Clean layout, swirly page decorations, simple explanations, and a friendly tone will help this title find its preteen audience.
Reassuring explanations of general yoga principles are followed by step-by-step instructions. Each pose gets its own page, though exactly how to achieve each posture is not always clear from the picture. An energizing sequence unfolds in 18 lavender pages; a calming sequence follows on 17 light blue pages. The flow between poses is not shown. Corpse Pose is shown only at the end even though Savasana often both starts and finishes practices. Appropriate cautions are on almost every spread (“If this feels too intense…”), but postures are shown in their most advanced versions and modifications are not illustrated. Readers are reminded to do the asymmetrical poses on both sides, but these poses are not labeled as such. The English name of each pose is followed by the Sanskrit word highlighted in pink (sans pronunciation guide). Thick board covers help the pages lay flat, making the book easy to consult during an exercise sequence. Almost all the figures shown are female and white. Every five or six pages, a male demonstrates a pose. Apparently chubby kids don’t do yoga; all the images are slim. More detailed discussions of breath work and meditation plus internet resources, a glossary, and an index complete the package.
Like most yogis it’s not perfect—but it’s an economical and nonthreatening way to begin a yoga practice. (Nonfiction. 10-14)