|c/o Giselle Shardlow|
Why wait until Valentines Day to spread love? LOVE Yoga Cards for Kids makes a heart-warming gift for young yogis all year round.
We spoke with creator, Giselle Shardlow, best-selling author of the Kids Yoga Stories books series, on the inspiration behind this new product and how parents and caregivers can best use it as a teaching tool.
KYD: How did this product idea come about?
GS: I wanted to create a quick and easy way for our community of teachers, parents, and health practitioners to integrate yoga into their celebration of Valentine’s Day. But I also wanted a way to celebrate love and kindness throughout the year. And most importantly, my daughter and I have enjoyed playing yoga card games at home together, so why not on Valentine’s Day, too?
KYD: What is your hope/intention by releasing this product?
GS: My intention with these LOVE yoga cards is that they provide a springboard to talk to children about love and happiness, that we think about what love means to all of us and how it impacts our lives.
KYD: How can heart-opener poses help children? What are the unique benefits of these asanas?
GS: These LOVE Yoga Cards for Kids include...a combination of backbends, chest openers, and shoulder stretches, all of which are great heart openers. By opening our heart through creative movement, we open ourselves to the magic of giving and receiving love. On a physical level, heart openers are also great to stretch the front part of our body. This helps counter the effects of a slouchy posture while sitting at a deck or computer for long periods of time. Heart openers also help to energize your body, which could help with focus and concentration at a time during the day when you need a little lift. With your heart and chest open, you can breathe fully and slowly into your chest and belly, instead of shallow breathing with a rounded, slouched back. Heart-opening yoga postures help release emotions, build confidence, and open your heart to receive love.
|c/o Giselle Shardlow|
KYD: How should the affirmations be practiced? In conjunction with practicing poses? How does the practice of repeating affirmations benefit kids?
GS: Each yoga pose is coupled with an affirmation, which is optional. The affirmations are meant to open the heart and build self-esteem and self-confidence. You might choose to become familiar with the heart-opening yoga sequence before introducing the affirmations, or you might jump in and say each affirmation as you try the LOVE yoga flow.
There is also a Loving-Kindness Meditation at the end of the card deck to read aloud while the children are in the final resting pose. The purpose of this meditation is to develop a practice of sending love and kindness to ourselves, to others, and out into the world.