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Non-Fiction Focus Week: ABCs of Yoga for Kids

Posted on Nov 5, 2010

Teresa Anne Power (text) & Kathleen Rietz (illustrations)
(Stafford House)

One of my other hobbies apart from reading is yoga. I really enjoy the challenge of difficult yoga poses and the one sport (well I am not sure it counts as a sport) that I am actually good at. Back in the summer, I did a 3-day training course to enable me to teach yoga to children. Yoga and storytelling work so well together and one of my long-term aims is to teach class that brings the best of both. While I was doing some research on children’s yoga, I came across this beautifully illustrated book from the USA. The concept is very simple: For each letter of the alphabet, there are a couple of yoga poses. Each pose is accompanied by a little text which explains how to execute the pose.

For example:

I am a beautiful swan.My neck is graceful and long.
Starting on my belly,
I straighten my arms
and bend my knees
Folding myself backwards,
but only as far as I please.
I aim the top of my head toward my toes,
Arching just as far
as my back naturally goes

The beautiful and child-friendly illustrations, the simple and clear text work really well together and create a really child-friendly and fun way to introduce some basic yoga postures to young yogis.  The instructions are clear enough that you don’t have to a practising yogi yourself to give this a try with your children, although swan pose might not be the best one to try if you have never done yoga before!!!
Yoga is a fantastic form of exercise for children; it helps brings focus, flexibility, coordination and strength, as well as obviously allowing them to be active and healthy. Yoga also enables children to be more aware of themselves and their surroundings and to become calmer. The illustrations in this book are particularly successful at conveying the sense of relaxation, peace and warmth you feel when practicing yoga. In busy lives such as ours, we can cherish those stolen moments where we are able to be in peace and unison with our own bodies and personally I think this is a skill that all children should be taught.

There are a lot of very good children’s yoga books out there, but this is without a doubt the most child-friendly I have found.

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