras gives you a guide on how to interpret the experiences in your body. Listening to your body and directing your energy within in a conscience way so you feel safe, creative, empowered, loved, heard, connected and spiritual.
- One hollowed-out pumpkin
- Cooked spaghetti
- Gummy candy
- Cyclops eyes
- White 8.5 x 11 paper
- Markers the colors of the chakras
- Wet wipes
- Cotton balls
- Cedar and lavender oil
- Green marker
- Music player and prepared music
What are chakras? Why do we care about chakras? Where is each chakra located in the body? What are some things associated with each chakra (i.e.: color, sense, emotion, etc.)?
Place a skeleton in the center of the circle.
Take a moment close your eyes and sit tall on your sit bones. Think about your spine. <Pause.> Look at the skeleton in the center of the circle. There are 33 bones in your spine and 5 sections. The cervical spine is your neck, thoracic is where the ribs attach to the spine, lumbar is lower back and sacral is where your spine attaches to your pelvis and then the tailbone region. When one of those bones becomes misaligned, we feel discomfort.
So, alignment of our spine is essential to our health. We have wheels of energy along our spine called chakras. Energy is what makes all things exist and move. Our body receives energy from the sun, food we eat and the air we breathe, and that energy is sent throughout the whole body. Our chakras are those places where that energy comes into the body and is then sent throughout the body. We want to keep these wheels of energy spinning and balanced so that you feel good, much like spinal alignment. Yoga poses can help keep our spines aligned and our chakras balanced.
Name Game – Go around the circle, say your name and an adjective that is scary that begins with the same letter as your name: Howling Heather. Say all together after each child says their name.
POSES AS PATHWAYS
Sunlight is absorbed through our skin, so we can produce Vitamin D, which in turn allows us to absorb calcium. Calcium strengthens our bones.
Sunrise/Sunset – Sit on your heels. Open and close your wings several times. Then open your wings and interlace your fingers above your head. Stretch your arms up as you lift your buttocks off your heels with an inhalation. Exhale and drop your hips to the right as the arms drop left like the setting sun. Inhale and arch your arms overhead like the rising sun. Then, drop your arms to the right as the hips drop left.
Pull your hands around your face to make it dark. Darkness is scary. Your sight is limited, and you might hear things you wouldn’t hear during the day because the world is quiet. Our first chakra’s sense is smell. Pass around a cotton ball held in a clothespin with cedar oil on it, The essence of our first chakra is meeting our basic needs; feeling stable and secure in our environment.
Polar Bear – Begin in Heel-Sitting pose. Open your knees wide apart, toes touching behind you. Bend forward at the hips and slide your chest along the floor. Place your chin on the floor and put your paws over your nose to keep yourself warm. Breathe in and out.
We are going to be the moon rising. Make wide arms circles to draw the face of the full moon. Moonlight is sun reflected off the surface of the moon.
Volcano – Begin in Mountain pose. Bring your fingertips together at the chest. Jump your feet apart. Place your palms together at the center of your body in Namaste Position. Breathe in. Watch your hands as you raise them over your head. Breathe out as you explode your arms outward. Lower them to your sides and return your hands to Namaste. Erupt and release again and again. Make big, exploding volcano noises. Jump your feet back together when you’ve finished erupting.
What comes out when the moon is full? WEREWOLVES!
Play Thriller by Michael Jackson. Howl at the moon.
Transformer Series (modified to become Werewolves) – A vinyasa is a flow of poses linked together through breath and movement. In YogaKids, we call vinyasa flows “transformers.” This example of a Transformer Series transitions through the following poses: Lunge, Lizard, S is for Snake, Down Diggety Doggy Down, and back into Lunge.
When our root chakra is balanced, we feel centered and grounded. “I am rooted to the Earth, I am Safe.”
Mountain – Stand with your feet together or hip-width apart, whichever is most comfortable. Arms are at your sides, fingers stretching towards the floor. Press your feet into the ground. This downward action through the legs allows the torso, neck, and head to rise like a mountain above the clouds. Notice how tall and light you feel.
Put your hands on either side of your hips and you can feel the ilium bones that make up your pelvis, which is like a bowl. These bones connect to your spine at the sacrum which is a large triangular bone that helps support the weight of our upper body. This is also where our second or sacral chakra is housed which enhances your ability to feel. When it is in alignment your creative energy flows. Orange represents this chakra. Let’s become pumpkins.
Pelvic Bowling – The pelvis is like a bowl, holding the reproductive and abdominal organs. Tip your bowl forward and backward several times. Now realign and lengthen your spine as you return to center. Feel your legs strong and supportive. Feel your pelvic bowl sitting on the pedestal of the legs, supporting the upward mobility of your torso. Stand tall and walk without spilling anything out of your bowl.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself as an orange pumpkin. Make a scary mouth with fangs and everyone reveal their scary face at once by opening their eyes. Do the Darth Vader breath: Try to inhale/exhale through your nose even though your mouth is open. Use your tongue to stopper your teeth. Count to three on inhale, five on exhale.
Squat & Breath – Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Bend your knees and squat down. If possible, bring your heels to the ground and keep your feet parallel to one another. Bring your hands into the Namaste position, with your thumbs lifting the breastbone and your elbows opening your inner thighs. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and keep the torso upright. Breathe deeply and quietly as you balance. Continue to increase the duration of time you can squat and breathe.
Sing the following as you do the pose:
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
the first one said, “oh my its getting late,”
the second one said, “there are witches in the air,”
the third one said, “but I don’t care,”
the fourth one said, “I’m ready for some fun,”
the fifth one said, “let’s run and run and run.”
Woo went the wind and out went the lights and
the 5 little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
Rock ‘n Roll – Sit cross-legged. Take hold of your toes from the outer side of your knees. Breathe in and lift up your chest. Breathe out and tuck in your chin. Breathe in and out. Rock your back and roll backwards. Extend your crossed legs over your head. Roll forward, tuck in your legs, and sit up again. Do this a few times to loosen up your spine, back and legs. Re-cross your legs the other way, then roll a few more times.
A pumpkin is in the shape of our pelvis and where our guts are. If you are brave enough to reach inside without looking, there are some prizes. Pass around a carved-out pumpkin that has “guts” (cooked spaghetti) inside. Within the guts, put in gummy organ shaped candy and eyeballs. Share this folktale:
There is an Irish folktale of how Jack-o-lanterns came to be a Halloween tradition. A man named Stingy Jack invited the devil to have a drink with him. But Jack being stingy didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the coin, and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form.
Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for another 10 years. Soon after, Jack died.
As the legend goes, God wouldn’t allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by Jack’s trickery but keeping his word not to claim is soul, wouldn’t let Jack into Hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved out turnip and has been roaming the Earth ever since. The Irish refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern” which became simply Jack-o-Lantern. When the Irish brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, they adopted this fruit for their carving activities.
Row your Boat – Begin in L-Sitting pose and place both hands, palms down, alongside your hips. Lengthen your arms and spine. Lean back and lift your legs up. Balance. Stretch your arms forward, palms up. Breathe in and out. Row your arms forward. Reverse, and row your arms backward. Try the pose while singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Our navel chakra is our power center which fuels your will to act. Let’s hold hands in this pose as we work to recharge and reconnect with this energy center.
Feel the energy that flows in your body. See if you can connect to your neighbors’ energy like an electric current that flows from one to another.
Electric Circle – This pose is done with at least three people. Sit cross-legged with your hands on your knees. The left-hand rests palm up, and the right-hand rests palm-down. Breathe deeply into your heart space at the center of your chest. Feel the breath move across your chest, flow down your arms and into the hands that you are holding. You might feel or hear tingling. Whenever you feel this electricity, gently squeeze the hands you are holding. That is the signal to let each other know that the circuit has been made and the current is flowing. With your lips closed and your tongue curled upward to touch the roof of your mouth, start humming or buzzing to imitate the sound of electricity. Get louder and louder, then break the circuit by letting go of each other’s hands. Sit quiet and listen to the silence.
Electricity has transformed us into Frankenstein! Play Monster Mash. Try to walk with arms and legs straight like Frankenstein. Try to cross one leg over the other as you step sideways. Go in both directions.
Ankle/Heel/Toe/Walking – Put on your favorite music or make your own. Lift your toes in the air and walk on your heels. Then, lift your heels and walk high on your tiptoes. Balance on the inside edges of your feet and walk around. Balance on the outside edges and walk around.
When your navel chakra is balanced you feel confident and courageous in your decisions.
Warrior Series with Affirmations – Begin in Mountain pose. Step one leg back while bending your front leg. Keep your hips facing frontward as you raise your arms straight above your head. Say, “I am bold!” From Bold Warrior, turn your back foot slightly outward and bring your arms down parallel to the floor. Keep your front knee bent directly over your ankle. Say, “I am brave.” From Brave Warrior, shift your weight onto your front leg. Pick up your back leg and stretch it behind you. Keep both legs as straight and strong as possible. Stretch your arms forward and say, “My own power I can hold!” Repeat on the other side.
Our spine isn’t straight, it is curved like an S so it can better support the weight of your upper body. Convex is the shape of our cervical and lumbar areas and concave is the shape of our thoracic region We are going to make those two shapes with our back: stretch our chest muscles by opening our arms wide and arching back: then stretch the back muscles by bringing our arms to the front and rounding back. A good way to remember it, concave has the word cave in it and when you cave in, you cave inward.
Draw a heart with washable green marker on hands of child and dab some lavender oil in center. Our heart chakra fuels our ability to give and receive love.
When we take our heads below our hearts we bathe our brain in oxygenated blood.
Did someone say BLOOD! (Put your fangs in for Dracula.) Make the shape of Dracula’s cape. When our heart chakra is open and balanced, you feel a deep sense of love, gratitude and connection to all beings, including yourself.
Standing Partner Stretch – With a partner, stand back-to-back in Mountain pose. Both partners take one “baby step” forward. Reach back and take hold of each other’s hands or wrists. Keep your feet rooted to the floor. Lean gently away from each other, as you stretch your chests and shoulders. Come back to center and release your hands.
Dracula is transforming into a bat to fly away. This pose strengthens your arms and core.
Crow Pose – Begin in Mountain pose. Bend your knees and squat down. Place your arms to the inside of your bent legs and press your hands with outstretched fingers into the floor. Lean slightly forward. Bend your elbows to make a shelf for your knees. Lean forward and balance with your feet off the floor. With patience and practice, you can increase the time you can stay balanced.
We are going to Hiss (tongue behind two front teeth) like a mad black cat (Moo pose) and Purr (as you breath air out of your mouth, flutter your tongue against the roof of your mouth) like we are happy. (Meow pose)
Moo/Meow – Begin in All Fours Pose. Line up your wrists under your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and arch your spine to the sky. Loosen your neck and drop your head down. Breathe out long as you meow. Now lift your chest forward and look up with big cow eyes. Dip your belly down and tilt your sitting bones up. Your back will sink down like a cow’s. Make cow lips and moo deeply from the back of your throat. Go back and forth, meowing and mooing.
Zig Zag Breathing – Lay your head down on your friend’s belly pillow. Have someone use your belly as a belly pillow too. Make body zigzags on the floor as everyone breathes from their bellies. Close your eyes and relax. Feel your belly rise and fall with the weight of your friend’s head.
Our throat chakra is the energy center for sound and communication. Everyone wants to be heard. We make sounds in the front and back of our mouths.
Play with tongue twisters.
- If two big black cats could blow bubbles, how big of bubbles would big black cats blow.
- Ghostly ghouls gather gleefully to golf on ghostly green golf courses.
Put cyclops eyes on everyone’s forehead while lying down.
Play Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr. Musical Musings
Channel energy through our third eye chakra. This is our center for intuition and insight. Seeing and color represent this chakra. Give each child as a scarf and everyone will work together to keep the scarves in the air. It doesn’t matter whose scarf you rescue. Keep an eye out so you don’t run into someone!
Throw and Grab – Use two or more light objects like scarves. Toss them in the air laterally and try to catch them. Next toss them up laterally but reach across and catch them with your opposite hands. Notice when you add the words, ‘Throw. Throw. Grab. Grab,” it makes this mid-line movement and cross-lateral coordination easier.
These eye exercises will stimulate our Corpus Collosum, the connection between the two halves or hemispheres of our brain.
Eyes Around the Clock – Use this technique anytime you need to soothe and rest your eyes. Take any seated position. Rub your hands together until they feel hot, then place the palms of your hands over your eyes. Let them soak up the heat. Keep your fingers close together so no light comes through. You can keep your eyes closed or open. Imagine a clock hanging in front of your eyes. Move your eyes to each position around the clock like this:
- Look up and down, from twelve o’clock to six o’clock and back to twelve o’clock;
- Look right to left from three o’clock to nine o’clock and back to three o’clock;
- Look diagonally from one o’clock to seven o’clock and back to one o’clock;
- Look from eleven o’clock to five o’clock and back to eleven o’clock.
- Now start at twelve o’clock and look at each number around the face of the clock.
- Then, start again at twelve o’clock and move in the opposite direction. Circle the cock clockwise three times, then reverse. Try to keep your head still and move only your eyes.
7th chakra is at your crown and it’s your connection to your thoughts and your understanding of the world around you and how you fit into it.
Headstand (modified) – From all fours position, put top of head on mat. Put arms in an “L” shape position. Place one knee at a time on triceps. If able, straighten legs to ceiling.
Plough – Sit cross-legged. Take hold of your toes from the outer side of your knees. Breathe in and out. Roll backwards. Then, let go of your toes while bending your elbows. Use your hands to support and lift your back. Straighten your legs and lift them past your head until your bent toes touch the floor. Squeeze your shoulders and elbows together. Breathe in and out. To relax in this pose, bend your knees and rest them on the floor on either side of your head. Rest your hands at the back of your knees.
The sky is starting to get light and we are close to the sun peaking over the Eastern horizon. It’s time to return to our coffins to rest. Close your eyes and shut the lid. Imagine what the inside of a coffin must be like. There is no light; no sound; the interior is soft, the bedding you are resting on is comfortable; take a sniff of your lavender, the smell can be calming. Shutting out your senses can be calming on your nervous system.
Corpse Pose – Lie on your back and relax.
Bring your awareness to the base of your spine, feel your tailbone and sacrum region on the mat. Feel the space between your lumbar region and the mat. Does it feel like you could drive a truck underneath your lower back or does it feel like only a bug could crawl under? <Pause> Feel your ribs expand into the mat as you inhale air into your lungs. <Pause> Press your shoulder blades into the mat and then relax. Let your cervical spine make a natural bridge between your collar bone and back of the skull.
Make Pop-up Cards. Fold 8.5×11” paper in half. Refold top half edge to folded edge. Draw half circle along second edge, make upper half of a scary face (no mouth). Draw a pair of short legs and feet on paper so that it looks like half face and legs are attached. Unfold paper and draw other half of circle to complete face and draw a smile. Draw rest of the body. Make sure your shoulders are the width of your legs. Draw arms at sides.
Write I AM…. in bold lettering above the head. Put a dot that represents each color of chakra alongside the body. Don’t put the dots above or below the two folded seams. Write words alongside corresponding color: Red: Safe, Orange: Creative, Yellow: Strong, Green: Loved, Blue: Expressive, Indigo: Connected, Violet: Divine.
We only have this one body to care for in our lifetime. Luckily, we have modern medicine to help us repair a broken bone, fix a tooth and make our eyesight better but the true way to stay healthy is by making healthy choices every day that keep you feeling at ease, peaceful and joyful.
Diamond Breath/Bridge of Diamonds – Begin in Heel-Sitting pose. Inhale as you lift your arms overhead. Form a diamond above your head with your pointer fingers and thumbs touching. Exhale as you lower your arms back down to your sides. Repeat. Then hold your diamond shape above your head. Close your eyes and envision a beautiful, sparkling diamond floating above your head. Feel it grow larger and more brilliant. Now open your thumbs and let the magical sparkly diamond dust flow into the top of your head, through the crown chakra and over your whole body. Feel the diamond light surrounding you. Now lift your torso off your heels. Join hands with the children next to you and feel the diamond light move through your group to create a bridge of diamonds. Imagine joining hands with children across the globe and forming a bridge of diamonds; a rainbow of beaming light that spans across the world. Together our love and light will shine in peace.
Share the following quote from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross:
People are like stain-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.