My kids have a new ploy to keep from turning out their bedroom light and going to sleep at night, and it’s all Elephant Journal’s own Laurie Jordan’s fault.
“Momma, we need to do the spaghetti test!”
So I go back in their room and wiggle their arms and legs to make sure they are all floppy and ready to sleep. Only then do they quiet down and drift off.
Yawning Yoga is a series of yoga poses set to rhyme that help make the transition from a busy day to a quiet nighttime routine.
A mix of traditional yoga poses with some made up jiggle-your-body around type activities, Yawning Yoga begins with big movements like forward fold (monkey) and downdog (dog-tired downdog). The book gently makes its way to smaller, quieter poses like shoulderstand (candlestick) and Ocean Breath.
“I can really hear the ocean,” said 6-year-old Maggie quite loudly as she held her hands over her ears to hear her breath in her head.
And, I admit, it was even relaxing for me too to spend some time breathing deeply with my hands over my ears
My three younger kids and I pile onto my bed at night to read. Maggie and her 8-year-old brother Danny always pop up off the bed and do the poses as we read them.
“Look I’m a dead bug!”, laughs Danny, who happens to also like real, live bugs too
Abby, who is so much more mature than her siblings at all of ten-years old, prefers to sit with me and read along. She says the pictures are “really good for little kids without being babyish.”
Laurie is a certified yoga instructor and creator of Little Sprouts Yoga for kids. Citing a 2004 study by the National Sleep Foundation that says 69% of children aged ten and under aren’t getting enough sleep, Laurie includes tips for parents on creating a better bedtime routine.
The index of the book also gives step-by-step instructions with pictures to guide parents and kids into the correct way to do each of the poses described in the book. Although, Laurie emphasizes that kids should be allowed to participate at their own pace and move within their own bodies.
Yawning Yoga is geared towards preschool and early elementary school-aged children. It’s short enough to keep their attention without being overly sapping or irritating for parents to read. It’s a gentle and fun introduction to yoga for kids, and gives parents a new bedtime tool to use for a quiet, peaceful evening.
Yawning Yoga: A Goodnight Book For A Good Night’s Sleep can be purchased here.