Monday, November 14, 2022

Inhale Joy, Exhale Gratitude

 


Yup, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and tis the season for joyful gratitude! Thanksgiving is a day when many of us take a break from being overwhelmed and overworked; we celebrate family, friends, food and faith with a grateful heart.

It’s easy to be grateful for those extraordinary moments when things are going well, however, it’s even more important to find joy and gratitude in the ordinary simple things. Things we often take for granted and forget to notice like the simple pleasure of being alive, able to move and breathe.

Energy flows where attention goes and when we focus on the simple things we are grateful for we begin to notice the abundance of things we actually have to be grateful for.

Being grateful is an important practice and has been scientifically shown to make us happier. It’s the easiest way to feel better almost instantly and is one of the most powerful tools for creating a more joyful life. When you are grateful, your brain releases those feel good hormones we know as endorphins!

I invite you to try it and encourage your kids too! Practice saying thank you. Find every little reason to express your gratitude. Say thank you to your family, your friends, and your pets. Say thank you to schoolmates, co-workers and the cashier. Say thank you to your food, a warm cup of tea or cocoa. Say thank you as your release your day and slip into peaceful sleep. 

A simple practice is to say thank you each morning for being alive, able to move and breathe. Inhale joy as you open your arms wide, exhale bringing your hands to your heart in gratitude!

We can also encourage our kids to be grateful with a Gratitude Jar. Every day they can write down one thing they are grateful for and place it in the jar. It will bring joy to their heart when they open it up at the end of the year and remember all the simple things they have been grateful for.

I am grateful for all of you have supported A Yoga Storytelling Adventure

Amazon has discounted Forever Friends for a limited time, so now’s your chance to get it for $10.16!

Books make Great Gifts and it would be a perfect stocking stuffer! Just click on the link in the side bar. 

 


Blessings to you and yours.

With joyful gratitude, Kathe

Monday, October 10, 2022

Emotional Wellness for Kids

Emotional wellness is defined as the ability to process feelings in a healthy and positive way and manage the stress of everyday life.

Children may experience pressure from parents, teachers, peers and even from within themselves. This pressure can take many forms; some are minor bothers and others are major disturbances. Children must develop resilience in order to respond and adapt. Emotional wellness helps us see things from a different perspective.


Our goal as parents, teachers and caregivers is to help children realize that the world is a better place because they are in it, that they have something to contribute. This motivates them and gives them purpose.

Not all stress is a bad thing. Children learn about themselves as they learn about stress. Stress challenges us and successfully managing stressful situations enhances a child's ability to cope with future difficulties.  They learn how to traverse life’s mountains and valleys. However, when the stress is intense, it can affect the body, mind, and emotions.

Consistent daily stresses, though minor, often have consequences and we know major events can have lasting effects on health and well-being. Individual temperament determines how a child perceives and responds to stress as does age and development. Some children are naturally easy going, whereas change can throw others off balance.

Children can improve their ability to handle stress. Emotional support from family and friends helps, as does having previously succeeded in managing life’s challenges and strong sense of self-esteem is essential. 

Yoga has proven to have positive impacts on health including helping children to enhance their sense of self-esteem.  In numerous studies, yoga has repeatedly been shown to;

·         Increase self-confidence

·         manage stress and anxiety

·         regulate emotions

·         reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity


Yoga is more than exercise. Although exercise actives the mind in addition to the body, the practice of yoga is meant to bring the two together. The word yoga means union, and it is much more than merely the postures most of us are familiar with. 

Yoga offers a release from our day to day stress. It focuses on the action of connecting breath and movement. Yoga can help kids learn to live in the moment, focus on the task at hand, and handle problems peacefully.

Each particular posture has been cultivated over thousands of years to bring about effects in the mind and body. The postures not only stretch muscles they also constrict muscles. Children become more aware of their body and how it functions. Some poses are more difficult than others and kids should go slow and take it easy. 

The more often your child practices yoga, the greater the benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends yoga as a safe and potentially effective therapy for children coping with emotional, mental, physical, and behavioral health conditions. Childhood is a great time to create healthy habits including yoga. Creating a yoga practice habit can have many positive impacts, some of the physical benefits include improved;

·          balance, strength and flexibility

·          coordination and concentration

·         digestive system and so much more 

Conscious breathing and a simple pose or two can be important tools for managing stresses as well as everyday challenges. Introduce your child to yoga with A Yoga Storytelling Adventure! 

Click on the link to get your FREE ebook; Wednesday and Thursday, October 12 and 13 for Emotional Wellness Month!

getbook.at/theimpossibledream

getbook.at/foreverfriends

getbook.at/peaceandquiet

We are grateful for the Reads and the REVIEWS!!

Paperbacks always available (see the sidebar) and remember Books make Great Gifts!




Om Shanti, 

Kathe




Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Book Walk and Giveaway!

As former librarians Mel and I were in charge of a Book Walk during the Summer Reading Program kick-off many years ago. I decided it was time to put one together for one of our books. So much fun!!

A Book Walk incorporates reading/literacy and usually the outdoors, it is often set up in a park. Perfect for a vendor event. A local Farmers and Artisan Market is one of my favorites places to sell as well as meet interesting people!

I chose A Yoga Storytelling Adventure; Forever Friends, a wisdom tale about a majestic elephant and a homeless dog, illuminating kindness, honesty, and friendship. Perfect for the dog friendly farmers market.

You can make a Book Walk yourself, here’s a list of materials you’ll need.

  •       2 copies of the book
  •      Real Estate Sign boards with H stakes 
  •      Velcro dots
  •      Utility knife, cutting surface, ruler
  •      Scissors and tape
  •      Construction paper
  •      Glue stick or double sided tape
  •     the pages will need to be laminated

As a former librarian and children’s author it was pretty tough to cut up our books but I reminded myself that the story was being transformed into something newly beautiful. I began by deconstructing the book, using the utility knife and a ruler to cut a straight edge. Go slow. You want your lines to be straight. Cut the pages out of both books, stacking each book separately.



You’ll be using pages from both stacks to put the book back together in the right order. Line up each page with its other half. Using a small piece of tape, secure the top, middle and bottom of the pages together.



I chose to place my book pages on construction paper which serves as a background border, but this is optional. Tape the construction paper together. Use the glue stick or double sided tape and place your book pages on your background boarder. Number each page 1, 2, … so that when participants come upon the Book Walk they will know where to begin.


Using your word processor create a page that says Book Walk along with any other information you want to share. This page goes next to the cover image of the book. Everything is now ready for laminating.

Once your pages are laminated they will need to be trimmed. Trim the laminated pages leaving a 1” boarder so that your story will be waterproof. Go slow; sometimes the scissors slip through the laminate!



Time to add the Velcro dots. Put the dots together and stick them to the four corners on the backside of the book pages (as well as the middle if your book is on the large size). Next place the pages on your sign where you want them to line up before you remove the remaining sticky back. Once the sticky backs are removed carefully press into place. Do this for all your pages.



Your Book Walk is ready for display! Gently push your H-stands into the ground. Space them about 8 to 10 feet apart depending on the length of the route and the number of pages in the book. It’s best if readers can see the next page up ahead. Then slide your real estate signs over the wire. Walla, you are ready to go!



Giveaway!! 

All three ebooks will be FREE for International Literacy Day. Celebrate mental literacy, emotional literacy and physical literacy with A Yoga Storytelling Adventure.  Mark your calendars and grab them while you can. We would love for you to read them and a review is always appreciated!



Save this post and click on the links below to “buy now for free” on September 8 and 9These will take you to the ebook. Of course, the paperback is available for purchase and the link is on the right hand side of this page. ;-)

getbook.at/theimpossibledream

getbook.at/foreverfriends

getbook.at/peaceandquiet


Enjoy your adventure!

Kathe



Sunday, June 12, 2022

Social Emotional Learning and Breath Breaks

 


                                                          Breath of Joy

Wouldn't it be great if we could build a community of educators committed to using wellness and social emotional learning as vehicles for healing and social change? So, what is social emotional learning anyway?

Social emotional learning is defined as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. 

It is a process through which we acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. These skills are vital for school, work, and a life of success.  

Sounds good, but how do we go about building this community? Before we get out our tools, lets start with a breath break!

What is a breath break? Simply said, a breath break connects you to your breath. You can enhance your physical, mental and social emotional well-being with mindful breathing techniques. You'll notice that you become less stressed when you practice conscious breathing and you'll want to share this with others. 

Breath is life! When we build awareness of our breath, we gain the capacity to respond thoughtfully rather than react to our situation. Breath awareness deepens our connection with the ever-flowing movement of our breath; increasing presence, enhancing mindful awareness, calming the body, and focusing the mind. 

Breathing techniques make use of the natural calming and soothing impact of the breath on the mind and body. They activate the parasympathetic nervous system allowing us to rest and digest. Mind/body practices help us in time of stress! They also help to build healthy habits that ultimately, in time, decrease our reactivity to stress. 

Now that we've acquired a bit of knowledge, let's apply it and practice Breath of Joy!

Breath of Joy

Stand tall in Mountain pose; head lifted high to the sky. Inhale in three parts, lifting the arms out in front, out to the side, then overhead. Exhale with an audible "HAAA" and fold forward. Bend the knees and gently swing the arms down and behind you. Slowly return to standing. 

Repeat 3 - 5 times. Pause and notice how you feel. 

Breath of Joy is just one of many breathing exercises you can practice with your students and other educators that will bring a smile to everyone's face!

Our newest title, A Yoga Storytelling Adventure: Peace and Quiet, offers breathing exercises that develop self-awareness and self-control. These interpersonal skills are needed to build a community committed to using wellness and social emotional learning as vehicles for healing and social change. Yoga has always been about healing and social emotional change! 

Peace and Quiet takes us on a whimsical journey to Eastern Europe, where a mind-mannered girl thinks she lives in a noisy and chaotic house until her wise neighbor turns her world upside down and she sees things in a different way. 

In this timeless tale kids learn that they may not be able to control the world around them; however, they can control their inner world. Although intended for ages 4 to 8, kids of all ages will discover a simple way to stay calm, focused and alert with three easy breathing exercises to use as a means of self-empowerment. 

Included is a Polish word guide to help develop an appreciation of a different language, and best of all, a full description of yoga poses makes the story come alive as you go on A Yoga Storytelling Adventure!



In honor of International Yoga Day the ebook will be FREE June 20, 21, and 22.


We would love for you to read and review!! getbook.at/peaceandquiet


May all beings be happy and healthy!!

Kathe

 

As always FREE resources for your home or school classroom

@ www.ayogastorytellingadventure.com

Friday, May 13, 2022

Peace and Quiet and Recent Indie Reviews

Coming Soon!!

Our newest title, A Yoga Storytelling Adventure; Peace and Quiet!


This Yoga Storytelling Adventure takes us on a whimsical journey to Eastern Europe, where a mind-mannered girl thinks she lives in a noisy and chaotic house until her wise neighbor turns her world upside down and she sees things in a different way. 

In this timeless tale kids learn that they may not be able to control their outer world; however, they can control their inner world. Although intended for ages 4 to 8, kids of all ages will discover a simple way to stay calm, focused and alert with three easy breathing exercises to use as a means of self-empowerment. 

Included is a Polish word guide to help develop an appreciation of a different language, and best of all, a full description of yoga poses makes the story come alive as you go on A Yoga Storytelling Adventure

The book launch has kept me super busy the last couple of months, I learn new things every time. Self-publishing is no easy feat. You are responsible to wear many hats, and change them often! lol. I am so very grateful to all the help I get from other indie authors. #authorshelpingauthors 

And without further ado…enjoy this month’s Recent Indie Reviews, along with a few yoga poses too! Yep, cuz that's what I do!!

My Magical Feelings by Becky Cummings

Charming colorful illustrations will keep littles engaged as they learn about different emotions. Honoring them for what they are, letting them come and letting them go, these are things we all need to know. The heart meeting him at the door, so sweet!

Yoga; Easy Pose Rainbow Stretch; place the right hand on the left knee lift, reach and open the arm behind you, (the eyes follow the hand) allowing the emotion to come and return the hand to the knee allowing the emotion to go. 6 times for the colors of the rainbow, then switch arms and repeat.


Aria Finds her Voice by Sarah Palmer


A charming story of self-discovery! Absolutely love the affirmation gifts from the birds and the silent moment at the pond for reflection; things we all need in order to be brave, spread our wings and follow our dreams. Fabulous illustrations reminiscent of collage pop off the page. Well done, Sarah!

Yoga; Warrior II for Aria and Eagle pose for the birds she meets



Rosie the Farm Truck by Victoria Scudder


Rosie is precious with her big eyes and long lashes! She is also playful, helpful and kind. She wants to play with the farm animals but is called off for a mission. Through teamwork and trust in herself she accomplishes her goal. The hand-painted watercolor illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the story.

Yoga; Staff pose with arms out for Rosie and Warrior I with hands alongside the ears and fingers spread wide for the reindeer

 

Come here, Airplane by Eric Shatsky


Sweet little story with lovely, imaginative illustrations. It’s wonderous to dream of and be excited for future possibilities, but we must remember to be aware of the beauty of the present moment. A simple lesson for kids and adults alike!

Yoga; Warrior III for the airplane and High Lunge with arms lifted for the little girl

 


Wish Upon A Star by Emily Daine


Oh, to let our imagination take us on an adventure! A shooting star and a whimsical wish become magical in this fun fairy tale. Every little girl’s dream come true. Loved the fairy door!!

Yoga; Star pose for the shooting star and Goddess pose for the fairy





The light in me, sees the light in you. Namaste. 

Kathe 

FREE kids yoga story resources for your home or school classroom @ www.ayogastorytellingadventure.com

 


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Springtime and Recent Indie Reviews

 


Spring is here! According to Ayurveda, the latter half of winter and spring are considered Kapha season. Ayurveda is a sister science of yoga, a natural system of medicine that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. The term Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit words ayur, which means life, and veda means knowledge.

Therefore, Ayurveda translates to knowledge of life and is based on the idea that disease is due to an imbalance in a person’s environment. Ayurveda encourages certain lifestyle adjustments and natural treatments to regain balance in the body and mind.  

The qualities of the atmosphere define the Kapha season, not the calendar year. The qualities of Kapha season include dampness and moisture of melting snow, ice or rain, cold and cool temperatures, stagnation, and heaviness in the air. The factors of damp, cold, stillness and heaviness increase the same qualities in our minds and bodies causing colds, allergies, and a decrease in energy as well as depression. 

Spring has always been a time for cleansing and renewal, and we can bring balance to the body and mind by beginning a spring cleanse! This is important for kids and well as adults. In order to balance Kapha we can bring more light, warm, and invigorating energies into our daily routines.

Try to wake up just before sunrise, it’s a wonder-filled time. If your kids go to traditional school. Spend a few minutes with them watching the dawning of the day and listening to the birds. Just a couple of yoga postures with the kiddos will get stagnant energy circulating and will wake up the mind and the body, bringing vibrancy to everyone’s day.  Try chair pose – it warms the body and is invigorating, triangle pose – it aids digestion and opens the lungs, and tree pose – a balancing pose brings lightness to body and mind.

And last but certainly not least we mustn’t forget food, gotta eat right! We still want warm foods, just not so heavy. Lighten things us by adding leafy spring greens to vegetable soups, eat fresh berries and warm your dishes up with spices like cinnamon and chili. Yum!

Wishing you happiness and health as you spring forward!


And without further ado…enjoy this month’s Recent Indie Reviews, along with a few yoga poses too! Yep, cuz that's what I do!!



Animals over the Bridge by Janine Maxwell

A simple story to help prepare littles for sleep. Children imagine animals from the African plain walking on their backs as they experience a soothing massage before bedtime. An innovative body/mind concept!



Yoga; This story is full of opportunities to stretch before settling into bed for the night. Try; Cobra pose for the slithering snakes and Locust pose for crocodile

 

Tree Full of Wonder by Anna Smithers

Anna educates children on the important relationship between trees and people, as she entertains them with whimsical rhyme and enchanting illustrations. “Spot the Trees” is an engaging finish to this wonder filled story and “How to protect trees” offers us conversations starters. A Tree Full of Wonder encourages kids to enjoy and experience the wonder of trees!


Yoga; Tree pose of course, in its many variations!! Try hands at the heart, arms overhead palms touching, and arms open wide


Young Change Makers; Inspiring Others by Stacy C. Bauer

This inspiring collection of young change makers is incredible, an absolutely lovely book! It has so much to offer, each child’s story is highlighted with adorable illustrations and personal photographs, fun facts about the kids themselves, their advice to you and ways you can become a change maker. This is part of a series and you won’t be disappointed if you get each and every one. Well done, Stacy!!


Yoga; Warrior Poses because these children are strong and courageous! Try Warrior I, Warrior II and Warrior III


WeeBees and the Bee Attitudes by Marcia Elizabeth Papa

Adorably cute wee bees with a simply sweet message for littles! Young listeners will learn what it means to bee kind, bee helpful, and bee friendly as it shows examples of each bee attitude. Give littles a head start on social emotional learning with this one! Perfect for 2–5-year-olds.



Yoga; Bee Pose - Sit in easy pose, open the arms out to the side, put your hands on your shoulders, elbows point out to the side. Twist side to side 4x. Pause. Come back to center and circle the elbows 4x. Pause. Lift the elbows up and down 4x. Pause. Release the hands and shake the pollen off as you buzz like a bee!


Thomas the Tiger’s Terrible Twos by Sarah Tucker

The cover is unquestionably precious, it drew me right in.  Knowingly, I went for a spin. The story reminds us, we all have tough days. They come to us in unpredictable ways. So how do we handle, unruly emotion? Some say with love and unconditional devotion. Perhaps you are wondering, but what should I do? Just remember, you once were a terrible two.


Yoga; Tiger pose for Thomas


Me and my Kazoo at the Zoo by Jonathan Marshall

In this story a young boy fancies what the animals will do when he plays his kazoo. It will spark kid’s imaginations as they learn about different musical instruments, plus it teaches them how to play a kazoo too! Kids love music and dancing and along with funny, bright colorful illustrations it’s sure to keep them involved. Educational and entertaining, it makes you want to take a Kazoo to the Zoo just to see what the animals will do! 


Yoga; lots of options here with all the animals you find in the zoo. Try Orangutan pose - wide legged forward fold as you sway side to side, and Lion pose 

Until next time!

FREE kids yoga story resources for you home or school classroom @

www.ayogastorytellingadventure.com




Thursday, March 17, 2022

Active Listening = Good Communication

 

A benefit of combining Story and Yoga

 

Have you ever told a child to do something and they said OKAY, but then find that it hasn’t been done?

It’s not unusual for kids to sometimes tune you out, however if you are constantly having to repeat things there may be something else going on. Is the child not actively listening? Do they not comprehend what you are saying?

We often confuse listening with hearing. Listening is more than just hearing what is being said. Listening is the ability to understand the meaning of words and then relate to them in some way. When children hear a story, good listening skills and comprehension enables them to understand it, remember it, and even retell it in their own words. That’s what A Yoga Storytelling Adventure books to are all about!

Good listeners grow up to be good communicators. Communication is the foundation for creating healthy and positive relationships. When we communicate effectively, we are able to tell others how we feel in a positive and productive manner. Effective communication is built on respect, respect for oneself as well as for the other person. Indeed being respectful while communicating can lead to being more caring and compassionate toward others as well as ourselves. Through active listening and good communication, we have the ability to create positive relationships.

Combining story and yoga engages kids in active listening and communication. A Yoga Storytelling Adventure kids yoga stories makes reading an interactive activity; both listener and reader participate through eye contact and facial expressions, being interested and paying attention, and acting out the story with yoga poses. This helps children remember the beginning, the middle and the end of the story and this increased engagement promotes deep learning. They can now relate as they are now a part of the story, and are able to recall it. Comprehension complete!!

Another fun interactive activity is to encourage kids to retell the story in their own words using a story circle, which is a simple method of passing a story around. In a classroom setting this gives each child a chance to practice storytelling, but even a parent and one child can do this.

Active listening and good communication are keys to social and emotional learning, and combining story and yoga build listening and communication skills!  

Check out our BOOKS as well as the FREE stuff for our Kids Yoga Stories 
Creative Curriculum suggestions, Concepts to Consider and Conversation Starters can be found www.ayogastorytellingadventure.com

 

Please share this post with anyone you think might benefit from it!

 

Namaste,

Kathe