May is madness for a teacher. I am trying to wrap up all the important loose ends, so that we can spend June playing outside a little more, exploring our community, and having plenty of fun before I am made to send them off (the most bittersweet part of my year). As of late, I have had a love-hate relationship with any book NOT offering illustrations or geared towards a second grade reading level. I have a stack of just-for-me books waiting for my attention and I know I’m going to love all of them, but sadly, there’s just no time to dedicate to them right now. While I will miss school this summer, I cannot wait to lounge and read MY books more often. This brings us to the book I’m talking about today — I Am Yoga.
Being surrounded by my minis all week may not lend much time to my leisure reading, but it does give me a vast opportunity to pick out adorable children’s books, so a children’s book I chose! Last week’s letter of the week was ‘y.’ (Hence, our yellow yarn creations in the background of the picture.) One of my students brought up ‘yoga’ being a ‘y’ word, so we decided to snag this from the local library and have ourselves a little read. We have done yoga-esque poses and different types of exercise throughout the year, so this wasn’t a completely new concept to my littles. We took our time looking at the LOVELY illustrations, listening to the mindful words, and creating each pose. The illustrations are what initially drew me in (that and the fact that I, myself, practice yoga). Each picture is so whimsical and really creates a scene that ties into the the pose name and gives it more meaning for children. The words create a calm, quiet environment, which I know, in my classroom, can be very difficult to come by. The poses we practiced helped us focus on our bodies and how we needed to move to create, or attempt to create, specific shapes. It also required my students to be mindful of where they were moving in relation to their yogi neighbors. And as a teacher, I love the pose recaps in the back of the book! You don’t have to be a yogi to dive in head first — if you’re unfamiliar, this section gives you pose names, descriptions, and instructions, so you can take a peek at that for help!
Whether you’re into the practice of yoga, or not so much, there is nothing greater than watching a group of 16 four-year-olds be able to listen, admire, and move mindfully in a classroom that is typically full of noise and organized chaos, and I Am Yoga did that in my classroom. Happy reading, friends!
PS – If you’re looking for other kids’ yoga resources, check out Yoga Journal, Cosmic Kids Yoga, or Gaia, to name just a few! If you’re looking to grow your own home practice, I started, and am now dreaming of (hopefully soon, working towards) gaining my own certification, all because of Yoga with Adriene. She’s wonderful. Good luck to you and enjoy!Tags: calm, children's literature, heather reads, i am yoga, in the classroom, kids books, kids yoga, library, mindfulness, peter h. reynolds, poses, read, reading, susan verde, teaching, yoga