I Love Yoga: A Guide for Kids and Teens
Ellen Schwartz & Ben Hodson
Tundra, 2003 (2003)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
aving practiced yoga in my twenties, I'd been looking for a guide to introduce it to my own teens.
I Love Yoga
(for kids and teens who're curious about the subject) begins by dispelling myths and misconceptions about yoga and explaining how widespread its practice has become. We are told that the art began five thousand years ago and it's not necessary to '
live in a cave ... and chant funny words
', but that yoga is '
a system of breathing exercises, movements, and relaxation techniques that stretch and strengthen your body, and keep your body, mind, and spirit working together in harmony.
he author introduces the elements of yoga -
or breathing, that is central;
, or '
pose easily held
'; and relaxation, to restore energy and calmness. She introduces six branches of yoga -
, and then focuses on hatha yoga, '
the path of physical mastery
'. Different styles of hatha yoga emphasize body placement, powerful movement, breathing, access to energy, and so on. There are endorsements from kids (12-20) who practice yoga, and a listing of good things that it can do for your body, from improvement of blood circulation to memory.
here is useful advice on finding a good class, resources for doing yoga alone, and a list of postures to avoid if you have such conditions as a migraine or hernia. On to the exercises, starting with nine for warm-up and explanations of how to do '
', and other special techniques from '
' to '
Darth Vader Breath
'. Then come eighteen popular
with illustrated poses from simple to difficult, including my favorite, the cat stretch. The yoga session ends with several minutes of relaxation techniques, including tips on how to meditate successfully. The book includes adaptation suggestions for those with physical impairments.
is an excellent and inspiring resource that makes yoga accessible and fun for kids and teens.
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