In yoga, the Yamas and Niyamas are a moral code of conduct, a guideline on how to live. By introducing these principles to tweens and teens, we give them an opportunity to recognize and enhance how they behave toward others, and how they care for themselves.
Yamas include five guidelines that support how each of us can be a good person to others, the world, and ourselves. Because teens are formalizing who they are becoming, they need to be reminded where they want to go and who they want to become so they can choose the attitudes, behaviors, and make decisions that support becoming that. Niyamas describe the principles of being a good person. Through them, we build character, learn mindfulness and self-discipline so that we can be good citizens in the world.
These lessons plans can be used as a yoga class series, or easily incorporated into the school classroom or at home.
Each of the 10 lessons introduces you to one of the Yamas or Niyamas and how to teach it to tween and teens, including:
group work or activity with facilitated questions and discussions
breathing exercises, meditations and guided relaxations you can read out loud
beautifully illustrated yoga pose sequences
art projects with instructions for children to express themselves
With the Yamas and Niyamas, teenagers can learn about kindness, honesty, and contentment, while gaining the benefits of exercise and mindfulness.
The Yamas and Niyamas Lesson Unit is a 34-page PDF download which you can view on your phone, tablet, computer or print out onto paper. The lesson unit helps children learn the concepts of the yoga philosophy, the context for the Yamas and Niyamas in everyday life, and how to incorporate these values at school, in sports, and at home.