Oh boy could we all use a little zen right about now. Whether you’re still powering through the unique morass that is working from home while your kids are there, or you’re hitting the streets with said kids on the daily to protest systemic racism and police violence, or you’re dealing with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in your family or community, or likely all of the above, one thing is for sure: June 2020 is a time in history when parents and kids alike are tired.
And while we wish we could help you combat this existential exhaustion by pressing a button to fix racism, defund the police, cure COVID-19, and hey, while we’re at it let’s fund universal childcare — unfortunately it ain’t that easy. We as parents must continue to fight the good fight as well as teaching our kids to do the same. A couple tools that can help energize us all for the important work ahead? Yoga and meditation.
Whether you’re a yoga newb yourself or a seasoned yogini looking for a way to intro the next gen to the practices of asana and meditation, the wealth of beautiful, mindful children’s books out there can provide a great inroads to the conversation about mindfulness for both parents and kids — and can even make the yogic practices a bit more fun.
As a 250-hour trained yoga teacher in vinyasa, prenatal, and yin practices, I have some Opinions when it comes to the yoga industry in the United States — especially how we present it to our children. By introducing modern American kids to yoga, are we appropriating an ancient practice that has largely become whitewashed and commercialized? Are we teaching them to glorify thin, bendy, predominantly white female bodies? These are all important questions to keep in mind when diving into yoga with your kids, and they’re all the more reason to prioritize yoga books that feature diverse kids (and, you know, diverse yoga animals, duh) of different shapes and sizes and skin colors. This collection ahead does a pretty bang-up job.
So grab a few of these books and share their stories, whether to begin a regular yoga practice with your child or just to reiterate to them that it’s okay to take a break, take a breath, and sit still. Yes, that goes for you, too, parents.
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