This is the second of a two-part series on incorporating children's books into a yoga class or home practice with kids. Here we share ideas on how your local library can share yoga lessons through story time programs with movement.
If you've been bitten by the children's yoga bug, chances are, you want to share it with the world! Your local library may be the perfect venue to offer yoga classes, especially because story books provide endless inspiration for poses and activities.
Dale Sampson of the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers and advanced ChildLight Yoga teacher, has begun a regular yoga program to supplement storytime, bringing valuable lessons in wellness to the children in her community.
"We have always been there for the written materials to research yoga, as well as yoga how-to's (DVDs)," said Sampson. "But we are now offering actual yoga classes to our patrons."
Sampson explained that a family may come to the library together, and one or more children (ages vary depending on specific program scheduled) may enjoy a class among their peers in the library's community room. Following a class, the child is sent home with an instructional booklet of poses and stories used in class.
"The child can go home, as the teacher, to show their family what they did — sharing yoga in an exciting and intimate family setting." Sampson was excited about this program at the Peabody Institute Library, and hoped the trend would catch on at other libraries throughout the country.
As we discussed in Bring Children's Books to Life with Yoga – Part I, stories containing animals and other natural objects lend themselves beautifully to yoga for children. "It's easy for kids to make the natural connection between the two, it is a pleasure to watch a child discover the love of both and then the connection is the frosting on the cake, so to speak!" said Sampson. Stories offer pose inspirations through nature and animal characters, and also offer important lessons and values, such as gratitude, helpfulness, being respectful and confident.
Sampson provided us with several of her favorite titles, often used for the children's yoga program at the library in her community. Perhaps these titles can be found at your local library, and you can suggest or bring yoga to the children's program!
Over in the meadow/Wadsworth
Hug Time/ McDonnell
Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace/Proimos
Mama Says/ Walker
Black Book of Colors/Cottin
Have you filled a bucket today?/McCloud
The Turn-Around Upside-Down Alphabet Book/Ernst
Noes to Toes/Baillie
Patrick Paints a Picture/Pirotta
A wild Father's Day/Callahan
Smile if you're Human/Layton
Which would you rather be?/Steig
Hi, Pizza Man/Walter
What are your favorite titles for sharing yoga with children? How do you make the connection in a fun and interesting way? We always love to hear your thoughts! — 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.