Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

6 Books For Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness

Christina M. Rau

Staff Writer

Christina M. Rau is the author of the sci-fi fem poetry collection, Liberating The Astronauts (Aqueduct Press, 2017), and the chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). In her non-writing life, she teaches yoga occasionally and line dances on other occasions.

Children. Are. Stressed. Out. This sounds so strange, but it’s true. Because of weird pressures and sad realities, a lot of little ones suffer with anxiety and fears. One way to help those challenges subside is to integrate yoga and meditation into their daily lives. I’m going to say this a lot: adults can benefit from all this, too. The earlier we start, the more beneficial mindfulness can be. Still, even if you’re a baby boomer who’s never sat and breathed for five minutes, you can benefit, too. It’s never too late to be a yogi, and it’s never too early to begin.

Here are some helpful resources to get us all started.

ABC Mindful Me coverABC Mindful Me by Christiane Engel


This picture book introduces children to—and reminds adults about—the basics of being a decent and loving human being. As the title indicates, it offers concepts associated with being mindful in alphabetical order: A is Awareness, B is Breathe, C is Compassion, and so on. The illustrations make the concepts fun and easy. Awareness shows people sitting and looking at the sky. Breathe has two people blowing bubbles and making pinwheels spin. Yes, mindfulness is as easy and fun as bubbles and pinwheels.

Buddha At Bedtime coverBuddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire by Dharmachari Nagaraja

Ages 4–8
This bedtime book offers 20 bedtime tales like “The Grateful Bull” and “Goblin Island” for children to drift off to. The tales use ancient wisdom to teach about morals and living a good life. Never fear—it’s got an introduction for adults to understand the basics of Buddhism before sharing with their young ones. But also, the book is gorgeous, so adults will enjoy the entire book as much as children will.

Yoga Pretzels coverYoga Pretzels by Tara Guber and Leah Kalish, Illustrated by Sophie Fatus, Introduction by Baron Baptiste

Ages 4+

This isn’t exactly a book; it’s a set of cards. Also, it’s not for only children; it’s for adults, too! Each card offers a yoga pose. It has clear descriptions of what your body should be doing in each pose. It also has several pictures to show what each step looks like. There are 50 ways to get bendy in the deck, which makes for a myriad of sequences.

My Daddy Is A Pretzel coverMy Daddy Is A Pretzel by Baron Baptiste

Ages 4–7
Here’s Baptiste again! This book connects yoga asanas (poses) with different careers. The setting is a yoga class in which children learn what each parent does for a living. That job then ties into a yoga pose. Then we get a lesson on how to do the yoga pose properly and how it benefits us. Super clever and informative.

Yoga For Kids coverYoga for Kids: Simple Animal Poses for Any Age by Lorena v. Pajalunga, Illustrated by Anna Forlati

Age 4–8

A lot of yoga poses are named after animals: Downward facing dog, cat-cow, eagle, pigeon. Some of these animals live in a zoo, and that’s where this book takes place. A little boy learns yoga with the animals and then goes home to practice with Nino, his cat. Moral of the story: I want to do yoga at the zoo, please.

Teach Your Child Meditation coverTeach Your Child Meditation: 70 Fun Easy Ways to Help Kids De-Stress and Chill Out by Lisa Roberts, RYT, RCYT

Ages 5–12
This book focuses on relaxation and confidence-building. It offers a lot of choices for integrating breathing and poses into everyday life. Again, adults can get a lot out of this book, too, either despite or even because of the fun names like Funny Bunny Breath.

Once the little ones start zenning out, we can pick up on that energy and all be a little calmer.

Please share your own experiences with children and yogi life. If you’re interested in more yoga philosophy, you can check out these 5 books for yogic thinking. There’s more about yoga in the archives here and more about mindfulness here.

Namaste and om shanti shanti.