Myfirstyoga Whether you are five or fifty-five, yoga can be daunting to a beginner.  It's often helpful to start slowly, and with the guidance of a great teacher or simple instructions.

Abbie Davies, owner and founder of My First Yoga, provides both, with her recently published children's book, My First Yoga: Animal Poses

This simple and sweet yoga book for children teaches ten movements and poses by comparing each to an animal.  The sequence flows from monkey, where the child warms up with a breathing exercise and arm movement, continues with standing poses like giraffe and flamingo and ends with several seated poses, like butterfly and turtle.

Davies does a lovely job illustrating to demonstrate how a child can resemble a living creature by moving and stretching his or her body.  With her brief directions, Davies gives a child or a parent ease in following directions.  

The book's design, a wide, paperback, makes it easy to follow while lying the book flat on one's yoga mat.  Any parent could do the same, alongside a child not yet able to read.

While the activities listed under each pose are meant to provide a useful application for yoga with other activities, many of them seem too old for young or school-aged children, for whom the descriptive content seems to be written.  However, the important aspect is that children see how yoga can make them strong, balanced, focused and relaxed.  

Davies does a beautiful job inspiring children to learn yoga.  We hope kids of all ages will enjoy yoga through the use of classes, books and videos, and will soon learn to practice and share it on their own.  

This just in!  My First Yoga: Animal Poses was recently recognized by Creative Child magazine as part of their annual toy awards.  For 2010, My First Yoga was awarded a Preferred Choice Award in the "Books for Kids – Education, Heath & Wellness category," and a Seal of Excellence Award in the "Books for Kids – Movement" category.  Kudos! 

My First Yoga: Animal Poses is available on Amazon.com.  Also available: My First Yoga flash card appliation for iPhone.

To win your own copy of the book, tell us:  what kinds of movement come naturally to your child, and how does he feel about himself or herself as a result?  To enter, simply post your answer here on this blog.  A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, July 2nd. Good Luck! — Amy Bevan

Amy Bevan is a freelance writer, local reporter and host of The PranaMama, an online wellness and lifestyle magazine, and frequent contributor to ChildLight Yoga's blog, The Kids Yoga Resource, as well as certified ChildLight Yoga Instructor and Itsy Bitsy Yoga facilitator.  Amy resides in South Berwick, ME with her husband and two young children.