This is a guest post from Steph Auteri. Steph is a writer who has overshared in Brain, Child, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, and other bastions of fine writing. She also writes about women’s health and sexuality for publications such as Pacific Standard, Salon, Undark, Narratively, and Jezebel, and blogs about motherhood for mom.me. You can learn more at stephauteri.com. Follow her on Twitter @stephauteri.
I know. No really, I know. Children end up being whomever the hell they want to be as they start to grow into themselves. But that didn’t stop me from putting a baby-sized yoga mat on my baby registry, and subscribing to Hello magazine in my daughter’s name, and bringing her to weekly music classes, and teaching her how to play nice with our three cats. After all, I’m a yogi, a book nerd, a singer, and a crazy cat lady. Of course I want my daughter to be just like me!
And so far, it’s working. My daughter loves her Music Together classes. Her favorite activity is reading. She thinks she’s a cat (at least I think she thinks she’s a cat).
But when it comes to her yoga mat, she seems to just think it’s a special place for twerking or break dancing.
Luckily, there are a bajillion yoga books for kids. And so, to aid in the indoctrination:
Itsy Bitsy Yoga. This was the beginning of it all. This and those mommy and me postnatal yoga classes I took my daughter to before she became mobile. It contains “yoga” poses and sequences to do with your baby their first two years of life. And I just discovered they have one for toddlers! (Slides credit card out of wallet in slow motion…)
I Am Yoga. Em and I saw the author, Susan Verde, read this one at our local independent bookstore’s mommy and me storytime event. Verde started by leading the kids in a handful of yoga poses, after which she read the book itself. The artwork is gorgeous, and I loved the book’s message about the power we have for positive self-transformation.
Good Night Yoga. I read this one to Em before bedtime, after she’s had her tubby time and before we’ve brushed her teeth. The first time I said to her “you do!” and she took a deep, yogic breath, my heart exploded. Last night, she pointed to the drawing of the little boy doing cat pose and actually meowed! My work here is done.
You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses. This is a newbie to Em’s bookshelf and I’m loving it. It walks kids through the basics of each pose while also making it extra fun by pointing out which animal they’re aping.
Moody Cow Meditates. What many people don’t realize is that yoga is about so much more than just the physical poses. Asana is just one of eight limbs of yoga. Another limb is meditation. So I’m curious to see how Em takes to this story of a cow having a very bad day… until his grandfather teaches him how to settle his mind.
Yoga for Kids. I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on Em’s wish list (which I may or may not have created myself). According to its product description, it contains activities, discussion guides, and more. After reading it, I am fully confident that Em will know even more than I did after going through my 200-hour yoga teacher training program.
The ABCs of Yoga for Kids. This one’s a coloring book. And the other week, Em walked into my home office with red flakes around her mouth, a tiny stub of red crayon clutched in her fist. Other than that, she has a notebook filled with abstract art. I have high hopes for this one. 😉