The Awake and Ready Exercises
This activity can overcome lethargy and laziness by teaching children to use their will power to increase their level of energy. A helpful saying is: “The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.” You will find that these exercises work not only with children, but also are an ideal way to raise your energy level whenever you feel tired.
Begin by demonstrating that there are different levels of energy and will. Extend one forearm and tense the muscles, first at a low level, then at a medium level, and finally at a level so high that your arm vibrates with energy. Relax. Now ask everyone to stand and tense a forearm, holding the tension until you have had time to give each child feedback on his or her level of energy. Quickly move from child to child placing your fingers on the forearm and saying low, medium, high, or super-high in response to the level of energy you perceive. Challenge the children to see if there is a limit to the level of tension they can manifest.
Next, introduce the following set of exercises, pointing out that the more energy they put into the movements, the more benefit they will receive from them. All exercises should be done at a brisk, lively pace.
1) March in place (20-30 times) with arms swinging while repeating aloud, “I Am Awake and Ready! I Am Awake and Ready! . . .”
2) a) Start with the fists touching the chest, then stretch the arms out to the sides while
saying loudly, “I Am Positive!”
b) Quickly bring the fists back to the chest, then extend the arms forward while saying “Energetic!”
c) Again bring the fists back to the chest, stretch the arms high above the head, open the hands and rise up on the toes while saying, “Enthusiastic!”
Repeat three or more times.
3) Rub your arms, chest, abdomen, and legs with open hands while repeating several times, “Awake, Rejoice My Body Cells!”
4) Rap your knuckles briskly all over your skull while repeating, “Be Glad My Brain, Be Wise and Strong!”
5) With closed fists gently but energetically strike the arms, chest, abdomen, and legs repeating, “I Am Master of My Body, I Am Master of Myself!”
After you have introduced the exercises, wait until the children’s energy is a little low, but not so low that they are entrenched in negativity. Ask them to notice how they feel, then have them stand up and lead them through the exercises. Afterwards, ask if they can notice the difference in the level of energy. Once children have experienced the power of these exercises, you can use them whenever their energy starts to get low.