Have your littles ever tried yoga? Kid yoga seems to be the trend these days and, I must admit, I’ve completely hopped on board. By the time S was 2, “namaste” was a regular part of her vernacular.
Now before you go thinking I’ve gotten all hippy-dippy on you, just know that I’m a girl who likes to make decisions based on research – and this is no exception. There’s actually been quite a few studies that have delved into the benefits of getting kids started in yoga early. This Wall Street Journal article, for example, cites the following findings:
yoga improved students’ behavior, physical health and academic performance, as well as attitudes toward themselves.
yoga reduces feelings of helplessness and aggression, and in the long term helps emotional balance. The benefits of yoga are particularly strong among children with special needs
So today I thought I’d share with you some of our family’s favorite yoga tools, as well as few products and resources I’ve had my eye on…
- First up is Sing Song Yoga (pictured top left) – C and S’s hands down favorite. I first spotted a YouTube sample of the series on pinterest about a year ago. I instantly fell in love with the way the instructor uses sing-along songs to entice kids into the various poses. After viewing the clip below, I welded my blogging power (one of the best parts of this gig is the perks after all) and wrote the creator to see if she’d send me a copy. She graciously agreed and the DVD is now well-known to my kiddos. In fact, S asks to do “singing yoga” several times a week.
- On occasion the kids and I also enjoy watching Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure on YouTube. (Side note: I think I mentioned here before that we have an Apple TV, yes? It cost under $100 and allows us to watch YouTube videos, rent or buy movies and TV shows, and watch all of our iPhone movies straight on our TV. I actually got it for Mother’s Day two years ago and would highly recommend it for this Mother’s Day if you don’t have one!) The great thing about the Cosmic Kids series is that it weaves a story around the yoga and is very visually stimulating which, just like the music in Sing Song Yoga, totally draws the kids in.
Books & Card Sets
Of course, you don’t need a TV to practice yoga with the kids – there are lots of great books and even card sets to get you started too.
- The ABCs Yoga for Kids series (pictured second row above) is one I’ve seen recommended several places. I’m extremely tempted by the lovely illustrations. Along with the original book, there’s also a coloring book, a learning card set, a poster, and even a spanish version now available.
- Yoga Pretzels is another card set I’ve had my eye on. Again the illustrations look beautiful and I like how there’s a story element to go along with each of the poses. Plus the set gets great reviews on Amazon.
- Before moving on, I also wanted to mention that our beloved High Five magazine also often has a feature in the back that, while not yoga per-say, reminds me a lot of the kid yoga stuff I’ve seen in that it incorporates imaginary play with different poses and movement. S and C are big fans.
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I’m not the only blogger out there who’s caught on to the benefits of kids and yoga. Here are some of my favorire resources on the topic from a few of my favorite blogs.
- First up is this adorable Tiny Yoga Sun Salutation from Small Fry (pictured 3rd row above). Sun Salutations were a big part of the very first yoga class I ever took back in college and I still love them today. Nicole’s idea to actually have the kids make suns, and her unique kid-friendly instructions for the practice, are genius.
- My friend Mariah’s blog Playful Learning (pictured bottom row above) is also a true wealth of info. on kid yoga. She’s even got a recurring monthly series devoted to it and this month it’s all about a gardening Yoga sequence that will get the littles talking about and imagining working the land, preparing your gardens, and watching them grow. (Her post on introducing children to yoga through storytelling is also especially great.)
- Finally, one last big benefit of kid yoga not mentioned until now… it can be a very helpful tool in getting in some restorative yoga of your own. Check out my pal Zina’s post on Lasso the Moon, How to Enjoy Kid-Free Yoga. It’s a thing of positive-parenting, logical-consequences beauty.
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P.S. Don’t forget we’re starting our third book for Virtual Book Club on Thursday. So grab your copy of Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin and get to reading!