Breathe in and breathe out. When young ones practice yoga, they learn habits of flexibility, fitness, and self-soothing. Like reading a good story, we expand our minds and open up to new experiences. It’s no wonder that LINC’s Yoga & Reading in the Park program was such a hit this past summer.
On Wednesdays in July and August at 10:30am, LINC families gathered at Marconi Park for a yoga themed read aloud led by LINC’s Community Engagement Specialist Beverley Philips. Beverley doesn’t just read though, she demonstrates the poses as they are described in the story and the children follow along.
This summer’s books included Llamaste & Friends: A Yoga Story by Pat-a-Cake, a funny story about a llama that likes to practice yoga and uses it to help her Tiger friend calm down and her Koala buddy be brave. Children are encouraged to talk about their emotions like the animals in the story which helps them become more understanding and develop empathy.
In Good Morning Yoga: A Pose by Pose Wake Up Story, by Mariam Gates (Author), Sarah Jane Hinder (Illustrator), kids learn to use breathing practices to greet the morning with joy and start their days with intention and confidence.
For the young Triceratops, Pterodactyl, and T-Rex fans, there is Dinosaur Yoga by Mariam Gates (Author), Matthew Rivera (Illustrator), a story that introduces children to the benefits of bending, stretching, and breathing―through dinosaurs! Instead of being sad, mad, or frustrated when things aren’t going their way, the dinosaurs practice yoga to feel better. “Today when they don’t get their way, they won’t stomp on each other’s toes. Instead, these dinos will take a break and try a yoga pose.”
These books and others are carefully chosen by LINC staff and come with lessons that will serve kids for a lifetime. They build confidence and we see evidence when children like Dhavni Kishandayal, age 7, want to read to the other children.
Dhavni first attended LINC’s virtual programs during the pandemic while she was in pre-K and her mom Trisha was becoming a LINC Very Involved Parent (VIP). Dhavni developed a love of reading and got her wish to read in front of an audience during LINC’s Yoga & Reading in the Park program this past summer. At LINC we like to call children like Dhavni VIKs (Very Involved Kids). Dhvani wants to be a teacher when she grows up, and to prepare she joins LINC’s Toddler Tales and Tunes programs to help other children with their crafts.
At LINC, we are proud and excited to see our families expand their bodies and minds through the joy of reading…and yoga!
To register for LINC’s latest programs, visit www.lincnyc.org/programs.