Select one of the keywords
I Love Yoga: A Guide for Kids and Teens    by Ellen Schwartz & Ben Hodson order for
I Love Yoga
by Ellen Schwartz
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Having 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.'

The author introduces the elements of yoga - pranayama or breathing, that is central; asana, or 'pose easily held'; and relaxation, to restore energy and calmness. She introduces six branches of yoga - hatha, raja, karma, bhakti, jnana and tantra, 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.

There 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 'belly breathing', and other special techniques from 'Humming Breath' to 'Darth Vader Breath'. Then come eighteen popular asanas 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.

I Love Yoga is an excellent and inspiring resource that makes yoga accessible and fun for kids and teens.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews