If you want to play yoga, you have to know the rules: what to do more, what to do less, how to breathe, and how to move your body.
This picture-book import from Brazil brings with it a unique approach to the instruction of children’s yoga. It is written directly to the child audience, framing yoga as a game. A high point is the inclusion of the yamas and niyamas, the ethical guidelines of yoga that are often overlooked in favor of asana, the physical practice. This title prioritizes these principles, placing a thorough explanation of each before the asana section. Each pose is introduced with a brief story; on the following pages, mixed-media illustrations combine drawings of paper-white children with photographs of real light-skinned children, demonstrating the poses step by step. The overall effect is appealing, a blend of playful and practical. Unfortunately, the narrative falls short of this balance at times. Words and phrases such as “must,” “have to,” “always,” and “right way” show up frequently. While there’s much to be said for maintaining a disciplined practice, the wording is a bit rigid for beginning instruction to children. It’s tough to know if this tone matches with the authors’ intent or is the stylistic decision of the translator.
A worthy and original contribution to the growing kids’-yoga canon, even with its flaws. (Nonfiction. 6-10)