The Acting Out Yoga Series was born out of a need to find creative ways to engage young yoga students in class. Each book provides lesson plans for teachers to guide children through a “fantastical” fairy tale story while facilitating their ability to quickly learn asanas (poses). These illustrations also provide the perfect backdrop in art galleries, where students can – literally – walk through the exhibit and act out the images found within each painting.
The stories are designed to teach kids about art and culture in different parts of the world, and a portion of the sales from each edition will be donated to a children’s charity. For example, the first book in the series, Harvir in the Amazon, is dedicated to Angels of the Amazon, a nonprofit organization that provides much-needed school supplies and medical care to young children in the Amazon Jungle. Anna in Paris is dedicated to Healthy Start.
How to Use the Books
The Acting Out Yoga books may be read in full or in part for reading comprehension, building vocabulary, physical exercise and relaxation (kids get angry and stressed sometimes, too).
As a general guideline, each time you turn the page of an Acting Out Yoga book, the LEFT side of the book is the Teacher/Parent guide. It is intended for those who already have an understanding of yoga by providing a picture and a brief description, in conjunction with the benefits and contraindications of the pose. Here, the instructor will also be given tips for “acting out” the tale along with modifications to advance or simplify the pose based on a child’s ability. Many small children will follow an instructor’s visual cues rather than verbal ones. Therefore, the “how to” of each pose is designed for a teacher’s understanding, not as a student directive. There are also themed classroom exercises and suggestions that teachers may choose to incorporate into their lesson plans.
The RIGHT side of the page is the Student/Child side. It is a fairy tale that can be read and appreciated simply as a children’s story with colorful illustrations, or as a creative learning tool. The story on the RIGHT corresponds to the lesson plans on the LEFT. The sequence of the poses is a short yoga practice in itself. All poses are CAPITALIZED and BOLD. the red (R) and (L) indicate which side of the body is performing the action. For example, in TREE pose (L), students will balance on their left leg in the posture.
Disclaimer: The Acting Out Yoga books are meant to offer helpful information to parents, teachers and students of yoga. Teachers should use proper discretion when using them as an instructional guide, particularly when supervising young people who may be executing poses contained in these books. Consult a health care professional before undertaking exercises described. The author, illustrator and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information provided.