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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 11 Yoga for Young Children Purpose To help children develop coordination, balance, attention span, flexibility, self-regulation, awareness, and relaxation, all of which are antidotes to stress Materials Timer, yoga books and programs that teach yoga to children, such as the following: Yoga Motion (DVD) by NamasteKid.com Yoga Calm for Children: Educating Heart, Mind, and Body by Lynea and Jim Gillen (2007) (YogaCalm.org also presents a training program for teaching yoga to young children.) Calm-Down Time by Elizabeth Verdick (2010) Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers: 8-Minute Routines to Help Your Child Grow Smarter, Be Happier, and Behave Better by Helen Garabedian (2008) Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga by Rebecca Whitford (2005) Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean (2004) Yoga Kit for Kids by Imaginazium, www.imaginazium.com You can find free yoga videos online. Other online videos have monthly fees or fees to download them onto your computer. Procedure Start by practicing stillness. In large group, ask the children if they can pretend to be a quiet little mouse, turtle, or some other favorite character for just thirty seconds. Then set a timer. Praise the children who succeed at maintaining stillness. Slowly add more time. The best way to introduce the poses is one at a time, with pictures and demonstrations. Work up to five or six. The poses develop coordination, balance, attention span, and flexibility. Start out slowly, doing poses for only five to ten minutes. At first, yoga can be frustrating for children because most of them are not familiar with it. With practice, Creating Calm 17 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL