Oh, how I wish I had books like these when I was growing up!
I can just imagine how excited I would have been to hear my teacher, or parent, say it was time to practice some yoga or to clear my desk and meditate for a bit. In our busyness of today, I think we adults tend to underestimate the busyness of our children as well. And not to mention the stress that, unfortunately, falls upon their little shoulders. What with the pressure of making good grades, to finding the right friends, or making the team, kids today often find themselves with quite the schedule.
With the ever-popular and growing lists of young yoga-themed books, children of all ages can relax and de-stress. In Meditation Is an Open Sky, kids are encouraged to find a quiet place to sit down and meditate, using suggested prompts. This is an excellent tool for classrooms to help children transition from one activity to the next.
Yoga for You: Feel Calmer, Stronger, Happier! is great for both young children and teens. While it includes a brief history of the practice (nothing too boring or confusing, I promise!), it answers many questions NEW yogis may have, also. This fully illustrated book provides two full routines, one energizing and the other focused on relaxation, which are fun and not too challenging.
A quick overview of yoga benefits include:
Focus and concentration development
Boosts in self-esteem and confidence
Physical flexibility enhancement
Mind-body connection strengthening
Refining of balance and coordination
Shana Meyerson, the founder of Mini Yogis, says "A child's yoga practice is a rare opportunity to experience play and focus without worrying about being wrong."
And I couldn’t have said it better myself, which is why one of my personal favorites is Yoga Games for Children. Often I include poses and games in my very own story times at the library, encouraging both kids and parents to participate. One thing I learned, yoga is easily adaptable to almost every theme, and the kids enjoy doing these moves to songs and nursery rhymes, especially. Our favorite is “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
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