Do you remember those childhood days of reading your favorite book or bedtime story?
I love books… I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. Every Saturday morning, my mother would take me to the library to pick out some books for the week. I would get lost in each and every page…becoming part of the story.
As a children’s yoga teacher, I love that I am able to combine my passions for both books AND yoga! Like reading, yoga allows us to go on a magical journey using our imaginations. That is why books are the perfect complement to kid’s yoga.
Storytime yoga is a favorite activity in my classes because the children get to experience and integrate the story on a holistic level through their senses and their bodies. Not only are they listening to the story, they are actually IN IT! Every book is another opportunity to take your students on a new whimsical yoga adventure.
Using books in your yoga classes is an effective way to engage all learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Since all children learn differently, the multi-sensory experience of reading and doing yoga together gives each child a way to process what they are learning and understand it in their own unique way.
Another important benefit of reading is that it improves focus and concentration. Children bring their awareness to the words, images and feelings evoked in the story. One of the challenges of teaching yoga and mindfulness to young children is that they have limited attention spans. A book is the perfect focal point for yoga because it allows children to place their attention on themselves as they respond to the story.
Here are some great ways to incorporate books into your yoga classes:
- Choose a book that enhances your class THEME and teaches a positive message.
- Use each page as a PROMPT for a yoga pose or activity that reinforces your lesson.
- Make it an INTERACTIVE STORY where the children become the characters they meet along the way.
- Play a GAME where the children “FIND” the yoga poses in the book.
- Encourage children to MAKE UP yoga poses or movements for characters or objects in the story.
While there are a few story books available that actually have yoga poses in them, almost any children’s book with animals and nature elements can be used. Once you discover the many amazing books out there to use in your yoga classes, you will rediscover the magic that reading provides for a child and for yourself!
Here is a list of my all-time favorite books to use in my yoga classes:
How Do I Love You? by Marion Dane Bauer
I’m Thankful Every Day by P.K. Hallinan
Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry MacLean
Mindful Movements Thich Nhat Hanh
My Daddy is a Pretzel by Baron Baptiste
I Can Be by Christine Sumner
For more of my favorites, you can visit my blog or Pintrest board at http://www.pinterest.com/beyogabelove/books-make-yoga-fun/.