While I would not consider this a traditional "storybook" with a beginning, middle and end it is a perfect yoga or SEL (Social Emotional Learning) resource for families or teachers with a desire to introduce their children to "feelings" or "feeling" words. So often big emotions or feellings can be confusing to a little body. The Grateful Giraffe gives parents and children the vocabulary to be able to identify and name the feeling that they may be experiencing in their body. Being able to name an emotion or feeling is such an important part of early-child development and will allow a child, and their parent, to find a bit of calm in the storm of a tantrum or frustrating experience.
As an added bonus there are several different resources in the back of the book for parents or teachers: including a pose guide, feelings list, pose directions & tips for practicing yoga and yogic principals with children.
You can purchase a copy of the book HERE or download a PDF version.
Let me know what you think! Cheers Meghan
Can yoga grow a better brain? Studies show that, yes, children who exercise may grow a better brain! How is this possible? Researchers point to movement activities (including yoga!) as an effective cognitive strategy to (1) strengthen learning, (2) improve memory and retrieval, and (3) enhance your child's motivation & morale! Woo-hoo!!
The benefits of movement and play go beyond cognitive gains. With a national obesity epidemic, and more and more schools cutting physical activity from their daily schedule, it is imperative that parents and care-givers find engaging and fun ways to incorporate movement and play in to the daily routine of their child. Yoga is a fun, non-competitive activity that the whole family can enjoy together.
Looking for a place to start? Try my 3 Easy Family Yoga Poses or check out Bari Koral's new yoga/music album "Little Box of Happy". The album contains 16 yoga tracks for kids (and adults!) to enjoy including 3 relaxation tracks and a full color poster of all the poses on the album (for our visual learners). Available at Amazon & ITunes.
Grab your copy today and get moving & grooving while learning with your child.
Cheers, Meghan Jane
February is the month of love and partner yoga poses are a fun way to spend some quality time with your child. Toss on some comfy clothes & play your favorite tunes as you give these poses a try with your child this month. Don't worry so much about alignment or if you or your child are doing the poses "correctly". Spend your time having fun, laughing and enjoy exploring these poses together and getting in a good stretch! FYI: these poses can be quite energetic - try these during the day rather than before bedtime :)
1. Sit facing your partner and stretch your legs out into a V-shape.
2. Both partners bend their right-knee and bring the sole of their right foot to the inside of their left thigh.
3. Scoot towards each other so your left foot touches your partner's right-knee.
4. Lift your arms up over your head and then bend from your waist to reach towards your own left toes.
5. Hold for a few breaths (count with you child) and then do the other side.
I decided to use social media for good last month and posted one thing each day I was thankful for on my Instragram and Facebook pages. It was such a humbling daily activity and I found myself being more conscious throughout my days looking for all the things I was thankful for. When my #monthofgratitude ended I was a little bummed because I've loved sharing what I'm thankful for each day...but then I stumbled on @amandalayoga & her #christmaskindness Challenge!! Yay!
Choose to do something kind for someone else. It doesn't need to be flashy, exspensive or well-thought out. Just decide in your heart to show someone a little #kindness each day during the month of December. I know there are over 20+ holidays during this time of year, so if you'd prefer to add your own holiday to the hashatag I would LOVE that! Make sure to use the hashtags #christmaskindness #bekind #kindnessmatters and tag me in your posts!
Yours in Kindness,
Visualize Your Vision:
Once I had created my one year vision I began to work backwards in 3-month increments. Looking at small, action steps (based on the SMART goal process below) I could take to reach my 3-month goals and ultimately live my greater vision.
Allison and I created accountability with one another and scheduled quarterly coffee dates or phone calls where we could chat about our progress, brainstorm ideas for overcoming challenges, empathize about failures and celebrate successes. While my original timeline has come and gone, the process of creating a vision and setting small SMART goals and action steps has remained a part of my life as I continue to build a greater vision for my career, relationships and health and wellness.
SMART Goals in Action!
First, I researched forearm stand, methods, suggestions and the anatomy of the pose. I found a great tutorial online that gave you a clear plan for learning how to do forearm stand starting with your body near a wall, building core strength and then finally moving to the center of the room and getting some air time. It was super challenging at first. I fell into my dresser, the bed and the floor a few times, but I kept at it 3 nights a week until I felt stronger (and braver!) and was able to rock a pretty sweet forearm stand in the center of the room!
This is What I Know to Be True....
In life, and on your yoga mat, you can’t rush through the small steps to get to the finish line. You have to explore, experiment and create a strong foundation before you can stand tall, living your vision or on your forearms in the center of the room! I know that you need an accountability partner, friend or yoga teacher to bounce ideas off of, support you (mentally and physically) and celebrate each step towards you reaching your goals. I know that you will experience lapses, make wrong turns, wobble, falter and maybe even take a tumble or two. The strength lies in your unwavering commitment to your vision and belief that you can accomplish your goals no matter what.
So, what does your vision look like? I’d love to hear what goals you have in mind for the next 6 months of 2016. Comment below with your vision, goals or if you have any forearm or handstand tips.
Cheers! Meghan Jane Stegemann