Creative Yoga for Children offers a simple, ready-to-teach Montessori-based yoga program for children age twelve and under. Following age-appropriate classroom themes, the book's forty detailed, one-hour lessons are designed to supplement any learning environment and are accessible to parents and teachers alike--no special training is required. In a recent study by California State University, Los Angeles, yoga was found to improve students' behavior, physical health, academic performance, and attitudes toward themselves. Research also shows that the benefits of yoga are particularly strong among children with special needs. This book demonstrates how yoga can become a fun daily practice inside or outside the school classroom.
Enhanced with over 100 black and white photos, the book's themes, or lessons, are divided by age range (ages four to six, seven to nine, and ten to twelve) and explore topics based on the child's developmental level. For four- to six-year-olds there are twenty hour-long lessons on subjects ranging from colors and the holiday seasons to sounds and words. Ten hour-long lessons for seven- to nine-year-olds introduce such topics as the body, countries of the world, botany, zoology, and the universe. For ten- to twelve-year-olds, ten hour-long lessons cover the environment, geometry, the Earth, fractions, the food chain, and more.
Following the structure of a classroom lesson plan, each lesson incorporates elements of yoga including poses, breath work, meditation, and mindfulness. A discussion of the theme and intention of the lesson is followed by a warm-up of yoga poses. The children then engage in a cooperative "connecting" activity designed to bring them together, and a fun and lively theme-oriented activity that involves movement and awareness. The class winds down with breath work, a craft, and often a story. Finally, there is relaxation time and a guided meditation. With this preset structure, the children feel safe while being challenged and inspired.
Derived from the educational philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori and the author's own experience in the classroom and yoga studio, Creative Yoga for Children allows children to move at their own pace and to be free to learn and grow within a non-competitive, nurturing setting. An essential resource for the 4,000 certified Montessori schools in the U.S., this book will appeal to yoga teachers, classroom teachers, parents, and anyone who works with children.
About Adrienne Rawlinson
A certified Montessori teacher and registered yoga teacher, Adrienne Rawlinson has worked as a teacher in New Zealand and Canada. She studied yoga under Maureen Rae in Toronto and Erich Schiffmann in Chicago. She currently teaches Montessori and yoga in Oakville, Ontario. The author lives in Ontario, Canada.
“This is the most thoughtful, thorough, and creative book I've seen on yoga for kids. Yoga is a great bridge to knowing the inner world of our thoughts and emotions. Adrienne Rawlinson does an amazing job of creatively introducing children to their physical and mental experiences, giving them numerous tools for taking care of their bodies and minds.”
—Megan Cowan, cofounder and executive director of programs at Mindful Schools
“Creative Yoga for Children provides a comprehensive foundation in yoga for developing minds and bodies. This program is an essential resource for implementing a children’s program in the classroom or studio.”
—Denise Pala, E-RYT, television host, creator, and coproducer of Your Yoga Practice
“This is a wonderful book that will empower adults to help spread the benefits and joys of yoga to children and tweens. … With books like this in the hands of loving and capable teachers, the coming generation will be a force to be reckoned with.”
—Yoga Teacher Magazine
“Having no formal yoga training, I find this program an indispensable tool in my class.”
—Carrie Ferguson, Montessori teacher
“This book is a cornucopia of ideas and I love the variety of lesson plans given. I especially appreciate the objectives (intention) and educational elements sections. … Even with my decade of experience teaching yoga I could not have written a more complete book.”
—Emily B. Canibano, yoga teacher and contributor at skyyogastudio.com
“Creative Yoga for Children is a must for any teacher who wants to encourage physical education.”
—Midwest Book Review