Kindergarten- An introduction to Yoga and meditation using the emotions from the movie “Inside Out”

My learning project this semester is learn yoga and to incorporate it into the classroom. I have decided to do a different grade for each post, starting with Kindergarten and ending with Grade 5. The books I ordered from Indigo have not arrived so I started looking through Pinterest for some inspiration….

My daughter, Amilee, is in Kindergarten this year and I noticed before Christmas that she started using the word “jealous” a lot. This is not a word that is used in our house a lot, so I knew she was learning about her emotions at school. Amilee was having a hard time with me at the beginning of the school year and I was not sure if it had to do with the new baby, new schedule, or what! After awhile Amilee was able to tell me that she was jealous of a new friend her best friend made. We were able to talk about it and she was able to express all of the emotions that she was building up for a few months! Her angry outbursts at me stopped and life got a lot more calm.

I found a link to an Inside Out Mindfulness Lesson Plan by Kate Beddow and I thought this would be a great beginning point to my learning project. The Saskatchewan Curriculum for Kindergarten was able to keep my focus on what the outcomes that the kids need to be learning during this time.

For those of you who have not seen the Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out”, it is about an emotional roller coaster journey that a young girl, Riley, goes on during her family’s move to another part of the country.


I feel like the movie would be a great basis to complete a lot of the Kindergarten outcomes for both the Health and Phsyical Education portions.


I would like to introduce the story line, even though many kids will have seen the movie, by reading the book “Sadly Ever After” by Elsie Allen to the class. Here is the book read aloud…

I would also like the children do a craft, I found one from MommaPlusOne, it is a memory sphere like the ones that are portrayed in the movie. The children need to think about what gives them the emotions in the movie (joy, sadness, anger, etc) and fill the sphere with memories that are connected to those emotions. It would require more help than just one teacher because it would require talking to each student and writing down their memories. However, I feel like this would be time well spent because it would help the children understand and articulate their emotions.

Cropped using Lightshot

Cropped using Lightshot

Lesson Content

As per Kate Beddow’s lesson plan, we would then go through the following exercises with the class:

Child Pose/Sadness Begin this pose by kneeling up on the floor, slowly lower your head onto the floor in front of your knees as you slide your hands back towards your feet, and just stay there and breathe deeply.

Amilee doing the Child Pose/Sadness

Amilee doing the Child Pose/Sadness

House of Cards This pose can be tricky so can be done in pairs. Ask the children to sit opposite their partners a little distance apart. They can then lift their legs and place the soles of their feet against the soles of their partner’s feet and hold hands.

Amilee and Freya are doing the "House of Cards" Pose

Amilee and Freya are doing the “House of Cards” Pose


Joy Imagine you are holding a memory ball between your hands, gently, play with the ball, roll it between your hands, pass it out to the side, balance it on one hand, whatever you like, but slowly and carefully because memory balls are very precious.

Amilee is playing with her memory ball!

Amilee is playing with her memory ball!


Dragon Breathing/”Train of Thought” This is a very simple breathing exercise where you breathe in to the count of 7 and then as you slowly breathe out you make a “Hhhhhaaaa” sound as if you were trying to fog up a mirror. For the purposes of this story we are going to make a “hoohooooo” sound like a train whistle.

Amilee Balloon Breathing

Amilee Dragon Breathing, She is making a “hooo hoooo” sound as she breathes out.

Balloon Breathing Hold your hands together in front of your mouth with your palms together, take a big deep breath and as you blow out imagine you are blowing up a balloon between your hands, take three breaths to blow up your balloon, making your hands wider with every breath. When you have blown up your balloon release it to the sky.

Amilee balloon breathing, she is starting to blow up her balloon

Amilee balloon breathing, she is starting to blow up her balloon

Amilee has blow up her balloon

Amilee’s balloon is full!

Amilee has let go of her balloon!

Amilee has let go of her balloon!

Belly Breathing Lying on the floor ask the children to place their hands on their stomach and feel their tummy rise as they breathe in and fall as they breathe out.

Amilee doing belly breathing

Amilee doing belly breathing

Kate Beddow then suggests that the children move into a script and follow with the yoga poses; while I feel like this is a really neat aspect to this lesson I would like the kids to practice these poses first for a couple of days. After they feel comfortable with the poses I would like to move into the script which can be found here. Practicing the script with the yoga poses every day the kids have Kindergarten would be a great intro into yoga. We could add more emotions and more poses as the children master their skills.


As suggested by Kate Beddow, after reading the script she would like the teacher to ask the children about how they feel after the reading the story while doing the yoga poses.

-Do the children feel more relaxed? or Sleepy?

We could start a dialogue about when using yoga and meditation would be beneficial to them… when they are worried? Right before bed? If they are upset or mad?


These are the outcomes that I feel that are met through this lesson plan.

Outcome: USCK 1 – Develop basic habits to establish healthy relationships with self, others, and the environment. 

a.Develop language with which to wonder and talk about healthy behaviours.

b.Express what is known about healthy behaviours (e.g., sleeping, laughing, crying, observing nature, attending ceremonies, drinking water).

c.Ask questions and seek answers about healthy behaviours.

d.Illustrate what “healthy” looks like, sounds like, and feels like in a variety of contexts.

f.Explore healthy behaviours and healthy relationships through creative expression (e.g., dramatization, role play) and storytelling.

h.Describe feelings of calmness/peacefulness and experiment with the language to convey these feelings.

j.Share what is known about healthy relationships (e.g., be kind to each other, laugh together, accept differences, feel like one belongs and contributes).

k.Observe and discuss interactions among others (i.e., real life, media, literature) to identify positive/helpful and negative/hurtful behaviours.

l.Recognize the value of taking time to “stop and think” before choosing/acting.

Outcome: USCK.3  – Explore that who I am includes more than my physical self.

a.Develop the awareness of, and the language to talk about, all aspects of self.

b.Ask and explore ‘big’ questions about “Who am I?”

c. Recognize personal physical and non-physical gifts/strengths/qualities (e.g., listening skills, knowing an additional language)

d. Discuss self as an individual who has experiences that may or may not be similar to others.

e. Recognize that thoughts and feelings are not always obvious to others.

f.Explore the concept of “inner self” as a part of “who I am” that one can choose to share with others.

g.Examine basic connections between personal thoughts and actions.

h.Investigate sense of self as separate from, yet connected to, others.

Outcome: PEK. 1- Participate in a variety of moderate to vigorous movement activities for short periods of time to increase heart and respiration rate, flexibility, muscular endurance, and muscular strength.

a.Participate in moderate to vigorous locomotor movements (e.g., walking, running) and a variety of movement activities (e.g., individual activities, partner activities, rhythmic activities, low-organizational and co-operative games, and alternate environment activities), progressing towards sustaining movement for four consecutive minutes.

b.Describe what the body feels like when it has participated in moderate activity and in vigorous activity.

c.Recognize that physical movement is good for personal well-being.

d.Communicate an understanding of the fact that all people have physical responses to participation in movement activities and that these responses are good and support well-being if they do not cause pain (e.g., faster heart beat, increased perspiration, faster breathing, increased body warmth).

e.Participate in a variety of movements that challenge muscular endurance (e.g., animal walks, climbing on/under apparatus and playground equipment, pulling partner riding on a towel or scooter, rhythmical activities, balances).

f.Participate in teacher-led movements that stretch or strengthen muscles (e.g., teacher-led yoga poses, teacher-led stretches).

g.Create body shapes, as prompted by the teacher, to support the development of muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility (e.g., stand as tall as a giant and reach to the sky, stand on one foot for as long as you can).

h.Create and share body shapes and movements that challenge the body to be ‘strong’, to ‘keep going’, and to be ‘stretchy’.

Outcome: PEK.3- Explore and practise ways to move the body in personal space at a progressing-towards-control level of skill when:

  • balancing
  • jumping and landing (on the spot).
  1. Practise balancing in different body shapes, both self-created and given (e.g., balance creating a wide body shape; balance being as narrow as you can; balance in a twisted body shape).
  2. Practise trying to maintain balance on two feet, close together, shoulder width apart, and wide apart, when signalled to do so after moving on the spot (e.g., wiggling, twisting).
  3. Use a variety of non-locomotor skills when playing simple co-operative movement activities and games.

Outcome: PEK.5- Vary, with guidance, the movement of the body through changes in:

  • space (personal space, general space, levels, directions, and pathways)
  • effort (time and speed)
  • relationships (body parts and shapes).
  1. Move the body through space following given directions (e.g., “stay in personal space and stretch your body as big as you can; now make your body as small as you can”, “move through general space on hands and feet staying low to the floor – move forward, backward, sideways”).
  2. Recognize and respond to movement vocabulary (e.g., personal space, general space, balance, high, zig-zag).
  3. Create and perform movements, in sequence of at least two phrases, to represent images (e.g., riding a horse quickly, slowly; climbing a fence then balancing on a plank over some water; walking like a robot then stretching the body high to the sky while moving forward).
  4. Move from one point to another, through moving classmates, trying not to contact anyone else.
  5. Respond physically and correctly to instructions that vary the direction, levels, pathways, and effort of the body movement (e.g., walk backward slowly and lightly, move on hands and feet keeping body as low to the ground as possible).
  • Move in personal space and general space on various body parts (e.g., “move body parts as fast as you can while remaining seated in your personal space”; “move across the floor while remaining seated”; and “move across the floor on your hands and feet”).
  1. Move over, under, around, behind, in front of, on, and off a variety of objects.
  2. Practise freezing any movement when signalled to do so.

Outcome: PEK.7- Use respectful behaviours and safe practices while participating in cooperative games and physical movement activities.

  1. Practise being both the leader and follower in a variety of physical movement activities.
  2. Practise sharing an object (e.g., ball) and space with one other person.
  3. Describe what it means to be aware of other people and the environment when moving through space to support safety of self and others.
  4. Discuss and practise ways to solve problems when moving among other people (e.g., say excuse me, take turns when appropriate).
  5. Repeat and practise safety rules related to movement in physical activity setting (e.g., make sure that balls are not left rolling around where someone else can step on them, do not throw balls at other people, keep head up and look around when moving).
  6. Recognize that it is okay to continue participating when tired or to take a break when feeling pain.
  7. Engage in play with a variety of classmates, including those who are friends or not friends.
  8. Persist in trying even when it gets hard to do so (as long as it does not hurt).

Explore and share ways to move the body through space (e.g., crawl slowly, hop quickly, run sneakily like a weasel, pounce like a cat, leap like a ballerina, gallop like a horse).

  1. Explore moving in response to locomotor vocabulary (e.g., hop, leap, slide, jump, skip, sneak, tiptoe, dash).
  2. Respond physically to verbal prompts of travelling skill named by others (e.g., hop, leap, jump).
  3. Imitate the locomotor movements of others (e.g., copy actions made by others, follow-the-leader).




About roxannwaelchli

I launched this page for the ECMP355 class that will go towards my BEAD program from the University of Regina. I graduated last year with a BA in Religious Studies with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. I am a wife and a mom of 2 girls. Here I will be learning about all things techy, which is very out of my comfort zone! And I will also be blogging about my journey learning how to knit, and then teaching my 5 year old to knit too!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Kindergarten- An introduction to Yoga and meditation using the emotions from the movie “Inside Out”

  1. I love everything about this learning project and unit! Using the movie is a great way to get them interested. I myself have never taken up Yoga but have always wanted to and I feel like this kindergarten lesson would be a great way to start. I also never knew there were so many outcomes in the kindergarten curriculum that yoga could meet! Thanks for sharing pictures of the poses as well for visual. I am really looking forward to following this assignment through the different grades!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s