Yoga is the fastest growing sport in America, and our children are part of this amazing trend. According to Yoga Journal, 1.7 million children under age 17 are now practicing yoga in the United States.
Children’s yoga classes are popping up all over. My son and daughter take yoga both at school (one is in pre-school and the other in elementary school) and at summer camp. My daughter also participates in a free class at our local gym that she adores. Although I only became familiar with terms like tree pose and shavasana in my late twenties, my children probably now know more of the lingo and poses than I do.
Benefits Of Yoga For Children
Why should we encourage our children to learn yoga? It offers so many wonderful benefits related to both their physical and mental health:
- Increases strength and flexibility
- Helps them relax, unwind, and calm down to reduce stress and anxiety
- Helps them sleep better
- Promotes interaction between adult and child, and between multiple children
- Improves their fine and gross motor skills, as well as their coordination
- Develops self-confidence, self-expression, and body awareness
- Promotes a healthy, active lifestyle
Learning Yoga Through Interactive Books
Brain research shows that children learn best through physical activity. Rachel’s Day in the Garden: A Kids Yoga Spring Colors Book (Kids Yoga Stories) is an absolutely adorable children’s book that teaches kids about both yoga and enjoying nature. It is written by Giselle Shardlow, the author of several Kids Yoga Stories books and coloring books that can be found in many languages. Her yoga books encourage children to learn, move, and have fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the yoga stories found worldwide. The purpose of her yoga books is to foster happy, healthy, and globally educated children.
Rachel’s Day in the Garden: A Kids Yoga Spring Colors Book (Kids Yoga Stories) is especially unique because it intertwines yoga poses throughout the story for children to act out as the book is read. Each page includes a key word in the text, the name of the yoga pose, and a picture of the character Rachel doing the pose. Some of the poses featured are standing forward bend, tree pose, warrior 3 pose, cobbler’s pose, and resting pose. The book offers a multidimensional experience for children as they read (or listen to a reader), look at the pictures, and do the yoga poses themselves. Children actually become part of the story by participating in the movements.
Why The Nature Theme Is So Important
This month is the perfect time to highlight the benefits of children spending time outdoors in nature, with springtime in bloom and Earth Day on April 22nd. Rachel’s Day in the Garden: A Kids Yoga Spring Colors Book (Kids Yoga Stories)does a fantastic job introducing the natural environment to children. Readers join Rachel as she and her cute puppy look for signs of spring in the garden. They crawl like a caterpillar, buzz like a bee, and flutter like a butterfly. Rachel enjoys the weather–both the sun and the rain. She observes greenery around her such as the trees and leaves. She spends time planting seeds in her vegetable garden, and does not mind getting her hands dirty in the soil. Finally, she is in awe of a gorgeous rainbow that appears after the rain stops. Your children will love this book, as they discover springtime and explore movement through yoga poses.
A Helpful Resource For Parents And Teachers
A major gem of this book is the Parent-Teacher Guide provided at the end. It outlines helpful ways that parents and teachers can engage their children–beyond just simply reading the book. The author provides important safety tips and suggestions for yoga props that can be used to enhance the practice. She explains how the book can be catered to different ages. Although it is geared toward 2-5 years olds, parents and teachers can add higher-level discussion for older children to identify meaningful observations and connections. Finally, she explains in more detail how children can develop mindful breathing and relaxation techniques by practicing yoga, such as the resting pose used at the end of the story.
To learn more about Giselle Shardlow’s books and other helpful resources about health and happiness, visit Kids Yoga Stories. These books would make the perfect birthday gift!
Have you practiced yoga with your children?
*This post was sponsored by Kids Yoga Stories in the form of a complimentary product.