We are a yoga family and we weave the practice into our daily lives to help maintain wellness and proper balance of mind, body and soul. For example, we love to start (and end) our days by reaching up towards the sky like mighty trees and then stretching out down towards the floor to elongate and release the tension in our spines like cats after a long nap.
I introduced my littles to yoga when they were babies and we have always enjoyed it as a fun form of family fitness. It is such a great parent-child bonding activity and it makes everyone feel more relaxed and connected. I’ve written about the many virtues and health advantages of yoga, and how children can reap the benefits from it for a lifetime.
There are many ways to practice yoga with kids. If you haven’t tried it, don’t feel intimidated by the need to follow strict yoga rules. Make it fun, creative and free-flowing. We have used books, DVDs and the internet to inspire our yogic adventures.
We are always looking for fun new ways to experience the joy of yoga, so I was thrilled when I discovered Giselle Shardlow of KidsYogaStories.com and her wonderful books. I was even more excited when she asked me to review her book, Sophia’s Jungle Adventure. This lovely children’s fiction not only includes a sweet and engaging story, but also great illustrations to demonstrate kid-friendly yoga poses and an insightful parent-teacher guide.
The goal of the Kids Yoga Stories series is to “teach young children to link the interactive movements of yoga to topics of interest while promoting lively, dynamic learning experiences.” This book does just that by weaving relevant yoga poses into the educational storyline in a meaningful way.
In the book, little Sophia and her family fly to Costa Rica and take a leisurely guided tour through a rain forest. As they meander through the jungle, Sophia delights in seeing the beauty of the surroundings, and in spotting many exotic creatures.
As the story unfolds, Sophia (obviously, a dedicated little yogi) strikes yoga poses inspired by what she experiences along her jungle journey.
In an effort to make each yoga pose Sophia strikes easy to emulate, the author includes a very clear illustration of every pose in the top corner of each page. Here is a sample of the delightful illustrations and helpful inset pose demonstrations:
Additionally, there is a yoga position guide which lists keywords used within the story, the names of the poses and a small illustration of Sophia demonstrating each pose:
I really like that the book promotes an underlying theme of respect — for yourself, others, and the environment. The Kids Yoga Stories Guide included in the book wisely encourages parents and teachers to “model and guide an experience where compassion and kindness are integral.”
This is a great read and a fun way to introduce your little global citizens to yoga. It also serves as a great complement to any kid’s yoga tools that you may currently be using!
The author was so kind as to allow me to give a copy of Sophia’s Jungle Adventure away to one lucky reader! Yay! Namaste!
Share why you would like a copy of this book – in the comments below! A winner will be chosen by random drawing on April 25th, 2013.