Book review

Lisa Flynn introduces children to the wonderful world of yoga with more than 200 poses, breathing exercises, and meditations for healthier, happier children.

Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children
by Lisa Flynn, E-RYT, RCYT
Adams Media, 2013, 319 pages, $18.99
ISBN 10: 1-4405-5463-3

I hadn’t expected to become immersed in the world of yoga for children, but Lisa Flynn’s book made it impossible to not become fully engaged. This is as much a credit to Flynn’s depth of experience as a teacher and trainer in the field as it is to the book’s flawless presentation.

Lisa Flynn is best known for founding ChildLight Yoga, a US-based training centre that teaches children and youth to develop resilience, positive perceptions, healthy habits, and mindful awareness. In her book, Flynn explains how children who can draw on these traits grow to become creative learners and compassionate, respectful, and self-aware human beings in a chaotic world.

Yoga for Children distills much of what is taught at ChildLight Yoga into a highly usable format. Using a straightforward, dogma-free approach, Flynn’s book illustrates gentle games and poses that involve breathing, movement, meditation, and affirmation. The bonus is that these activities will bring you more in tune with your child while inspiring play between generations.

Resist the urge to skip ahead without first reading the important section of “Ten Tips to Success,” which includes parental expectations, how to “gain buy-in,” and more. This is followed by an easy-to-read, photo-filled layout of activities for working with children from toddlers to early teens. Regardless of age, your child is guaranteed to relate to some of the boys and girls on these pages, a sure way to engage them in the practice.

Still wondering if yoga is a good fit for your family? Think about “back writing,” a simple touch meditation where parents and kids write letters of the alphabet on each other’s backs. How about “washing machine,” “bunny breathing,” and “crashing wave breath”? Can you pose like an airplane, cricket, boat, sandwich, spider, or lizard on a rock? Children’s yoga has playful creative elements for everyone.

While great photos make it easy to show your child what to do, each instruction also includes a “what to say” section. Here, the expert author guides readers on how best to introduce each pose or meditation. Flynn’s tips make it easy for parents to pick up this book and put it into immediate practice. Yoga for Children is a great family book in a high-quality format that provides exceptional value for parents. In my opinion, it’s already a classic.

Yoga for Children

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