Move How You Want To Feel (Yoga for Emotional Regulation Pt. 2)

January 11, 2010

Our moods effect our movements and likewise. Think about how your body moves when you are tired. Maybe your feet drag and your shoulders droop a bit. Now, remember how your body felt the last time you were excited about seeing someone you love and had not seen for a while. Remember the spring in your step and energy bouncing through your body.

Through yoga practice, we learn that conscious, clear movement can help us feel more calm, centered and present. The following activity is fun to play with children and teens of all ages to illustrate how our emotions and movements are in relationship.

1. Learn Tree Pose and teach it to the youth you are working with. (For an instructional video demonstration, visit:

2. Practice Tree Pose as though a strong wind is blowing through a forrest and you must put great effort into staying balanced. Find your roots.

3. Now practice Tree Pose as though the ground is shaking beneath your feet. Find balance in your center.

4. Practice Tree Pose again, this time pretend that the ground and the wind are both still.

5. Ask participants to name different emotions they feel throughout the day. Practice Tree Pose applying each emotion. How does an angry tree feel? Try a confident tree.

6. Finally, ask youth to decide how they really want to feel and guide them to move in that way, not only in yoga poses, but all through the day.


2 Responses to “Move How You Want To Feel (Yoga for Emotional Regulation Pt. 2)”

  1. Molly Says:

    This sounds like a fun exercise, I am going to share it with my friend to share with her kids as well. I would like to do a blog to reflect on the difference it makes, thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  2. I absolutely love this idea and will be using it in my upcoming classes. To encourage good posture and also to make a similar point in my younger kids classes, we talk about sitting upright in Easy Pose vs slumped over and connect the emotions to both. Inevitably, we end up calling the proper pose ‘Happy Sitting’ and the slumped over version ‘Grumpy Pose’. Once that connection is made, if I see a bunch of kids sitting slumpily, I will just ask, ‘Hmm, are we feeling grumpy today?’ The kids will laugh and sit right up.

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