Review of Wee Yogis Play CD

 

Description: A yoga-themed music CD for kids! Each fun song teaches a pose or sequence through music.

The sweet songs on this CD are a perfect companion to a kids yoga class. I use some of the songs on the CD to teach yoga poses. I also play the CD in the background while we color mandalas and work on crafts.  KayLee Smiles has the voice of an angel, and her calming, creative songs are a fun addition to my class. I like that the songs are specifically geared towards yoga, as some children’s music can be too hectic for setting the mood of relaxation.

A few of my favorite songs:

“Cat Cow”– Super fun song for flowing from Cat to Cow. Lots of Meows and Moos to keep it fun. I’ve had this catchy tune stuck in my head all week!

"Proud Warrior”- Great song for flowing from Warrior 1 to Warrior 2 and Warrior 3. Beautiful melody, and a fun drum beat.

"Melt Melt Melt"- Nice and relaxing Savasana song.

Price: $9.99, 16 songs on the CD

To Purchase:

Itunes
Amazon

For More Info:

www.weeyogis.com

Facebook

Twitter

 

Happy yoga-ing!

~Carolyn

 

 

Using Storybooks: Rachel’s Day in the Garden

If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you know that I LOVE the books from Kids Yoga Stories written by Giselle Shardlow. I have always used storybooks in kids yoga classes, and now we are so lucky to have yoga-themed storybooks like hers!

When you teach a lot of children’s classes, you realize that you don’t always have the energy to keep up with the kiddos. Maybe you have an injury, maybe you are under the weather, or maybe you’ve taught a million classes in a week, and you are SO tired. My solution is any book from Kids Yoga Stories! You read a beautiful story, and the kids follow along with the poses that are illustrated on the colorful pages of the book.  It gives you a moment to honor how your own body is feeling, while still keeping the kids active and engaged.

My favorite book right now is Rachel's Day in the Garden: A Kids Yoga Spring Colors Book. It is beautifully illustrated, and it has a timely springtime theme that incorporates all the colors of the rainbow.  I used it today, while teaching at a Montessori preschool that had just planted its spring garden. 

First, I asked the kids to tell me what they planted in the garden. They were growing tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, cucumbers, and flowers. Lucky kiddos! After we talked about planting a garden, we planted our own yoga garden, by becoming seeds (Child’s Pose). We imagined the rain gently watering our seeds (Use your fingertips to mimic raindrops on their back).  Then we sprouted into seedlings (Standing on your Knees). Finally we stood up to grow into our plants (Tree Pose).

After this fun flow, we settled into reading Rachel’s Day in the Garden, and following along with the character of Rachel (and her puppy!) as she did yoga. Extended Mountain, Standing Forward Bend, Tree Pose, Warrior 3, Squat, Caterpillar, Hero Pose, Butterfly Pose, Flower Pose, and Savasana are all poses included in the storybook’s flow.  The poses are sequenced well, and the story is sweet.

Since the book includes Savasana, we transitioned nicely into relaxation time after reading the book. I guided them through a progressive muscle relaxation using “Tight and Soft” (from Imaginations 2), and then I read the “Rainbow Flower Garden” guided meditation (also from Imaginations 2).

If my class had been longer, I would have had the kids plant a bean seed in a Dixie cup, or color a flower mandala.

You can find out more about Rachel’s Day in the Garden, and all the books from Kids Yoga Stories here.

You can learn more about guided meditations from Imaginations 2 here.

Happy yoga-ing!

~Carolyn

Review & Giveaway of Lucinda’s Magical Yoga Adventure

Product:

Lucinda's Magical Yoga Adventure by Betty Larrea

Description:

A children’s book about a yogini named Lucinda. Lucinda goes on an adventure and does yoga poses along the way. The story is written in free verse and rhyming poetry with beautiful illustrations that demonstrate the yoga poses. I have been following Betty Larrea’s blog for several years, and she always has fun kids yoga ideas to share. This book captures the magic of Betty’s enthusiasm for kids yoga.

5 Things I Love About It:

  1. Fun intro to yoga for kids written by a kid’s yoga teacher.
  2. Nicely sequenced poses that flow from seated to standing, and then back down to the floor (or bed for bedtime).
  3. Colorful illustrations that show Lucinda doing each pose.
  4. Traditional yoga poses that all the kids in my class already know, including Balloon Breath, Butterfly, Frog, Tree, and Bridge.
  5. Ends with Lucinda in bed, resting, which transitions nicely to Savasana and a guided meditation from my books, Imaginations or Imaginations 2.

To Purchase:

Price: $16.99

The book is available for purchase on Betty's website at http://www.beyogabelove.com/books/

For More Info:

Betty Larrea is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher who has been teaching yoga to children since 2001. She founded Be Yoga Be Love and is currently providing Author Visits, her yoga curriculum, staff development training, and event services for children, families and educators in schools, libraries, and yoga studios throughout NJ and NY.

Website: www.beyogabelove.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/beyogabelove

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bettylarrea

Giveaway:

Lucinda and Imaginations 2.jpg

Win a copy of Lucinda's Magical Yoga Adventure and Imaginations 2!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below by January 31st, 2016 at 11:59 PST. US entries only.


Essential Oils for Children’s Yoga Webinar at Kids Yoga Academy

Thursday, Oct 15th, 8-9:00 pm Eastern/5-6:00 pm Pacific LIVE

(or watch recorded webinar online anytime after the event)

 

Presenter: Carolyn Clarke, founder Bambino Yoga and author of Imaginations and Imaginations 2

 

Essential oils and children's yoga compliment each other with their similar benefits of boosting relaxation, focus, and immunity. Join us to learn how to use essential oils in a yoga studio, classroom, or at home.

 

In this class you will learn how to:

  Choose and use essential oils that are safe for children

  Set the mood and tone with essential oils

  Support children's and your own wellness using oils

  Sanitize yoga mats and hands with essential oils

  Incorporate fun essential oil- themed crafts, activities, and games

  Use essential oils to enhance guided imagery during Savasana

 

Participants will receive a sample relaxation story to use with essential oils.

 

All participants will have a chance to win a bottle of lavender essential oil and a copy of Imaginations 2: Relaxation Stories and Guided Imagery for Kids.

  

Register here:

http://kidsyogaacademy.net/upcoming-live-webinars/

$29 or free with monthly Kids Yoga Academy membership

 

Can't attend the live event? No worries!

Everyone who registers will receive a copy of the webinar in their inbox following the live event. Watch it when it's convenient!

The Poetry of Kids Yoga Giveaway

Happy World Poetry Day! Kids yoga and poetry go hand in hand…  Yoga has even been called the poetry of the body, so it feels very natural to include poems in kids yoga sessions. Here are a few kids yoga poetry ideas:

Laila’s Lullaby by Puja Shah

 

Puja Shah is a fellow kids-yoga instructor and blogger in Southern California. I met her at a Kids For Peace holiday party, and that night she performed some of her own poetry. It gave me goosebumps to see her spoken-word performance. There is something about poetry that makes the author so vulnerable, and performing it live just increases that intensity.

At that party, Puja told me that she had written a yoga-themed poem for her daughter and wanted to turn it into a book. And now she has! She has published a sweetly illustrated book called Laila’s Lullaby based on the original yoga-themed poem.

 The pictures are colorful, peaceful, and dreamy, and it incorporates yogic themes of compassion, love, and courage. It also introduces and explains Sanskrit words like "ahimsa" (peaceful) and "vinyasa" (flow). 

While this book is certainly one to read to the little ones at bedtime, I also think that prenatal yoga students would enjoy hearing the poem during Savasana. Afterall, Puja wrote the poem after a particularly profound meditation while she was pregnant.

Now if only we could get Puja to come to all of our yoga classes to perform it out loud!

Find the book here on Amazon.

Visit Puja Shah's website here.

Twist by Janet Wong

Another fun yoga poetry book is Twist. Each poem is about a different yoga pose, including Child’s Pose, Cat/Cow, Dog, Warrior, Cobra, Crow, Half-Moon, Triangle, Tree, Eagle, Mountain/Volcano, Lion, Bridge, and Twist. There are also poems for Breath and Finding the Center. The illustrations are beautiful with Indian imagery and patterns that remind me of henna tattoos.

I use this book in my classes by picking a poem, and reading it out loud while the kids do the corresponding pose and look at the picture. It is a nice way to incorporate a picture book into a class with older kids, too.

Find the book here on Amazon.

Kids Yoga Haikus

I am not a poet, by any means, but I have had fun coming up with some haikus to use in kids yoga sessions. You can try teaching your yoga class with haiku, too! It’s a fun way to make the “same old poses” feel a little different.

Prompt kids to do poses by reading haikus. You can tell them the pose before you read the haiku or they can guess the pose from the poem and then do the pose. If you have time, have kids make up their own, too, and read them to the group. The beauty of the haiku is that there is a structure you can follow, so it makes the idea of writing a poem less intimidating.

Download Haiku Printable

Tree Pose          

A trunk tall and strong

Arms up and wiggle your leaves

Breathe in, breathe out, ahhh

 

Snake Pose

Flat on your belly

Heart opens, head lifts, strong arms

Hiss… Slither… Hiss Hiss

 

Dog Pose

Upside down Letter V

Big ol’ fat paws and wet nose

Wag your tail! Woof woof!

 

Dog Pose 2

Trying to be good

My leg goes up and – Whoopsie!

Puddle on the floor

 

Cat Pose

Round back, fur stands up

Purr Purr Purr Meow Meow Meow HISS

It’s time for a nap

 

Mountain

I am tall and brave

Standing strong, head in the clouds

Nothing can shake me

 

Crescent Moon

Arms up, bend right, left.

Sliver of light in the sky

Or a banana

 

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Laila’s LullabyTwist, and Imaginations 2 by April 1, 2015 Midnight PST on our Giveaways and Contests page.

 

 

Why We Need Kids Yoga on TV

 

It’s an exciting time in the world of kids yoga. When I started teaching yoga in 2002, I didn’t have any local resources or fellow teachers. Only a handful of kids yoga books existed. And most people had never even heard of kids yoga, let alone someone who only taught yoga to kids for a living. 

Now fast-forward 12 years: We’ve had our first national meeting of the minds—the National Kids Yoga Conference in DC. There are multiple books and resources specifically for kids yoga, like Giselle Shardlow’s Kids Yoga Stories and Lisa Flynn’s Yoga for Children. And now… drumroll… kids yoga is coming to TV!

Bari Koral launched a musical yoga TV program called Yogapalooza with Z Living Network this fall. YogaKids has a pilot for the YogaKids Magical Garden that is being considered by major networks. And now Shakta Khalsa, of Radiant Child Yoga, is teaming up with Yoga Dog to create a live and animated TV show for kids. 

I know that sometimes we think of TV as this evil time sucker that is rotting our brains and making us fat. But screens aren’t going away, and kids yoga on TV is a good—dare I say wonderful?—thing! Here are some reasons why:

1. It encourages movement.

With childhood obesity being a major problem, we need to bring movement to the kids in a fun and easy way. If we can’t get kids away from the screens, let’s bring movement to the screens—with yoga! Shows with yoga will get kids moving during TV time, instead of just staring at the TV.

2. It’s fun.

Yoga on TV will be fun. A television show can introduce kids to the active movement and balancing poses of yoga and then transition to the stillness of yoga in a colorful, musical, and fun way.

3. TV reaches kids we can’t.

Certain barriers can prevent a child from having the opportunity to practice yoga. Money and transportation, as well as geography, can be limiting.  And of course, even the best yoga teachers can only be in one place at a time (so far), and we can’t bring yoga to every child in our community at every hour. A TV show that runs on every TV in every home could reach the kids that we can’t.

4. Yoga brings positive messages to TV.

There are negative messages on kids’ shows today. Some of these messages, like violence, are obvious. Some are more subtle, like racial and gender stereotypes. Kids yoga programming is a chance to counteract those negatives with positive messages of self-love, compassion, and non-violence. We need any and all positivity streaming on the airwaves!

5. It reaches kids in their comfort zone.

We talk often about yoga being a great form of exercise for kids with obesity, but an overweight child may not feel comfortable in a public class environment. Having yoga on TV can offer those children with body image issues an opportunity try yoga poses in the privacy of their own home first. As their confidence grows, they may be more comfortable in a public class.

6. It’s convenient.

Rainy or snowy days at home or school can lead to boredom and inactivity. The convenience of turning on a TV show will lead to more opportunities to practice yoga! Which leads to more peace, love, and exercise.

7. It offers repetition and reinforcement.

Seeing and practicing poses repeatedly on a kids yoga TV show will reinforce anything that a child has learned in yoga class. This will make yoga teachers, like myself, look even more amazing as children master the poses with lightning speed! ☺

8. TV can educate the masses.

Fear of the unknown has lead to “shenanigans” like a lawsuit in Southern California involving a school that offers its students free yoga. Kids yoga on TV would help educate the public on the benefits and appropriateness of yoga for kids by showing it for what it is—a system of stretching and breathing that makes kids healthy and happy. Nothing scary here, just fun and relaxation.

9. Promoting kids yoga is always a good thing.

Having kid’s yoga on TV helps promote the idea of kids yoga overall. As a yoga instructor, I’m looking at every kids yoga TV show as free marketing and promotion. Some teachers might have the gut reaction of, “Oh no, if everyone is watching kids yoga on TV, who will come to my classes?” I would argue that kids who watch the shows will fall in love with yoga and ask Mom and Dad for more yoga. Then Mom and Dad will discover the amazing classes in their community and enroll them!


So, now you are probably really excited and wondering what you can do to help support kids yoga on TV. Lucky you!  Shakta Khalsa, one of the world’s leading experts on children and yoga, and Jennifer Foster, founder of Kids’ Wellness Alliance, are running a Kickstarter campaign to create a TV show called Yoga Dog. The 22-minute children’s program focuses on imagination, emotions, and movement. It follows the adventures of Yoga Dog, an innocent, fun-loving pup, and his friends. 

Check out the campaign for the pilot of Yoga Dog. Watch the video, contribute if you can, and help spread the word! Let’s get kids yoga on every screen in every home, so “screen time” can be called “yoga time.”


Kids Yoga Stories and Imaginations Giveaway!

I am a big fan of Kids Yoga Stories, and Giselle Shardlow's last two books are the best! You can enter a giveaway to win them both along with a copy of Imaginations below:

KidsYogaStoriesGiveaway.jpg

Here's what I love about Hello, Bali:

1. A tropical, happy place

This sweet book says "Hello" to Bali and all its treasures- flowers, trees, statues, dolphins, waterfalls, monkeys, and more. Kids follow along with the pictures of the yoga poses that correspond with each page. The illustrations are beautiful, colorful, and help you feel the sand in between your toes and the sun on your skin. I am a sucker for blue water, ocean waves, and tropical breezes.  They take me right to my happy place. :)

2. Sequencing of yoga poses

The sequencing of poses flow very naturally. Sometimes when you use a book in a yoga class, it feels forced because you are doing poses along with the story, and you might be standing one minute, sitting the next, and then back on your feet again. Hello, Bali  feels like the words were written around the yoga flow, so it is very easy to integrate it into your yoga class. You can even use it to transition from active poses to relaxation, since the last pose in the story is savasana.

3. Educational

Colorful, educational information is included at the end about the Indonesian language. You can teach your kids or students to count in Indonesian, or say simple conversational phrases. This is a great tool for getting kids intrigued by other cultures, and teaching the idea of connection (i.e. "Namaste").

Here's what I love about Good Night, Animal World:

1. Says "Good Night" to the animals

Good Night, Animal World says "Good Night" to 12 animals from different parts of the world through . Each animal has a corresponding yoga pose. I love this concept because it reminds me of my favorite storybook from when I was a little girl, Good Night Moon!

2. Teaches geography

The book has a fun map showing where in the world these animals are from. The yoga pose list at the end of the book also includes corresponding flags from the different countries. Such a cute, educational touch!

3. Gentle sequencing

A gentle sequence of yoga poses that can either get a child ready for bedtime or for relaxation time at the end of a yoga class. The last pose is Savasana, so again, you could use this book to transition from a more energetic time in yoga class to a final relaxation.

Both of these books are essentials for any kids yoga teacher, and parents will love them too, of course!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway in the above Rafflecopter box. They are available for purchase on KidsYogaStories.com and Amazon.com.

Namaste,

Carolyn

 

More Yoga Fun With Essential Oils

Wait, there's more! Last week I wrote about lots of fun ways to use essential oils in a kids yoga class. There are also fun ways to use essential oils for arts and crafts activities. These may take more time, so use them when you have some extra time with the kids, like at a summer camp or extended workshop. You could also make them ahead of time and bring them to class as ready-to-go props or gifts.

Lavender Cloud Dough

A fun way to use lavender oil for a relaxing sensory activity. Click on the picture for more info.

Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace

An easy craft to do with clay and essential oils. Click the photo for details.

Need More Ideas?

There are lots here on my Pinterest Board:

http://www.pinterest.com/relaxationstory/aromatherapy-and-essential-oils/

While you are there, you can check out the activities that go along with each story in the Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids book, too!

Namaste,

Carolyn

 

Essential Oils and Kids Yoga

I've been really excited about using essential oils lately, and I've been learning so much about their benefits. There truly is an essential oil for every health issue! Essential oils are distilled or cold-pressed from plant parts (leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, etc depending on the plant). They can have healing properties both physically and emotionally.

Word of caution: Essential oils are powerful and children are sensitive to them- so always dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil (like coconut, almond, olive, etc.) if using topically, and always have parents sign a form that asks about allergies! Some children with special needs are especially sensitive to smells, so it is always better to double-check with parents about sensitivities. Be sure to ask permission of the venue as well (some schools don't allow scented products in the classroom). The safety of using specific oils with children depends on the age range you are working with. For great info on this and a helpful chart, check out Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child by Valerie Ann Worwood. Luckily for us, she lists lavender oil as being safe for all ages, even newborns. So if in doubt, go with lavender!

If I haven't scared you off yet, here are some games and uses for essential oils in a kids yoga class:

1. Guess the Scent game-

Select a variety of essential oils. For each oil, put a drop on a cotton ball, and then put the cotton ball in its own small jar or container (like a film canister). Be sure to label the jar with a color or number so you can keep track of which oil is in which container. Pass the jars around to each child so they can guess the oil. You could also have 2 sets of each jar of oils and have kids work with partners. One partner closes their eyes and one partner holds the bottles for them to smell and guess.

2. Match the oil-

Similar to the Guess the Scent game, but have 2 sets of the same oils on cotton in jars. Children get to smell one set, and then finding the matching oils in the other set with their noses.  (Be sure that you label one set with numbers and the other with colors so that they are truly using their noses.)

3. Relaxation spray for the room-

Give a spritz at the beginning of class to help soothe a rambunctious group, at the end during relaxation and savasana, or even in the middle of the class when you feel like the energy level needs to be brought down.

4. Relaxing foot rubs with lavender oil diluted in coconut oil or unscented lotion-

Have kids massage their own feet or take turns with a partner. It's a fun time to introduce a kid-friendly reflexology chart too.

5. Keeping the room germ free

Do you cringe when there are a lot of sniffles and sneezing around you in yoga class? Help keep everyone healthy, including you (!),  with a spritz of essential oil- most are antibacterial and antiviral! I like doTERRAs OnGuard or Young Living Thieves Oil (both are a combo of citrus, clove, and cinnamon and specifically blended for immunity boosting).

6. Concentration-

Lemon Oil and Peppermint Oil both help with concentration. Do an experiment where everyone tries a balancing pose, then spritz some essential oil spray, and do the pose again. Was it easier the second time after smelling an oil that helps you concentrate? (Lemon and Peppermint are safe for ages 2+ according to Worwood).

7. Lavender Oil Smudge at Third Eye-

One of my favorite memories in a yoga class was when a yoga teacher gave me a smudge of lavender oil in between my eyebrows during savasana. I could feel the sensation of the oil long after she left, my concentration naturally drew inwards, and I could smell the scent of lavender as I continued relaxing.  If you are doing this with kids, always dilute the lavender with a carrier oil, don't get it in their eyes, and of course, ask their permission first. FYI- I would only do this in a private lesson setting so that I didn't feel rushed to get to every single kid in the class before savasana was over...

8. Read "Lavender Fields" and Spray Lavender Oil Spray-

Imaginations 2 has a story about a lavender field. Read it to them while spraying lavender essential oil room spray. It is the perfect way to integrate lavender essential oil, relaxation, and yoga. Kids can imagine that they are lying in a lavender field while they are smelling the fragrance of lavender! The story is here.


The connection between smell and memory can be powerful, so if nothing else, you are creating powerful memories in kids yoga by using essential oils!

Have fun with oils, and stay tuned for some more fun ideas for using essential oils in class!

Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

Website: www.bambinoyoga.com

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How to Give a Kids Yoga and Relaxation Book to a Homeless Child

Buy an Imaginations book straight from the author in December, and a book will be donated to a homeless child through Project Night Night.
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Project Night Night donates over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year, free of charge, to homeless children who need our childhood essentials to feel secure, cozy, ready to learn, and significant. Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children's book, and a stuffed animal -- all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag.

When you buy an Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids book from the author, Carolyn Clarke (me) at Bambino Yoga, a book will also be donated to a homeless child through Project Night Night.

I am SO excited to have found this organization, and I hope to donate a big stack of books to their Night Night Packages!

Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

Bambino Yoga

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Two Kids Yoga-Friendly Books on My Gift Giving List This Year

Check out these two great children’s books that I plan to give as gifts this year. Enter the drawing to win a copy of both books, plus an Imaginations book here. THE ABC’s of Australian Animals by Giselle Shardlow

abc_of_australian_animals1_full-461x598

Giselle Shardlow’s The ABC’s of Australian Animals is my new favorite ABC book for kids! Each colorful page includes an Australian animal, many of which were new to me, and a corresponding yoga pose. This book is so fun to read to kids because they are learning and moving at the same time! Check out all of these fun animal poses:

Anemone Pose

Brolga Pose

Crocodile Pose

Dingo Pose

Echidna Pose

Frilled-Necked Lizard Pose

Goanna Pose

Humpback Whale Pose

Ibis Pose

Jellyfish Pose

Koala Pose

Leadbeater’s Possum Pose

Magpie Pose

Numbat Pose

Octopus Pose

Platypus Pose

Quoll Pose

Red Kangaroo Pose

Sea Star Pose

Tasmanian Devil Pose

Ulysses Butterfly Pose

Venomous Snake Pose

Wombat Pose

Extinct Tasmanian Tiger Pose

Yabby Pose

Zebra Bullhead Shark Pose

As a kids yoga instructor, I find Giselle’s Kids Yoga Stories invaluable. Her book is fun, the pictures are colorful, and each page has a corresponding yoga pose, making it really easy to use in a children's yoga class . If you are a parent, you will love keeping your kids active and healthy while reading them a story. The book includes a guide for parents and teachers that gives tips on using yoga with kids. Thank you, Giselle, for another great kids yoga resource!

Softcover, 42 pages, Retail: $15.95

See sample pages and purchase here:

http://www.kidsyogastories.com/product/abc-australian-animals/

Win a copy here!

The Museum by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter Reynolds

museum

Susan Verde’s The Museum is one of my new all-time favorite children’s books. The illustrations by Peter Reynolds are colorful watercolors that include clever reproductions of famous artwork, like The Scream by Munch and The Starry Night by Van Gogh.

The story is about a girl that goes to an art museum and is inspired by each piece of art she sees. She interacts with each piece of art in a different way- dancing, twirling, and making silly faces. Then she comes to a blank canvas, and after closing her eyes, she fills the white space with all the colors and magic she sees in her imagination.

Susan is a children’s yoga instructor, and that comes through in her book. There are lots of opportunities to integrate creative movement and yoga, and the book also empowers kids to tap into their own creativity. Yoga can boost creativity, so this book is a perfect way to transition from an active yoga session to an art activity. Thank you, Susan, for a fun and colorful addition to my library!

Hardcover, 32 pages, Retail: $16.95

Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/The-Museum-Susan-Verde/dp/1419705946

Win a copy here!

Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

www.bambinoyoga.com

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Fall Yoga and Guided Imagery in the Classroom

Maple tree

I was asked to write a guest post on the YogaKids International Blog. Here's an excerpt:

"Guided imagery is a directive story that includes descriptions to stimulate the senses. When reading it aloud to children, you bring them to a relaxed place by using lots of sensory descriptions -- including what they see, smell, hear, feel, and even taste. It can help them calm their bodies, focus their minds, and boost their creativity. Try this fall-themed relaxation story to help your students visualize and learn about the season."

To read the full post and special fall-themed guided imagery, visit:

http://yogakids.com/_blog/YogaKids_Blog/post/fall-yoga-and-guided-imagery-in-the-classroom/Maple tree

Review of Lalaalu Urban Yogi KidBox

I was recently sent a Lalaalu Urban Yogi KidBox Collection for review. It is an eco-friendly gift box of yoga-themed goodies for toddlers. Curated, themed gift boxes are all the rage, and it’s fun to see one geared towards kids yoga put together by yoga teacher, Elena Brower. Here’s what was in the box:

Toddler-524-524x530

The Little Yoga Mat

A super-cute yoga mat for kids aged 0-4. It is blue and orange with a sunshine pattern, latex-free, and recyclable. I’m familiar with this brand of kids yoga mats and had planned to invest in some for preschool yoga classes that I teach. I like the lightweight feel of the mat, so it would be easy to lug them to and from classes. Also, they don’t have a stinky “toxic” odor that some new yoga mats have. This is a huge plus when working with kids who are more sensitive to chemicals.

Nature Sounds Growing Minds With Music Twin Sisters CD

Music paired with nature sounds, like the ocean, rain, and wind. I love using nature sounds in my kids yoga classes, and I was very excited to learn of this CD. It is soothing and calm, and adds some nice ambience to kids yoga. I would use it at the end of my yoga class while reading a relaxation story with some guided imagery.

mOmma Straw Cup with Dual Handles

A BPA free cup that transforms from a bottle to a sippy cup. Although this isn’t a specific yoga product, it would be helpful during yoga sessions with young ones. It’s nice to have water nearby in a cup that won’t spill.

Snacks

Organic drink boxes from Orgain Healthy Kids and Nurturmeals Quinoa packs. I don’t often incorporate food in my yoga classes, but these organic products are good to know about for future summer camps or extended classes where I need to provide a snack.

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The only thing I wish the box included was something instructional about kids yoga- a book, a DVD, or a game. While this box would be a perfect gift for a parent that already knows some yoga, and wants to include their child in their home practice, it would be difficult for a parent that is new to yoga to get started with their child. Overall, I think that this is a box is a great  collection of wellness and relaxation goodies for toddlers, especially those with yogi parents.

Lalaalu also offers boxes for older kids (which include yoga games), and babies too. See them all and access an exclusive sale at this link thru Sept. 21st, and use the code LLLPERKS for free shipping:

www.lalaalu.com/kidboxes/exclusive

Note:  I was sent a free Yogi KidBox for the purpose of writing an honest review.

Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

www.bambinoyoga.com

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Learn to Use Guided Imagery with Kids- This Thursday 8/22

Imagining Rainbows and Rocket Ships:

Guided Imagery for Relaxation and Learning

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Recipe for Guided Imagery:

1 Fun Theme

1-5 Senses with Imagery

A sprinkle of whimsy

Stir slowly. Take a deep breath. And relax....

I hope you can join us for this webinar. It's going to be informative, imaginative, and fun!

P.S. Bring a piece of chocolate for the webinar!

CC_Book_ImageSamplesADetails:

Thursday, August 22, 5:00-6:00 pm PDT/8:00-9:00 pm EDT

Presenter: Carolyn Clarke, author of Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids

Join Carolyn for a webinar on child-friendly guided visualization techniques filled with rainbows and rocket ships. Participants will learn about the benefits of guided imagery, as well as practical ways to create a child-friendly environment for guided imagery and relaxation. Participants will also experience a guided visualization leaving them calm, relaxed, and ready to share guided imagery with children.

Who should attend this webinar:

  • Yoga teachers striving to create a more relaxing and imaginative yoga class experience
  • Parents wanting to reduce their child's anxiety and stress in daily life and at bedtime
  • Educators looking for ways to create a calm classroom to facilitate learning

Bonus: One lucky participant will win a copy of Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids

COST: $29 USD / FREE for Members of Kids Yoga Academy

Register Here at Kids Yoga Academy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

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Top Storybooks for Kids Yoga- Poll Results!

Image Here are the results of the poll with OMazingKids.com and KidsYoga101.com!

1. Sophia's Jungle Adventure by Giselle Shardlow 2. Anna and Her Rainbow Colored Yoga Mats by Giselle Shardlow 3. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle & Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean 4. The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power 5. Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean & Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst 6. The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney, It's a Tiger by David LaRochelle, The Three Questions by Jon Muth, Zen Shorts by Jon Muth, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds & Storytime Yoga: The Treasure in Your Heart by Sydney Solis.

I don't know about you, but I'm excited to have a new list of fun books that compliment kids yoga. I'm also looking forward to reading these books and writing relaxation stories inspired by their themes and stories.

Are there other storybooks you love using in your kids yoga classes or with your kids? Leave a comment below with some of your favorites! Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

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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 Amazon.com, here's what I had to say about Luke's Beach Day by Giselle Shardlow:

"Luke's Beach Day, by Giselle Shardlow at KidsYogaStories.com, 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 http://tinyurl.com/9tujuck Cow http://tinyurl.com/8qmh4sc Dog http://tinyurl.com/9crw6n8 Tree http://tinyurl.com/8ed6ua4

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 http://pinterest.com/relaxationstory/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 KidsYoga101.com, ImaginationsForKids.com, or Bambino Yoga.com.
  • 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.

Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

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Your Vote Needed to Break the Tie in the Storybook for Kids Yoga Poll!

Cover Collage with Tie Break1

Last month, OMazing Kids and KidsYoga101.com hosted a poll and to find out the top 10 storybooks for yoga.

Here were the results of the book poll:

  1. Sophia’s Jungle Adventure, by Giselle Shardlow

  2. ???

  3. ???

  4. ???

  5. ???

  6. ???

  7. ???

  8. ???

  9. ???

  10. ???

See all those question marks? We need your help to vote for the remaining 9 of the top 10 books! Please vote in the form (below) or here by midnight PST, Friday July 19th, 2013.

Cover Collage with Tie Break1

[googleapps domain="docs" dir="forms/d/1istizvnnatttBCB9trqToTx5tfxlqWYVIjAH-zgS-z4/viewform" query="embedded=true" width="760" height="1000" /]

Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

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Happy Family Prize Pack- Kids Yoga Video, Imaginations Relaxation book, Sage Parenting book, and Infant Massage DVD

Now is your chance to win a fun Happy Family Prize Pack which includes a copy of my book, Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids! Prizes include 2 books- Sage Parenting and Imaginations- along with 2 DVDS- Soothing Slumber Infant Massage and YogaKids Silly to Calm. Something for the whole family!

Happy Family Collage

Here's the link to enter along with all the details:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a750c62/

The backstory:

I was excited to meet fellow San Diego author, Rachel Rainbolt, at a local author event earlier this year. We connected instantly when  we realized we were both helping parents and kids have a happier, healthier, relaxed life! We traded books and here's what I thought:

Sage Parenting: Where Nature Meets Nurture is a thorough and lovingly written guide to parenting. It covers everything from pregnancy to picking schools, and includes common parenting topics like baby gear recommendations, bedtime routines, and potty training. What makes this book unique is that Rachel Rainbolt encourages parents to tap into their own inner wisdom, and parent with love from the heart. She emphasizes that parents have the innate wisdom to know what their child needs. Rainbolt explains that kids need to feel like their "love cup" is full, and gives parents ways to connect with their kids in a naturally loving way to help them "fill it up". As a children's yoga instructor, I found her recommendations for communicating with kids and dealing with misbehavior helpful for my classroom management. I will be recommending this book to both new parents and those that are already parenting but need some new inspiration.

And here's what she thought of mine:

 The idea of a child with a calm inner core is appealing to every parent. However, disciplining your child’s chaotic behavior is not going to get you there. The path is through Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids. We can teach our children to find that calm, safe harbor within them in a way that accepts and celebrates their imaginations. This book can help you tap into the best of childhood to sail into a peaceful and centered adulthood.

Rachel teaches parenting courses and baby massage courses in San Diego, and she is launching some e-courses as well in case you don't live in the area!

Are you an author or creator of something wonderful that has the theme of children's wellness? Let me know! I'd love to connect.

Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

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Music for Kids Yoga - Johnette Downing, Fins and Grins & The Second Line: Scarf Activity Songs

Do you get a sense of glee when you discover new music?  Music that is perfect for kids yoga? I know I do! Have you heard of Johnette Downing?

Here are two albums that are great for kids yoga classes:

Fins and Grins

fins and grins

Here are the songs (which you can tell are good for kids yoga just by the titles):

1. Rock Hopper Penguin

2. Amazon ABCs

3. Amphibians

4. Clamshell Clap

5. Circle of Life

6. L'ecrevisse

7. I Want to be a Frog Today

8. A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea

9. Moving Along

10. Stingray Shuffle

11. Camouflage

12. Most Fish Swim

13. Seahorses Listen

14. I Went to the Aquarium

15. Tooth Fairy

16. Turtles

This is a wonderful CD with an aquatic theme.  I’ve found lots of songs about cats, dogs, and barnyard animals, but this CD has songs about penguins! Clams! Stingrays! Turtles! Sea Horses! Johnette’s voice is great, and the music is fun and lively. She reminds me of Laurie Berkner, but with a New Orleans style of music. Pretty much all of the songs are great for an ocean themed class!

The Second Line

Scarf Activity Songs

Song list:

1. Introduction

2. The Second Line

3. Shake Your Scarves

4. Scarves Up and Down and Around

5. Water, Wind and World

6. The Sacroiliac

7. Thread the Needle

8. Scarves on Your Laps

9. Flitter Flutter

10. Crazy Eights

11. Wow!

12. Rhythm In The Scarves

13. Circus Parade

14. The Second Line Reprise

I like to integrate Music and Movement activities into my yoga classes. Is it technically yoga, maybe not, but I think it provides child-friendly body awareness and helps burn off some of their energy so we can do some calming yoga poses. And isn't everything yoga if you are doing it with awareness? These songs are really fun scarf activity songs. Sometimes when we use scarves, I have a few ideas on how to use them and then my mind draws a blank. With these songs you could do a whole class with them!

P.S. This isn't a formal review or anything... I just found something that I like and wanted to share.

Her work can be found at her website and at Amazon.

Namaste,

Carolyn

Carolyn Clarke

www.imaginationsforkids.com

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