Picture 8 Just like adults, kids can have a hard time settling down at the end of the day.  Storybooks are a tried-and-true bedtime ritual, offering families the opportunity to connect before drifting off to sleep.  We all know how much easier it is for a child to quiet their mind with bedtime stories and time with loved ones.  Now, Yoga Buddies offers a DVD which brings calming yoga poses into the routine. 

Yoga Buddies Bedtime Stories is a sweet and soothing DVD which includes three bedtime stories: A Magical Car Ride, A Backyard Adventure and Gratitude Walk in the Woods.  As the stories are read by Yoga Buddies Founder Danay DiVirgilio, the children in the video listen intently to the words, then follow along with corresponding yoga poses.  Ms. DiVirgilio leads the children with verbal instructions only. Throughout the video, there is quiet music playing in the background, and the camera focuses closely on the children listening and Ms. DiVirgilio reading.  

One evening this week, as my five-year-old showed her exhaustion with a meltdown of epic proportions, I grabbed my Yoga Buddies DVD and led her downstairs.  I promised her a special bedtime story on our yoga mats.  We lit a few candles and I lowered the lights.  She wiped her tears and almost instantly calmed down, eager with anticipation.  

As we listened to the story and practiced the poses, I could tell we were both more relaxed in a very short amount of time.  Because the storybook ritual was familiar to her, including some yoga poses was a fun variation.  The poses we followed included tree, bear, turtle, flower and bridge, to name a few.  (In total, the video offers 42 calming poses among all three stories.)  It was a very special way to end the day, especially when I could tell my child needed something special that night to help her relax and settle into bed.  

After the bedtime stories, there is a separate savasana, or final relaxation pose.  I found it difficult for my daughter to completely relax at this time, because she was focusing on the images on the screen.  However, as an instructor, I know that it's not easy for kids to totally let go and close their eyes.  The calming images of other children resting in shavasana seemed to have a similar effect, and so, my daughter was ready for bed when the video ended.

Yoga Buddies Bedtime Stories is a creative blend of yoga practice with bedtime reading or visualization stories, most appropriate for children ages 3 – 7 years.  In addition to playing the DVD, parents might also take cues from Ms. DiVirgilio's techniques, creating their own yoga bedtime stories for their children.  — Amy Bevan