Have you ever read a book to a group of kids who could not sit still? Fortunately there is a growing genre of kids yoga books for all those young yogis who just want to participate in some action while the book is being read. Three of the books below can be read as the group participates in the postures, while the Peaceful Piggy Meditation is, as the name suggests, more reflective.
Peaceful Piggy Meditation and Peaceful Piggy Yoga by Kerry Lee MacLean
The meditation book in this duo takes the reasons for meditation – preparing to deal with tough situations in life – and casts it in the context of common scenarios in a kid’s life. At the end of the book, there is a how-to section that gives ideas on a way to meditate as well as a ‘mind-in-a-jar’ experiment that helps kids understand how our minds often behave during meditation.
The yoga book in this duo also brings readers into a ‘why-to do yoga’ narrative with kid friendly language and examples with the ‘how-to’ portion woven into each situation. That means that on every other page there is a drawing and detailed instructions on how to do the pose. At the very end, there is a chart that shows all the poses mentioned in the book for a quick review. MacLean makes the book even more accessible by including a ‘How to Use This Book’ section in the beginning. With this extra instruction, even kids new to yoga can participate in a way that works for their bodies and practice space.
Why piggies? I have to wonder. After all, there is no pig pose. Maybe MacLean saw that lack and decided to expand the horizons of yoga! Maybe it’s because pig begins with ‘p,’ just like the word peaceful. Perhaps it is the lack of a traditional pig pose that leaves it open to interpretation, so that peaceful piggy yoga can become whatever each kid envisions it should be.
I have always thrived on some amount of routine in my day, and it is often that sense of routine that has kept my yoga practice alive. Now as a mom, routine is essential to providing my daughter with a sense of order and ease. That is exactly why I like these two books by Mariam Gates, because they take typical times for kids routines – waking up and going to bed – and offer a chance to yogi-fy those moments (if you’ll allow me to make up a word).
Just like MacLean’s Peaceful Piggy books, Gates brings readers through a basic, yet creatively narrated yoga sequence. There is one pose per two pages. On the right page there is one line to signal which pose is depicted; on the left page there is a more detailed description of how to do the pose. At the end of each book, there is a chart that shows all the poses that were mentioned in the book for quick reference, followed by a how-to guided visualization. My daughter loves this book, probably because the illustrations are very colorful and imaginative. I also like to think she realizes that the pictures show the same thing that I do on my yoga mat as she runs around and crawls all over me (she’s 2 years old). Honestly, adult yogis, from beginners to advanced, could benefit from these books. Each book offers 11-12 poses that could be satisfying to all levels of practice. The guided visualization could work for anyone of any age who is willing to sit still and observe their body and breath with curiosity and care. I sincerely hope my daughter continues to like these books as she grows.