I don't know about you, but I think YouTube is one of the greatest resources we have at our disposal when it comes to starting a new practice like yoga. Gone are the days when you had to search the stores for a book or DVD that suited your needs, because there is a wealth of videos available for free right at our fingertips.
There are videos and channels aimed at all manner of audiences, including kids, which is what I want to focus on today! I want to share with you a YouTube channel that WB absolutely loves, called Cosmic Kids. Jaime produces a wide range of yoga adventures for children (the latest one being based on the story of Frozen) as well as some fantastic short mindfulness meditations called "Zen Den". It is a far cry from the black and white photos sparsely distributed through the kids' yoga book we had when I was young, for sure.
I wrote about Cosmic Kids Yoga around about this time last year on my old blog and my comments then still apply, so I am resharing that post here. I do so hope you'll check it out and have a go - it's so much fun!
Cosmic Kids is "your place for yoga, stories and fun". There are so many ways in which the team at Cosmic Kids are making yoga accessible and fun for kids (both at home and at school), but I want to tell you specifically about the yoga adventures on youtube.
All of the videos on youtube are completely free to view, and are an excellent way to get your kids interacting and learning whilst having fun and doing some yoga. Jaime (pictured above) takes you on a magical journey through a story, whilst integrating yoga postures throughout. So, for example, in one of their adventures (Star Wars Episode 4), downward facing dog becomes the posture for R2D2... this is one of WB's favourites!
Admittedly, WB doesn't follow the entire adventure... he wanders off and does his own thing lots of times, but that's okay! He's having fun, exploring new ways of doing things, and comes back to join in with the adventure as and when a part of the story interests him. I love the freedom that the videos give us to let him take part without any kind of pressure to keep up with the story all the way through.
This was certainly not part of the story today, but he had fun and it enabled him to test his strength and agility in his own time (rather than simply running around in a circle and making himself dizzy which is what he often does when he has excess energy to burn!)
No matter how often he gets distracted and goes to do his own thing, he always comes back to the story over and over again and loves trying to do what Jaime is doing. Sometimes that is just repeating a noise she has made or telling me what she is doing. Sometimes it is having a go at the posture, with a little help from mama. And sometimes he just gets it all by himself and gets a thrill from being able to follow along all on his own...
As you can see, WB loves having a go and is more than happy to follow along with minimal input from mummy and daddy. That's not to say that mummy and daddy aren't invited to join in from time to time, and when we do join in it is just as much fun for us! But it is definitely something that even a 3 year old can manage to follow on their own.
And this, I think, is testament to how wonderfully inclusive the videos are. Jaime and the team at Cosmic Kids seem to totally understand how to get kids involved and using their imaginations and it's so wonderful to find such a resource available so freely. WB adores using his "cosminoculars" at the beginning of adventures...
He also absolutely adores counting down from 3 to 1 and then saying "Namaste" at the beginning and end of an adventure. I wish I had a video of it, but alas my attempts at videoing him this morning didn't go so well. However if you'd like to see some other kids in action, why not check out one of the Cosmic Kids' Yoga Heroes video of other children enjoying the adventures just as much as Little Man does.
As you can see from that video, Cosmic Kids is enjoyed by children of all ages, and their families!! And it's no wonder, really, when you consider the amazing quality these videos are. They are a fantastic introduction to yoga for children, and also a really good resource for learning mindfulness, something which I know that we as a family want to integrate into our lives more but are often at a loss of how to do so ourselves, let alone for a 3 year old!
Cosmic Kids don't only produce adventures, you see. Oh no, they also have beautiful videos called "Zen Den" which are perfect for quietening things down and taking some time to reflect and rest. WB is more than happy to sit cross legged on the floor, especially as these are much shorter in length and involve enough visual and audio input to keep him concentrating on what is happening on the screen. (Edited to add that recently WB asked to do two Zen Den videos one after the other when we got up in the morning, so at 4 years old he is still very much enjoying these!)
I love his little version of sitting cross-legged, it makes my heart melt so much!
Back to the matter at hand!
Cosmic Kids have a wealth of resources available on their website, it's not just about the youtube videos. There are posters and posture guides to download as well as class plans (did you know that children take part in Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventures in schools? How awesome is that?) There are even a couple of DVDs you can buy, which help the team to cover the costs of producing the videos.
Honestly, I cannot tell you how much we love Cosmic Kids here at SKN. We have been enjoying the Adventures since summer 2014 and yet I only discovered their Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as the instagram hashtag (#cosmickidsyoga) in 2015. And even since then there have been so many wonderful additions, like playlists on YouTube for various things (e.g. remedies for anxiety, best videos for older children etc) to make it easier than ever to find exactly what you're looking for.
There is so much to explore within the Cosmic Kids world, I cannot possibly share it all with you. If I haven't convinced you to pop over to YouTube and check them out yet, have a quick look at the video below where Jaime tells you all about what they do. I, for one, can't wait to see what the next adventure will be!
Will you join me?
We are sharing how much we love Cosmic Kids purely because we love Cosmic Kids. We were not approached by anyone on the team, nor was any incentive given. I contacted Jaime the morning of my original post to request the use of their images, but that is the only contact we have had. We hope this honest review makes you even more interested in checking them out!
Whilst Spirit Kid Network is still very new, I hope that you can see where I'm going with it, and that the content I have already written has been helpful, encouraging and inspiring.
If you like what you see, please do consider nominating Spirit Kid Network in the "Fresh Voice" category in the BiBs and "Best New Blog" in the MADs by clicking on the links below. Thanks.