Maybe you eat, sleep and breathe yoga as a yoga teacher and this has influenced your parenting. Perhaps your children have danced beside you on their own mat since they could cat-cow and stand in mountain pose. Or perhaps like me, your children have watched you more than actively share your passion for yoga. I’m a true believer in yoga off the mat and one way I practice this is by reading to my daughter. Yes, even reading a bedtime story is practicing yoga in everyday life. So, what better way to explain the stories behind the poses as well as an introduction to a daily morning sequence than with Good Morning Yoga, written by Mariam Gates, author of Good Night Yoga, and recently published by Sounds True. Good Morning Yoga, with poetic explanations which encourage the connection between breath and movement, and calming colourful illustrations take children from their sleepy beginning of day to fully awake. Through a simple illustrated sequence, which can be practiced alone or together with mom or dad, the book leads children through imagining faraway lands, like standing on a beach, listening to the waves as they perhaps listen to their own ujjai breath create an ocean within them, to the cool stillness of standing at the peak of a mountain, hands at heart, in mountain pose. My four-year-old daughter immediately asked me to read her the book 3 times, and I’m sure the interactive aspect of the book helps capture the imagination of children who are used to playing with smartphones and tablets from such a young age. I have to say that I was surprised the book finishes with a “How I want to feel today” visualization. My daughter has learned not to disturb me during my mediation practice, but I haven’t managed to get her to sit and listen to her breath. As I read through the final pages of the book for the third time, I realized the key for children is to see, use their imagination and participate. Good Morning Yoga is surely a perfect good morning read to set the day up for even our littlest yoginis.
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