Light Bulb Brain Monkey Pose Stick Together Lizard on a Rock Spaghetti Test Cricket Pose Go Do Yoga Rap
Curious? Look inside:
Yoga for Children: 200+Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children by Lisa Flynn is the most comprehensive, easy-to-understand, charmingly illustrated yoga guide any parent, yoga instructor, educator or caretaker will need to introduce the many benefits of yoga to children, from toddler through preteen. I turn to my well-worn copy again and again as I plan lessons for my kids yoga classes, to include developmentally appropriate asanas (poses), breathing techniques, music, games and creative movement, stories, crafts, mindfulness and relaxation.
“What is Yoga?” begins the first chapter of Lisa Flynn’s book. She continues on to provide a brief summary of yoga history, myths and misconceptions about yoga and the benefits of practicing yoga for children and families.
This invaluable kids yoga reference also includes:
- Information, written in a kid-friendly way, about teaching children the 9 Yoga Principles, the “yamas” (attitudes or values) and “niyamas” (personal healthy habits); how to incorporate them into practice, and book suggestions for further discussion.
- Tips on creating a yoga space and materials and props, each with a description and how/when to use. Check here for how to make a yoga wand, no-sew eye pillows or pose cards.
- Important information on the characteristics of different age groups (2-4 yrs, 4-6 yrs, 7-10 yrs, 10-12 yrs.) what behaviors to expect, and what general guidelines work for various stages.
- Tips for your success in sharing yoga with children.
- A beautiful chapter on mindfulness meditation for children. Curious about “Talking Trees”, Magic Massage or Thank Bank ? Each mindfulness activity includes benefits, what to do and what to say. Many include great color photos.
- Breathing exercises, including benefits, what to do and what to say for each. Again, most have beautiful, simple photos of children. These exercises are divided into calming breaths and energizing breaths. When would you use crashing wave breath or bumble bee breath?
- Over 100 pages of alphabetized poses (asanas) and partner poses, all modified for children. Each includes benefits, what to do, what to say, and a wonderful colorful photo. Many include modifications or variations for the pose, and some may offer contraindications. The kids love to make PBJ sandwiches with sandwich pose, or take a walk in the park as spiders, frogs or turtles, then sit on the park bench and watch the swans.
- 24 yoga games to encourage a sense of community and have fun as a family, in your neighborhood, or in your yoga class. Ms. Flynn has also included benefits, what to do and what to say for each game. The human zipper, yogi freeze dance and red light, green light, yoga are some favorites.
- Songs and chants , with what to do and what to say. The songs are divided into “Opening/Closing Songs”, “Pose Variation Songs”, “Silly, Energizing Songs” and “Calming Songs”. Many go along with the I Grow With Yoga CD (http://www.childlightyoga.com/category_s/120.htm)
- Tips for preparing children for relaxation and transitioning into relaxation. Here you’ll find the spaghetti test and the yoga wand magic dust! Beautiful, simple guided visualizations. Some relaxation resources are also included.
- “Putting it all together” with illustrated yoga flow sequences. Lisa Flynn also writes about setting an intention for a class and using themes.
I could go into so much more detail about this amazing, extremely comprehensive, easy-to-follow resource for those who love children and would like to introduce them to the world of yoga.
Lisa Flynn is the founder of Child Light Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms,
to “teach children and youth to develop resilience, positive perceptions, healthy habits and mindful awareness.”
Lisa has a son who was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder at age 6. She has worked very hard to include evidence-based research in her book, and has more research available on her Yoga 4 Classrooms website (http://www.yoga4classrooms.com/supporting-research).