Do you ever do yoga with your kids? We do, and it is a great way to help WB channel the huge amount of energy he has into something that benefits him both physically and emotionally. But I couldn't have started this practise with him alone, after all my own yoga experience is limited and is certainly not aimed at making yoga fun and accessible for kids. What works for me is not necessarily going to work for a 4 year old, which is why we absolutely love Cosmic Kids Yoga.
You may have seen my previous post about the Cosmic Kids Yoga channel on YouTube. That post was based on our experiences when we first found Cosmic Kids right back at the end of 2014, when WB was a fair bit younger than he is now. Over the past couple of years we have watched as new episodes have appeared on YouTube and been so happy to see updates from Cosmic Kids across social media. They seem to be developing new and exciting ways to connect with their fans all the time, and it is delightful to see all the different ways they are inspiring children to get involved and have some fun.
So imagine my excitement when we received an advanced copy of Cosmic Kids' first Yoga Adventure book, Lulu the Lion Cub Learns to Roar.
If you've enjoyed Cosmic Kids videos on YouTube, I can guarantee you are going to love this book. (And if you haven't watched any of their videos I'm sure this book will inspire you to go and check them out!) The book brings together all the things we love about Cosmic Kids: a fun story that leads us on a yoga adventure; great characters and super easy poses to copy; and empowering messages that children can relate to their everyday lives (e.g. how to cope when you feel really angry).
Let me show you what's inside...
Each double page spread shows you how to do the poses in easy, step-by-step instructions. There are images of Jaime doing each pose, alongside written explanations, to make it as easy as possible to follow the adventure. And unlike the vast majority of yoga books, this one is illustrated with the characters we all know and love, making it a perfect book to read together even when you can't actually do the poses (believe me, WB made me read it to him on the train back from London!)
There's also a page near the end of the story where Jaime and the main character share affirmations that can help children deal with a whole range of emotions they may be experiencing. I have recently become a huge fan of affirmations, but I have yet to really try them with WB. Having these super simple affirmations that are written to relate to the theme of the story (in this instance, frustration at not being able to do something straight away) makes it so easy to start using affirmations as a family. I know WB is going to enjoy using them, as he's always responded well to exercises that give a voice to something he doesn't normally know how to express, just like he did when we introduced The "I Am" Game to him.
Finally, as if all the rest of it wasn't enough, there is a double page spread at the back of the book where Jaime shares her top tips for using the books and getting the most out of them. As always, Jaime's style is so friendly and approachable, helping both kids and parents (or educators) to extend their yoga practise as far as possible - after all, there is no limit to how you use these books and the yoga adventures within them.
This book has been a huge hit with us. We received it in a gift bag when we attended a fan event with Cosmic Kids at YouTube in London this past weekend. The adventure itself is the same one that Jaime took the kids on at the event, so we've experienced the story both in person and in the book and I have to say that it translates so well onto the page. And as much as we love the videos, WB is a real bookworm and whilst all the other kids were excitedly looking through the contents of their gift bag and getting up to talk to Jaime, WB was busy reading the story...
Lulu the Lion Cub Learns to Roar is the first Cosmic Kids book to be published and will be available to buy from September 2016. It is being published along with a second book Norris the Baby Seahorse Takes on the Bullies by Watkins Publishing and there are a further two books due out in 2017. They will be available from all major booksellers, so keep your eye out for them!
If you haven't already guessed, WB and I give this book a massive thumbs up. We have had such a wonderful time following Cosmic Kids as they have grown over the past couple of years, and it was an absolute joy to actually meet Jaime and Martin at #cosmickidslive this weekend. If you'd like to hear more about our trip to YouTube to meet Jaime, you might want to check out the video and photos I shared over on my other blog. But before you do that I just wanted to say this - meeting Jaime and Martin made it clearer than ever that this is what they love to do, and that enthusiasm and passion shines through. We wish them all the luck in the world as they continue to grow and develop and thank them for making yoga both fun and accessible to kids all around the world.