I met Bea more than ten years ago when both of our oldest children were at the same preschool. Our girls weren’t even in the same class but we both had sleeping toddler girls in strollers that first painful week when we were required to wait for hours on a different floor just in case our preschoolers freaked out. At least, that is my version of the school policy.
It turns out that we both nursed our kids well beyond the first year and I found Bea to be a friendly and welcoming mom in the midst of total strangers. It was also Bea who introduced me and my entire brood including my husband to yoga after she became certified. Quid pro quo, I introduced her to blogging!
When I spoke to her about yoga poses for kids, she immediately mentioned Yoga Pretzels, a great oversized deck of cards. Turns out that I had a set of these from the nice folks at Barefoot Books. My youngest likes to use these cards when he wants to “learn” yoga. My oldest actually hates doing yoga; she has very tight hamstrings and has to do yoga to keep from being injured. And my middle daughter has crashed my yoga class as the only child practitioner in her class. After years of gymnastics, she’s really flexible and can do the entire Vinyasa flow. She says it makes her feel calm which is a good thing.
Yoga for Kids
My kids’ idea of yoga is before-bedtime-on-the-bed-goofing around using these cards like one might play Twister. They have a tendency just to pick a card, any card and do the pose. I have an ulterior motive; I want them to stretch out to maintain their flexibility (or, in my daughter’s case, increase it) to prevent injury from the other high-impact sports they play.
Bea put together a brief sequence that uses a fraction of the Yoga Pretzels cards. Here are the images for the pose but the back of each card gives detailed instructions on how to get into the pose, and I highly recommend getting Yoga Pretzels!
- down dog
- lying twist
- all is well
And All is Well indeed!
Unicorn Yoga by Gina Cascone and Bryony Williams Sheppard, illustrated by Jennifer Sattler
Unicorns demonstrate basic yoga poses that readers can try. If the instructions and illustrations are not specific enough, use the Yoga Pretzel cards since it shows human anatomy. The picture book story is also a complete yoga flow sequence. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.