If you are a parent or professional working with children, and you would like to incorporate yoga into a child's life, Teresa Anne Power's colorful picture book, The ABCs of Yoga for Kids is a perfect place to start.
With sweet illustrations (provided by Kathleen Rietz), rhyming vignettes and real yoga poses, this book provides 56 different yoga techniques, carrying the reader through each letter of the alphabet.
The colorful yet simple descriptions of each pose will be easily understood by a child in the age range of three through eight years. The pictures provide an image of the object for which the pose is named, as well as a child practicing the pose. For instance, on the S page, the author shows poses resembling and named for a shark, slide, sphinx and a swan. An excerpt from the book will give you an idea of the simplicity and child-friendly nature of the instructions for Slide Pose:
To form a slippery slide,
I sit with bent knees.
Then I bring my arms
Behind me with ease.
Straightening my legs
And lifting my hips,
I gaze with eyes forward
As a smile comes to my lips.
The illustration accompanying this rhyme shows a simple playground slide with a ladder and a straight chute downward. A girl practices slide pose exactly as described on a yoga mat in the park. Her body resembles that of the slide pictured with her.
The rhymes and colorful pictures draw a child in, while the straight-forward descriptions will allow an adult to instruct the posture, regardless of their own experience with yoga.
I picture this book being used most in a young classroom, a pre-school or child care setting, a kids' yoga class or at home with friends and family. The ABC theme makes it a perfect teaching tool for young children learning the alphabet, and the length of the book provides hours of healthy and active fun.
My good friend, a kindergarten teacher, recently asked me for some ideas for bringing yoga-based movement into her classroom. While there are countless classroom tools for Grades K-8 in the ChildLight Yoga's Yoga 4 Classrooms program, this book provides an engaging introduction to yoga for the littlest students. I'll be passing this title on to her and many friends who enjoy teaching and learning yoga with children. — Amy Bevan
Note from Lisa: For more information or to purchase The ABC's of Yoga for Kids, and for tips on sharing the activities, visit: http://www.abcyogaforkids.com/.