Luke's Beach Day Review, Giveaway, and Beach Yoga Lesson Plan

Review of Luke's Beach Day

luke beach day

In case you missed it on, here's what I had to say about Luke's Beach Day by Giselle Shardlow:

"Luke's Beach Day, by Giselle Shardlow at, teaches children's yoga and environmentalism with a sweet story and easy-to-follow yoga pose pictures on each page.

The story follows Luke and his friends at the beach, discovering sea life, boats, and litter! Luke is bothered by the trash and makes sure to put it all in the garbage can, setting a good example and teaching readers to do the same. The book includes a list of all of the poses used in the book, including Kangaroo pose (fun!) and Sun Salutations. There is also a list of tips that are helpful for people who have never done yoga with kids (it is definitely different than doing yoga with adults!).

I love all the books from Kids Yoga Stories, especially this one that has the corresponding poses listed on each page. I love that as I read a story to my classes, the kids automatically go into the poses that they see in the top corner of the pages. It is much easier than trying to hold a book and to demonstrate a yoga pose at the same time.

Giselle Shardlow has created another invaluable resource for parents, teachers, and kids yoga instructors wishing to share yoga in a fun, healthy, and eco-friendly way."

I think it's a great book for kids yoga classes (enter the giveaway below!), so I've put together a lesson plan using it (this lesson plan was originally created for an OMazing Kids lesson plan constest last year). The lesson plan (below) includes a story from Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids, too!

A Relaxing Day at the Beach Lesson Plan

Suggested materials – Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids book by Carolyn Clarke Luke’s Beach Day by Giselle Shardlow Shell collection displayed inside of yoga mat circle Cardboard laminated suns Hobermann Sphere Ocean wave music Printed pictures of sand sculptures chosen from: Cat Cow Dog Tree

Sequence of Poses:

Breathing with the Hoberman Sphere

Rub Palms together and feel your own energy

Shell Meditation (Pass around shells and listen to the sound of the ocean)

Shoulder Rolls

Neck stretches (move head like yes and no)

Arms circles

Sand sculptures (Show pictures of sand sculptures and then mimic them with poses) Cat Pose Cow Pose Dog Pose Tree Pose

Dig a Hole (Standing Forward Bend to Extended Mountain with an imaginary shovel)

Jump the waves (Imagine you are jumping over waves staying on your yoga mat or have two kids hold the ends of a long piece of blue material for kids to jump over)

Sun Salutations

Beach ball game (Pass the ball around the circle with your arms, then lying down with your feet.)

Read Luke’s Beach Day and act out the story with the included yoga poses

Starfish Stretches (Arms, legs, and head are starfish arms. Sit down, open legs in a V. Stretch your arms overhead to one side, then the other side, stretch forward, and then stretch backwards until you are lying on your back.)

Kelp Forest (Lying back, arms and legs up in the air. Sway arms and legs slowly with the current. )

Cool-down Flow Knees to Chest, Legs Up, Dead Bug/Happy Baby, Savasana/Relaxation Pose 1_KneeHug_Book_Picture 2_HappyBaby_Book_Picture 3_LegsUp_Book_Picture 4_Starfish_Book_Picture

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (tighten and relax each body part) followed by this story from Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids:

A Day at the Beach

Imagine you are walking on the beach.

Feel the sand between your toes.

Is it wet or dry?

When you find your perfect spot, spread out your towel and lie down in the sand.

Feel the warm sun on your skin and a cool, refreshing breeze.

Listen to the waves crashing on the shore…

Children playing…

Seagulls singing…

And people laughing.

Listen to the sound of the waves.

A wave comes into shore, and then the wave moves back into the ocean.

Now, put your hand on your belly.

Feel it rise up when you take in a breath, and feel it fall down when you let out a breath.

Up and down, in and out.

Just like the waves in the ocean…

Enjoy lying here feeling your body relaxed at the beach.

© 2012 Carolyn Clarke from Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids

Activities: Choose any of the beach themed activities from the Pinterest board for A Day at the Beach

Enter the Giveaway

So now you are probably REALLY excited to have a copy of Luke's Beach Day of your own!

Enter the giveaway by Friday, August 2nd, 2013 at midnight PST to win a copy of Luke’s Beach Day and Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids.

Click Here to Enter

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • Employees or family members of Bambino Yoga are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via Rafflecopter  may be copied & pasted into the blog posts on,, or Bambino
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • The winner will be chosen via a drawing of valid entries on Monday August 5, 2013.
  • The winner will receive Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids and Luke’s Beach Day. Luke’s Beach Day will be shipped separately by Kids Yoga Stories.
  • The winners will be notified via e-mail, will be posted on the blog posts & will be posted on the ImaginationsForKids/Bambino Yoga Facebook page.
  • Legal Info:This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Rafflecopter. You are providing your information to Bambino Yoga, not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties. Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of Bambino Yoga which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless Bambino Yoga and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.



Carolyn Clarke




March Giveaway- Imaginations and Good Morning Yogis Book Prize Pack

Enter here: We're having a Rafflecopter giveaway! CLARKE_IMAGINATIONS book cover

good morning yogis jpg The winner will receive a copy of Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids and Good Morning Yogis by Cate Stillman.

Read the review of Good Morning Yogi's Here.

Enter the giveaway Here.

Good luck! Carolyn Clarke



Good Morning Yogis Book Review

good morning yogis jpg I love this sweet book on an Ayurvedic morning routine for kids- Good Morning Yogis Big and Small by Cate Stillman. This book will be helpful for teaching kids helpful morning habits, but it will also be a good reminder for adults to have a healthy morning routine other than a shower and a cup of coffee!

The story follows a little girl through her morning routine, and each section talks about one of the following steps:

Going to bed early and waking up early Stretch, Ah, and Om Have a Family Hug Morning Poop Scrape Your Tongue Oil Your Nostrils Stretch Eat a Light Breakfast Play

The pictures are cute, and each section has kid-friendly verbiage on the left, and then a page on the right for adults with more detailed information. I think this is a good way for kids to be interested in the book without having all the factoids get in the way. There are a few recipes, too. I tried the Green Smoothie recipe, and it was delicious.

I sometimes find Ayurveda confusing, so I like the simple, whimsical approach that Good Morning Yogis Big and Small has.


Good Morning Yogis Big and Small by Cate Stillman

It is 8 ½ x 5 ½, 18 pages, and retails for $6. Check out the author's website for bulk deals.

Enter giveaway here.

Carolyn Clarke



The Grinch's Heart Chakra!

GrinchHeart (Image from

I lucked out yesterday with a last minute ticket for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas at the San Diego’s Old Globe Theater!  It’s been a long time since I read the book or saw the movie, so it was as if I was hearing the story for the first time.  What struck me about the play was how “yoga” it is.

This is actually a story about the heart chakra! Initially, the Grinch’s heart is cold and closed- he hates Christmas, carols, holiday feasts, toys, and children.  But, he connects with one little girl, Cindy Lou Who.  She shows him compassion and forgiveness for being the Grinch that he is, and her open heart helps him open HIS heart! On stage, the Grinch’s heart lights up and we hear it beat loudly. His heart chakra is opening! The chakra of love, compassion, and kindness. And guess what color is the color of the heart chakra- GREEN! The color of the Grinch!

I was planning on putting together a Grinch yoga lesson plan, and stumbled across this post on my friend Angela’s Moorad’s blog, OmAzing Kids, here.  This makes my lesson planning easy! We must be connected at the heart chakra this week! Thank you Angela!

I also thought of the Loving Kindness relaxation story in my book, Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids. It says:

"Now think of someone who is mean or unfriendly. Send this person some love, too. Sometimes people are mean because they don't feel loved. So send this person some extra love."

So our challenge as yogis is to send some extra love to all the Grinches out there from our heart chakras to their heart chakras!!!

With love and gratitude,

Carolyn Clarke

Great article on helping kids get ready for school using Yoga!

I love this article and I think it's got some wonderful ideas, including using a focus point (Drishti), breathing, taking care of yourself, the importance of the company you keep, leading with kindness, and experiencing with a beginner's mind. Only thing I'd add is guided imagery, like the stories you can find in my book, Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids! Here's the article on!

Guided Imagery and Athletes

Great article on imagery boosting performance. We use lots of guided imagery in kids yoga! Maybe they'll be in the Olympics twenty years from now! Guided imagery for kids can be found in my new book, Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids!

(Picture from



How to Talk and Listen

There’s something so appealing about the book’s title, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk. As soon as I saw the book, I knew that it would be helpful during yoga teaching. I can’t count how many times it has felt like I was talking to the walls during class…

This book has several topic-based chapters filled with advice, scenarios, quick summaries, and even cartoons. I have found many of the recommendations helpful, so here are some bits and pieces from the book and how I have used them in class.

Dealing With Feelings

A basic premise of this book is that we need to accept and respect children’s feelings. This can be done by listening quietly or acknowledging their feelings with a word or two- “Oh, I see….” You can also do this by naming the feeling for them- “That sounds upsetting/frustrating/like it hurt your feelings etc.”. Another option is to give children their wishes in a fantasy world (“I wish I could take a magic wand and create another yoga mat, but since there aren’t enough for everyone, you’ll need to share!”) The book explains that all feelings can be accepted, but actions can be limited. “I understand how angry you are that she stole the Beanie Baby, but you need to tell her that in words, not with your hands.”

Engaging A Child’s Cooperation

I am always looking for ways to get children in class to cooperate. Although the book gives many ideas that are particularly helpful for parents, the suggestion that I have used most as a teacher is to say what you are asking for in a single word. I get tired of hearing my voice explaining to the same kid over and over that they need to participate with the rest of class, go back to their mat, etc… So now, when I feel like I have repeated myself over and over to Little Johnny, I say, “John… Mat…” and I point his mat. It’s been helpful, and it has kept me from going hoarse.

Punishment Alternatives

This book also has a chapter on punishment alternatives. My favorite is giving the child a choice. You can do yoga poses with the rest of the class or you can sit out and Take 5. You decide.” Another suggestion is to state your behavior expectations. “I expect you to walk to a mat quietly and sit in Pretzel Pose until class starts.” This has worked well for me when I am talking to the whole group instead of a single child.

Encouraging Autonomy

I particularly enjoyed the section in this book about encouraging autonomy. We have so many opportunities to do this within a yoga class. It suggests letting children make choices. (“When you grow from your seed become a flower or a tree.”) It also recommends showing respect for the child’s struggle. (“Tree Pose can be hard to balance in. Try standing next to the wall and using your arm for balance if you need to…”). Another suggested way to encourage autonomy is to keep from rushing in to answer questions. So if Susie asks a question you can say, “Hmmm… What do you think?” This also gives you a little more time to think if it is a particularly challenging or uncomfortable question.

Giving Praise and Boosting Self-Esteem

How to Talk also gives some great recommendations on giving praise and boosting self-esteem. At times I feel like I robotically say, “Good job”, after every pose in a yoga class. I didn’t realize I how often I said it until I heard a little girl in one of my classes parroting back “Good job, good job.” The book suggests to describe instead of evaluate what you see. I see long straight spines, arms on our sides, and I don’t hear any talking. Look at these strong Mountains.” Summing up good behavior with a word is also recommended. “John, you gave some of your marbles to Susie when she ran out. Now that’s what I call sharing! I’ve even starting teaching the yamas and niyamas with this technique. “Jane, you were happy with the purple flower even though your favorite color is pink. That’s what we call santosha in yoga.”

Freeing Children From Playing Roles

The book finishes with talking about how to get children to stop playing the roles in which they have been cast (by parents, teachers, etc.) I know that I’ve come to expect certain behavior from certain kids in my class, and they do tend to play the role of the troublemaker when I think that way. How To Talk gives lots of recommendations to help free kids from these roles. One way is to show the child a new picture of themselves- “You’ve been sitting quietly in Pretzel Pose after turning in your Beanie Baby.” Another is to put a child in a situation where they can see themselves differently- “John, can you collect all the ABC Yoga cards and put them in the basket?”. The book also suggests that you let children overhear something positive about them. I try to say something positive to a parent in front of the child if I have previously had some problems with them.

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and How To Listen So Kids Will Talk is a book that I would highly recommend for a boost in classroom management ideas. I’ve pulled a few of my favorite tidbits, but I suggest picking up a copy at your local library and reading it from cover to cover. It’s a quick read, and I think you’ll end taking notes on the summary pages to easily remember some of the words of wisdom. You might even end up using it with adults… “Honey, the garbage!”