Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: The ABC’s of Yoga for Kids Book Review

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The ABC’s of Yoga for Kids Book Review

The ABCs of Yoga for KidsThe ABC’s of Yoga for Kids, by Teresa Anne Power Illustrated by Kathleen Rietz. As many of you know I am a 200 hour certified yoga instructor. While I do, on occasion, teach adult classes I mainly use my teaching knowledge for the kids that attend my daycare. I am always trying to think of new ways to communicate the different yoga postures and experiment with the different one’s the kids are able to do without injury or pushing them past their skills. I found this book which not only exposes the kids to different postures but offers the added learning lesson of the ABC’s. Anytime you combine two lessons into one I feel you offer more opportunity to the kids who will start life multitasking.

The Illustrations by Kathleen Rietz were nice representations of each posture being described. They gave a visual clue to the kids on how the end posture should look. They offered the background context for additional visual clues that expand and appeal to a child’s imagination. The drawings offer a feeling of serenity in the smooth lines and clothing applied to each child’s figure. I really enjoyed seeing a variety of facial expressions on the kids which offers to them the option to feel differently in different poses. That said a few of the pictures were very similar and while the postures are very similar the differences could have been more visually expressed so the children can better see what they are in order to shape themselves accordingly. An example of this issue is the difference in Otter and Cobra are mainly in the elbows and the pictures are similar enough and far enough apart where unless you look back, know the difference, or the child is able to read very well it would appear that it’s the same pose.

The descriptive content provided by Teresa Anne Power is geared toward older children of about 6-7 and above. While it offered interesting storylines to each posture, it could at time become very lengthy. When doing postures with kids under a first grade to kindergarten comprehension, simplicity or rhyming seems to work best. Anything too long loses interest and is more than they can process. Demonstration with words is generally the best for the younger kids, but the older children can still enjoy the added imaginative suggestions offered in the book. For the kids with a higher understanding of words and actions the book was fun and very imaginative. Since, it seemed geared to the older kids I would have liked to see the Sanskrit names in parenthesis with a phonetic spelling for me to offer to the kids with proper pronunciation at my discretion. I summarized the written parts or cut out unnecessary lines when addressing the younger yogi and the book was still very interesting.

All in all I would offer a 3 ½ out of 5 sun salutations for ages under 5 due to it being too lengthy for most postures and a 4 ½ out of 5 sun salutations for ages over 5 losing half a star for the being overly lengthy on some simpler poses such as “Do Nothing Pose” and potential to show the slight differences in similar posture visually better. If you enjoy yoga and are alright with not having the Sanskrit names of postures offered to the children than I strongly encourage you to get this book. I really enjoyed what it had to offer, found it something I could manipulate to the age groups I deal with and appreciated the time and energy that it takes to put yoga into a child’s terms.

I also found that this book has flash cards, poster, and a coloring book which go with it that I do not currently have, but think are great ways to reinforce what your teaching! If you want to purchase this book or the coloring book, poster, and flash cards click on the links below!



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