Liz Lark Yoga for Kids

ISBN 13: 9781552977507

Yoga for Kids

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9781552977507: Yoga for Kids

A fun and practical approach to exercising with kids.

Yoga for Kids is a colorful and fun exercise program for young beginners that take child and adult through the stages of a yoga session. From the warm-ups to seated and standing postures to the relaxation phase, this book is the perfect guide to enjoying the natural benefits of yoga:

  • Increase general health and fitness, flexibility, strength, balance and coordination
  • Keep bones healthy, strong and correctly aligned, and the muscles around them supple and toned
  • Calm the emotions, releases anxiety and encourages relaxation
  • Enhance creativity and imagination

The postures are specially selected to appeal to children. Each exercise is introduced by a story that explains the origins of the pose followed by illustrated step-by-step instructions.

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About the Author:

Liz Lark is the author of Power Yoga, Yoga for Life and co-author of Yoga for Beginners. She leads international yoga retreats and workshops.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

Vivid memories of kids are indelibly on my mind for ever. In 1984, while I was working for a year in Murree, a Himalayan hillstation school, two children called Fatima and Raazia would smile at me deliciously during break, calling "Miss Lizzie!" with thick bread wads in one hand and hot buffalo milk in the other. Visiting them at night, they would jump inexhaustibly up and down like frogs on their thick woven razais, duvets made of mountain sheep's wool. For those two faces in the Pakistan Himalayas I dedicate this book, wherever they may be now, and to my nephew and niece, Ben and Philippa.

My second memory: sitting by a lake bursting with white lilies in Kodikanal, another hillstation in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. An echo of growing laughter brought with it a bunch of wild kids on the end of huge pogo sticks cut from trees, twice their size, arriving boisterously at the lake's edge in great leaps. Here they began to plop, giggling their unbottled laughter into the water, watching me now and then. After several minutes of play and mischievously pointed nods, they drew closer, wading through the lilies. One by one each child climbed out of the water, dragging behind them garlands of sopping wet flowers. As I watched silently, they began to lay garland upon garland of lilies, which they had threaded together in the water bed of the lake, around my neck. Dumbstruck in wet honor by this adornment, I basked in their wide-eyed smiles as they pogoed away, left speechless by these kids who make wet joy from nature.

Steve Biddulph, in his book The Secret of Happy Children, tells the story of a Swiss doctor who compared two World War II orphanages in Europe. One was a Western field hospital, with ample provisions and nurse care, and the other a remote mountain village with minimal but adequate provisions, staffed by local villagers and surrounded by kids, dogs and goats. His observation was that the babies in the field hospital had everything material, but little in the way of affection, touch and stimulation, whereas those in the villages had only basic care, but masses of hugs and affection -- and it was these babies that were thriving. The doctor deduced that children need three important requirements: frequent touch, movement (rocking, carrying, bouncing); and eye contact (smiling and a colorful environment).

Twenty-first century kids have to contend with growing up in a crazy-paced world, with the stresses of busy parents and home life, coupled with raging hormones and in-your-face media and advertising. Schooling may be competitive, and it is no surprise that children become stressed, as adults do. Drawing on the techniques of yoga can empower children, as well as adults, with tools to handle stress, moods and anxieties and can provide time-outs to cultivate self-awareness, confidence and calm amid the "moving sea of chaos" (which yogis call samsara). Being the daughter of a priest, I feel a strong need to find those positive meeting points that link people of all cultures and religions, and I find that yoga provides a universal language that can help an individual deepen their personal spirituality, philosophy or sense of meaning. Essentially, yoga cultivates a childlike mind, untainted by conditioning, keeping the garden of Eden open.

"When I was young, the mountains were the mountains, the river was the river, the sky was the sky. Then I lost my way, and the mountains were no longer the mountains, the river no longer the river, the sky no longer the sky. Then I attained satori (enlightenment), and the mountains were again the mountains, the river was again the river, the sky was again the sky."

-- traditional Zen saying

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Lark, Liz
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Liz Lark
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ISBN 10: 1552977501 ISBN 13: 9781552977507
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