This week I was able to use this book to teach yoga to a group of primary school children.
The Stories are all about how the magical seahorse uses yoga to help his friends in the ocean. You will meet The Starfish Brothers, Eel, Crab and Octopus, each has their own story and their own version of the sun sequence.
I used the first story featuring The Starfish Brothers as I was working with fully able bodied children aged five. The other stories adapt the sun sequence for children in wheelchairs, Children with Autism and older children who may also struggle with standing.
The characters are very friendly and easily accessible for the children to be involved with. The colourful illustrations help to engage the children with these characters. The words are easy to follow and easy to read to the children, or for older children to read themselves. I think this makes the book work on lots of different levels and can be used in school but also at home. I like the fact that in the stories yoga is used to help with physical and mental difficulties that the characters are facing and has a very positive message about yoga.
The illustrated movements of the sun sequence are also very clear and easy to follow. You can also print off a copy of the posters with all the movements on, via a related website, which is a great resource for teachers and parents alike.
Once you have performed the sun sequence with the children, the story continues and suggests that someone else leads the group through the sun sequence. I didn’t do this with my group of children because it was a large group which I had not previously worked with and felt, I needed to remain in charge. However with a smaller group or a group I was maybe more familiar with I could see how this might be fun.
The only thing I wasn’t overly keen on was the version of the sun sequence used in the first story which was supposed to be for the age group I was teaching, three to five. I instead used the full version of the sequence which appears later in the book, in a second story featuring the Starfish Brothers. I felt that it offered more movement and more fun for the children and they were more than capable of following the sequence.
I would recommend this book to teachers and parents alike and feel you need to have no real experience of yoga in order to use it.