If you are following on Instagram, you probably know that mindfulness and yoga are part of my daily practice. It's actually a long journey that I have started more than ten years ago and I'm taking one step at the time. I'm learning every day.
My daughter naturally joined me in this journey. She is not always interested in doing yoga with me, but she knows that she is always welcome to.
Yoga and mindfulness have many benefits for children:
- it helps them focus and improves concentration
- increase body awareness and confidence
- help them find ways to manage stress
- enhance flexibility, balance and strength - in a very gentle way
- initiate children to the understanding of the nature, the respect of all the forms of life and the unity of all beings (yoga postures embody the energy of different forms of life: the butterfly, the cat, the lion..)
Over the years we have naturally gather a little collection of books about yoga, mindfulness and relaxation that I would like to share with you today. You can use these books to initiate your children to some basic postures and exercises or to help them transition to a quiet time or go to bed.
- "Sitting Still like a Frog "by Eline Snel. It comes with a CD voiced by Myla Kabat-Zinn and the book includes a foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It has been translated in French: "Calme et attentif comme une grenouille, Ton guide de sérénité" and German "Stillsitzen wie ein Frosch: Kinderleichte Meditationen für Groß ind Klein". This book is a wonderful introduction to a mindfulness practice and the exercises are very well adapted to children. They are great for adults too and if you want to go further I definitely recommend you Jon Kabat-Zinn's books and guided meditations.
- "Bonjour le calme" and "Bonjour sommeil" by Anne Crahay (I only saw translations in Spanish). We love these books with simple but very efficient relaxation exercises that children can do during the day and before going to sleep. The illustrations are beautiful and the the text full of poetry and easy to understand for a child. Anne Crahay has also written "Bonjour colère" and "Bonjour bonheur"who help children better understand their emotions
- "Le yoga de Kika" by Ulrika Dezé - a gentle and easy to follow introduction to the most important yoga postures for children. I love that the books uses the real names of the postures and the illustration help children understand the link between the posture and the energy of each of them. With the help of this book children intuitively understand why we call it the "cobra" posture (or the fish, the butterfly, etc...) and why they feel the way they feel when they are practicing a specific posture. Usually children love this book and my daughter is no exception
- "Good morning Yoga" and "Good night Yoga" by Mariam Gates. My daughter loves "Good morning Yoga" more than I do, to be honest. I'm not particularly fond of the illustrations (and I believe that the beauty of illustrations os important in children's books) and the author uses metaphors for some postures that have no link with their real name ("ski jumper", "explorer"..). But they are a fun and inviting initiation to yoga and the visualization at the end of the book is well designed. And like I said, my daughter loves them so she must have a good reason for that.
- "Petit Rituel Zen- 30 histoires relaxantes pour s'endormir" is a box with 30 cards, each containing a story that helps the child relax and prepare to sleep. My daughter absolutely loves them and we read one card every evening before she goes to bed, after having read our bedtime stories books (you can see our favorite bedtime stories here and here)
- "Valentin et les points magiques" by Valérie Broni is the newest book in our collection. It is supposed to be written for children from the age of 5 but, if you break it into shorter stories, you can also read it to younger children. This book helps children better understand their emotions and manage them with the help of The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). By using an interesting story to explain this technique and with some simple and practical exercises, the book makes EFT accessible to children.
I would love to read about your favorite books for children than initiate them to yoga, relaxation and mindfulness.