I am trained as a yoga teacher for both adults and children. One of my deepest desires is that my children will have the same love of yoga that I do. Of course, I find that if I truly want them to be interested in something I love, then I show by example and back way off.
I still want yoga to be accessible to them and since we do a lot of reading together, we have bought books about yoga. These two, “Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga” and “Sleepy Little Yoga: A Toddler’s Sleepy Book of Yoga” are a nice addition to our children’s book collection.
Each book has nine poses. Each pose is shown in double page illustrations, a drawing of a child in the pose on the left page and a corresponding animal on the right page. There is an animal sound written on the page which my kids enjoyed copying while in the pose. The sequences end with the child in savasana.
Both books have a note to parents and practice tips that are a bit simplistic for a parent involved enough to read and/or do the poses with their child. But, if you are an absolute beginner to yoga, these can give you confidence that yoga with kids is simple and fun. There is also an explanation of the poses, but they truly are self-explanatory. The final double page in the book has photographs of toddlers and preschoolers in the poses. My kids loved looking at these and naming the poses that we did.
Yoga for children should be playful and unstructured. These books give a good introduction with this lighthearted approach. You don’t need to have any knowledge of yoga to do these poses with your kids and the illustrations are engaging enough that my kids often want to read them without doing the poses. I don’t think it is necessary to buy both copies of these books, unless your kids really like them. In fact, if you want to have a nighttime routine involving yoga, just purchase Sleepy.