Thursday, September 20, 2012

Children's Yoga Resources

I began my yoga journey during high school and have practiced ever since to various degrees, but most intensively for the last several years. I find very few things as invigorating and relaxing and have found it very helpful for children as well. Below are some of our household favorites for kids yoga:

From top to bottom:

Yoga for Children by Bel Gibbs: This was one of my first yoga for kids reads and upon cracking it open knew this was a book for me. I am a picture person and the full color, large images are a great way to accompany the explanations for poses and games. There are also illustrations and cartoons so my kids have also read it themselves. But we've played games, done breathing exercises and even applied the activities to a yoga themed birthday party. Such fun, clear instruction and definitely kid friendly for ages 3-11. Several other books I've read aren't accessible for the kids or at least don't quite jive with the interests my kids have. This one was a winner!

My Daddy is a Pretzel by Baron Baptiste: This is a favorite because not only does it tell a story, it is a picture book after all, but it is interactive. As the story of what various children's parents/caregivers do an accompanying pose is offered along with an explanation, in kid friendly language about what it means and then step-by-step instructions. What we like to do is read through it once and then go through again doing each of the poses. We then get creative and think of ways to represent other jobs and activities that aren't included. The illustrations are whimsical and sweet too.

Peaceful Piggy Yoga by Kerry Lee MacLean: We are big fans of the Peaceful Piggies they really seem to get things figured out. The Peaceful Piggy Meditation book is super. This book, also containing adorable pictures, is similar to My Daddy is a pretzel, but instead of offering poses relating to what parents do it offers explanations as to why people do yoga, along with related poses with instructions and a tip about the pose.

Yoga Pretzels card pack is a must have for at home yoga enthusiasts. Along with cards outlining how to do specific poses, in each of the main classes: standing, seated, balancing, back bends, twists, similar to what you'll find in the My Daddy is a Pretzel book the cards are also grouped into breathing exercises, games, partner poses and ones titled, "Time In" for relaxation. We like to shuffle the cards and pick a couple from each group and then have at it. I highly recommend because not only are they practical and fun, they also inspire confidence, independence and group work.

Yoga Buddies audio CDs are also a great resource for home practice both in the morning and at night. The morning disc is intended to get the body moving and motivated for the day ahead while the evening disc is meant to slow things down and provides a relaxing end to the day. It comes with a poster we hung on the back of a door so my kids could be reminded any of the poses they may forget.

We have fun mixing it up with our yoga at home and you can too with these resources. If you have any additional books, multi-media or suggestions, I'd love to hear them in the comments below.
 
Namaste!


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