Chair Routine

 The Move Mindfully® Chair Routine can prepare the body to experience gratitude. 

Today we are going to think about gratitude. Gratitude means giving thanks for everything we have in our lives.  Today we will move our bodies and breathe in a way that opens up ours hearts and reminds us of all the things that make us happy.

As educators we work to weave in social emotional learning to our school day. Helping students navigate big emotions, such as gratitude, can be supported with body work and movement.

To start this routine, students stay seated in the their chairs and move the spine in all six directions (back bend, forward fold, side stretches and twists). The heart opener backbend especially can help students tap into a place of gratitude. Here is a simple Chair Routine Script for leading students in the movement.

The sequence ends with hand tracing. Use our template, with and without the hand already provided. For younger students, we have them simple trace over the hand with their finger. For older students, you could have them use a pencil to trace their hand. Then, students take 5 deep breaths using Hand Tracing Breathing.

hand tracing

Writing Activity

Students then write on each finger something that they are grateful for. Younger students can even draw pictures. Then, throughout the day or week when you come back to Hand Tracing Breathing, you can remind them of the five things that they are grateful for, encouraging them to breathe that in that visualization. Hang them up in a collection for a beautiful bulletin board display.

gratitude list

Hand Tracing Breathing is a quick and easy way to bring gratitude into your daily Move Mindfully® breaks. Our green poster from the Permission to Pause Poster Set ends with hand tracing. Simply cue gratitude breath to end this simple sequence too.

Want to build your own gratitude sequence? Try using the cards from our Move Mindfully® Card Deck or download the Movement Sequence Template from our Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
gratitude yoga routineWhat movement have you tried with gratitude? Leave a comment!

Be Well,

Stephanie Kennelly

5 replies
  1. Barb Barrett
    Barb Barrett says:

    I’m using this chair sequence with my seniors (12th graders) tomorrow. We typically do Mindful Movement for our mindfulness activity on Thursdays. This will be a great activity to incorporate before our Winter Break! Thanks!

  2. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    All of your resources – from your store and from Teachers Pay Teachers- are excellent. I use many every day with my elementary students. The chair movements are also excellent especially in classrooms that don’t use alternative seating. You can do yoga/movement anywhere no matter the room configuration or what clothes you are wearing!

  3. Maia
    Maia says:

    This is a great way to include gratitude! I try to do gratitude practices with my students often, not just around the holidays. I really like the I am grateful hand tracing poster. We have a hand tracing and breath work poster in our “take a break” spot, but this would be a good way to get them thinking positive thoughts in a new way. I think they are a bit tired of the current poster. I will try this one as a new way to shake things up in January.

    I also like to refer to gratitude as “heartfulness” and help them think about times when their heart feels full, either for themselves or for others. I think that’s a good way to go into heart opening postures and also think about empathy 🙂


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