Yoga KidsMarsha Wenig
Year Released: 1996
Categories: Children and Teens
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A friend bought this video for my daughter for Christmas a couple of years ago--at the time, I was sure it would be a "yeah, sure" present. But the few times she has done the video, she has really enjoyed it. I agree with the previous reviewer who praised the video's presentation of yoga as nonintimidating--speaking only for my own child (now 8) I can't imagine she would be willing to sit through a tape that was more serious and didn't throw in a few cute songs for good measure. I am a complete neophyte myself when it comes to yoga, so I can't comment knowledgeably on the quality of the instruction. But I can say that my child has been noticeably relaxed after doing the video and that she gets a good feeling from being able to do some of the poses (I was impressed by her very stable tree!).
Good concept, but too much filler to keep a pre-schooler’s attention – or a grown woman’s attention either! My 4-year old daughter enjoyed the poses, but lost interest during the 2- or 3-minute songs and nature walks between poses. Without the filler, the video would be a lot shorter and probably hold a child’s attention a little better. My daughter wandered off and played with her Pokemon during the singing parts. I wanted to try it with her again the next day and just fast forward through the filler stuff, but I couldn’t convince my daughter to do it a second time. She did enjoy the poses, especially tree, lion, up- and down-dog and headstand. There are 5 or 6 children who demonstrate the poses, ranging between ages 5 and 8, I’d say. A “mom” kind of lady provides a little bit of narrative and a little bit of instruction. The instruction is along the lines of, “Imagine you are a lion and roar!”
I agree with the points about choppiness and lack of form instruction that the previous reviewers have mentioned, but I just want to add my own experience with this tape. My children are very young (2 and 5), and they both really enjoy this tape. Granted, it is not serious yoga, but I think that it can give the very young child an appreciation for yoga that will continue into adulthood. It presents yoga as very nonintimidating, and makes it fun for little ones. My two year old really enjoys showing people Downward Dog pose, and my 5 year old is working on his balance with Tree Pose. This video fits what I was looking for in a yoga video for the very young child.
Very neutral, perhaps a bit annoying to adults. Kids won't mind. She definitely looks and talks like a mom. Not much attention is payed to form, but with the target age group this particular type of instruction would probably be wasted.
I agree with the previous review that the video is somewhat choppy with perhaps too many songs. My main objection is after performing a headstand, the child is kept in balasana (child's pose). It has been my training and experience that one should stand upright following any form of headstand to allow blood to flow back down from the head. To stay in balasana or any kind of crouching position pools the blood and breaks the tiny capilaries under the eyes. (Been there,
This 30-minute tape presents a variety of yoga poses, interspersed with songs and narrative. It has a cheeful, "warm and fuzzy" feel. (Note: The beginning of the video gives a long list of equipment--blocks, belts, mats--you'll need to do the exercises. Ignore it; it's just a standard list they use on all their videos.)
The basic format: The narrator introduces a pose ("Have you ever seen a turtle sticking his head out of his shell? You can be a turtle yourself!"), then describes how to do it while a child is shown doing it; then the pose is done a second time. Next comes an interlude of music (songs about the joy of nature, we're all one, etc.) while we watch scenes of nature and of kids running around. Then another pose. Over a dozen poses are shown, very briefly and without much attention to form.
I bought this tape on impulse, thinking my 6-year-old and I could do it together, but we both ended up being frustrated with the tape. The main problem is the episodic format: You get all geared up, do a pose, and then everything stops dead for 3 minutes while a song comes on. The tape is too choppy to be relaxing or invigorating, not quite silly enough to be really fun, and not challenging (except for trying to stand on one foot!).
The tape is advertised as being for kids aged 3-10. I think it would be better for kids at the low end of that scale--they might enjoy dancing around between poses, and it would fit their short attention span. Two or more kids might enjoy doing it together, too. I suspect older kids (8-10) would find the tape too easy and too silly. The tape seems to be aimed at parents who are really into yoga, who could give their kids pointers on the asanas and who want to teach their kids the yoga philosophy (interconnectedness of life). Not a keeper for me.