To see the list for adults, click here.
This list contains yoga and mindfulness resources that address one or more common needs of adopted children:
- Family bonding and attachment
- Awareness of internal states and emotion regulation
- Self-regulation and sensory integration
- Physical and cognitive health
- Healthy self-concept
- “Adaptive” practices for special needs.
We also encourage you to practice yoga with your child and to embrace a trauma-sensitive attitude toward the practice by considering the following suggestions:
- Use invitational language that empowers your child to explore poses and practice in ways that feel comfortable and safe to him or her (e.g., “Let’s experiment…”, “If you choose…”, “If it feels okay to you, let’s try…”, “How does your body want to be in this pose?”).
- Ask for permission to touch your child before assisting them or doing partner poses together. Modify poses by using a wall or chair if he/she chooses not to be touched.
- Offer “safer” options (e.g., child’s pose) if a pose seems too vulnerable and/or triggers trauma.
- Focus on connection and play, rather than the “correctness” of the poses.
- Trust your child’s instincts about his or her body’s needs, including how to modify a pose, how long to hold it, and how long to practice more generally.
- View your family practice as “planting seeds.” Affirm the moments that your child participates, as opposed to expressing frustration when he or she seems resistant to practicing.
- If you child seems uncomfortable with the word “pose” due to any negative associations with it, consider using “shape” or “form” instead.
To navigate this list effectively,
- Decide which format(s) would work best for you and/or your child (instructional book, MP3, CD, storybook, DVD, online video or mobile app*)
- Find the section that lists the options for that format and “preview” the material that interests you to make sure it feels like a good fit for you and/or your child’s needs
- Consider your price range**
- Return to this guide for more ideas as you and/or your child’s interests and abilities emerge.
Note that the listed age ranges are only recommendations. Also, a consistent practice is most effective; five minutes a day is better than one longer session a week.
*Format Key: P=Print; K=Kindle; PM=Prime Member; KU: Kindle Unlimited; MP=MP3; CD=Audio CD
**Amazon Pricing Key: $0= Free; $=$5 and under; $$= $6-$15; $$$=$16-$25; $$$$=more than $25
(Disclaimer: This guide includes affiliate links.)
Yoga and Mindfulness Instructional Guides, MP3s, and CDs for Children and Families
- Little Flower Yoga: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance (J.C. Harper, $$P, $$$K)
- Yoga Calm for Children: Educating Heart, Mind, and Body (Linnea and James Gillen, $$$$P)
- Sensory Yoga for Kids: Therapeutic Movement for Children of All Abilities (B. Collins, $$$P)
- Storytime Yoga: Teaching Yoga to Children through Story; Storytime Yoga: The Treasure in Your Heart; and Buried Moon: Yoga and Stories for Children During Difficult Times (S. Solis; $$$P, $$K) 1
- Yoga for You and Your Child: A Step-by-Step Guide to Enjoying Yoga with Children ($$$+)
- Mindfulness and Yoga Skills for Children and Adolescents: 115 Activities for Trauma, Self-Regulation, Special Needs, and Anxiety (B. Neiman; $$$P,K)
- The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress, Become Happier, Kinder and More Compassionate (S. Greenland; $$P,K)
- A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents How to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions (A. Saltzman; $$$$P,K)
- A Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Young Children (A. Salzman; $$$CD,MP; $0PM)
- A Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Teens (A. Salzman; $$CD; MP; $0PM)
- Sitting Still Like A Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids and Parents (E. Snel; Book w/CD; $$P,K)
Yoga and Mindfulness Storybooks for Kids
- Kids Yoga Stories storybook series (G. Shardlow)
- Goodnight Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story and Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Wake Up Story (M. Gates; $$P,K)
- Sleepy Little Yoga: A Toddler’s Sleepy Book of Yoga and Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga (R. Whitford; $$P)
- Visiting Feelings (L. Rubenstein; $$P,K; how to relate to all of one’s feelings with mindfulness)
- Ahn’s Anger and Steps and Stones (G. Rubenstein; $$$P, $$K; both deal w/mindfulness for anger)
- Moody Cow Meditates and Moody Cow Learns Compassion (K. MacLean; $$P,K)
- Master of Mindfulness: How to Be Your Own Superhero in Times of Stress (L. Grossman; $$P,K)
- Meditation is an Open Sky: Mindfulness For Kids (Whitney Stewart, $$$P, $$K, $0KU)
- Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids and Imaginations 2: Relaxation Stories and Guided Imagery for Kids (C. Clarke, $$$P, $$K)
Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Activity Cards & Non-Competitive Board Games
Online Yoga and Mindfulness Videos
- Cosmic Kids Yoga YouTube Channel ($0, ages 3 to 8): This YouTube channel features an extensive collection of story-based yoga and mindfulness sessions. (Also available as DVDs)
- Yoga For Kids: AppuSeries on YouTube ($0, ages 3+): This animated series of videos features a young boy doing a wide range of yoga poses with audio voiceover instructions.
- Next Generation Yoga Videos ($0). Each online video is approximately 12 minutes long and geared towards children ages 2 to 7.
- Tree Frog Kids Yoga YouTube Channel ($0, ages 3 to 10): A series of short mini-sessions featuring an adoptive family. Each video focuses on one family yoga activity or strategy.
- GoNoodle.com ($0, ages 3+): A series of video “channels” that promote children’s health. The channels relating to yoga and mindfulness include Empower Tools, Flow, and Brainercise.
- Grokker.com ($0 to $$+): A yoga and fitness video website with a large collection of kids yoga sessions. The first two weeks of use are free. After that, you need to purchase a subscription.
- YogaEd.com ($$$+): Unlimited online yoga class videos for children and teens.
Kids/Family Yoga DVDs
- Move with Me Yoga Action Adventures ($$-$$$, ages 3-8): These DVDs consist of story-based yoga sessions that promote skills such as balance, strength, calm, focus, and resilience.
- Yoga Motion/Once Upon a Mat/Sports Yoga ($$, ages 2.5-8): Each DVD features a series of 3-5 minute themed yoga sessions that can be done individually or together.
- YogaKids Volumes 1-3 and YogaKids2 ($$, w/ Marica Wenig): Volumes 1 to 3 introduces yoga to kids ages 3 to 6. YogaKids2 consists of three 15-minute yoga sessions for kids ages 5 to 12.
- Yoga for Kids ($$, w/ Jodi Komitor, ages 3-8): Both DVDs, “Dino-Mite Adventures” and “Outerspace Blastoff,” have four practices that focus on individual and partner poses.
- Kids World Yoga ($$, ages 6 to 14): This DVD consists of beginner, intermediate, and advanced yoga sessions. The poses, demonstrated by kids, are explained in youth-friendly terms.
- Yoga For Kids: Mind and Body ($$, ages 5 to 12) and Yoga for Kids: Nature and Empowerment ($$, ages 3-8): Both DVDs feature two yoga sessions–one for children and one for families.
- Shanti Generation: Yoga Skills for Youth and Shanti Generation: Partner Yoga for Teens ($$, ages 7-16): Both DVDs present yoga and mindfulness sessions to teach life skills such as calm, empowerment, and peace. Partner Yoga also works for family sessions.
- Family Acro Yoga ($$, ages 3+) This DVD features a series of seated, standing, and “flying” partner poses that family members can do together.
- Yoga for Families: Connect with Your Kids ( $$, ages 4+): A teacher leads a family through a full yoga session consisting of a mix of individual and partner/group poses.
- Rodney Yee: Yoga Journal’s Family Yoga ($$, ages 3 and up): This video shows a family doing yoga together. The parents and children lead and assist various individual and partner poses.
Animated/Illustrated Yoga Apps (iPhone and iPad)
- The Adventures of Super Stretch ($0, ages 3 to 8): “Super Stretch,” an animated Superhero boy, leads kids through a yoga session consisting of poses, breathing activities, and a final relaxation.
- My Little Yoga Lite ($0) and My Little Yoga ($, ages 3 to 6): This app consists of 11 animated poses with written, illustrated, and audio instructions. Each pose also features a story or song.
- Yoga Wiggles ($, ages 3 to 8): This audio-free app consists of an illustrated yoga session consisting of a warm up, main practice, and cool down. Each part can also be done separately.
- Tom and Mimi ($, Iphone only, ages 3-8): An animated storybook featuring the characters Tom and Mimi doing animal yoga poses. An audio voiceover describes the animals and yoga poses.
- Happy Sachi Yoga: Rainbow Zoo ($, ages 3 to 8): This app consists of twelve illustrated yoga poses demonstrated by a panda named Sachi. An optional voiceover provides instructions.
- Wheelchair Exercises ($, ages 4+): This illustrated app includes more than 40 stretches and poses that children can do in their wheelchairs. Visual and written instructions are included.
- Jeeva Finds Courage and Jeeva and the Walking Stick ($, ages 4 to 10): Both storybooks feature a boy who goes on everyday adventures. Yoga poses are interspersed throughout the stories.
- I am Sun, I am Moon; I am Love; and (Ipad only) Kids Yoga Journey’s I am Energy ($, ages 4 to 10): These three yoga storybooks take children on journeys to connect with their inner goodness and light. Written and visual instructions for poses and breathing are included in the stories.
Photo/Video-Based Yoga Apps for Kids (iPhone and iPad)
- YogaKids Collection ($ each, $$ for bundle, iPad only): YogaKids, YogaKids+, and YogaKids++ feature photos and videos of kids with some illustrated/animated backgrounds.
- Yoga for Kids ($, ages 4 to 12, Swiss Studios): This app features 17 poses in “Just for Me” and 6 partner/group poses in “For Me and My Friends.” Visual and audio instructions are included.
- Sing Song Yoga ($0 w/in-app purchases, ages 4 to 10): This app’s yoga sessions feature a teacher singing instructions to kids. Each session has a focus (e.g., bedtime brain break, floor poses).
- Yoga for Kids-Fun Workout for Kids ($, ages 4-10): This app features 30 poses demonstrated by kids. Audio and written instructions, along with two guided relaxation stories, are also included.
- Letter Sound Yoga ($, ages 3-12): This app’s videos, which feature a teacher and her students doing yoga together, demonstrate yoga poses that correspond with the letters of the alphabet.
- 49 Poses ($0, with in-app purchases, ages 5+): This app features seven sets of yoga poses, with each set containing videos of seven poses. Several videos are free, and the others cost .99 each.
- Yoga By Teens ($, ages 10 and up): This app features five yoga sessions by teens and for teens. One of the teen teachers has Down syndrome. Mindfulness, Meditation, and Breathing Apps for Younger Children (iPhone and iPad)
- Meditations for Kids ($, Highly Meditated): This app features ten guided imagery meditations for children, along with six relaxation tracks with nature sounds, animal sounds, and music.
- Mindfulness for Children ($): This app consists of five audio guided mindfulness meditations for children, along with several other relaxing meditations and sounds to help children sleep.
- Take 5 Mindful Minutes and Take Ten Mindful Minutes ($0, Iphone only): Both apps feature a series of guided mindfulness meditations, breathing exercises, and yoga poses.
- Bye-Bye Butterflies: Seven Ways to Breathe out Worry ($): This animated storybook features a hedgehog that learns seven breathing techniques for releasing his worries.
- Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame ($0): Children use breathing to help calm down a creature who experiences difficult feelings due to daily situations. They also help pick the creature’s response.
- Breathing Bubbles ($0): This app helps children develop emotional awareness and regulation by asking them to identify their emotions and breathe along with a specific set of floating bubbles.
- Settle Your Glitter ($0): This app helps children develop emotional awareness and regulation by asking them to identify their emotions, breathe, and watch glitter settle to the bottom of a jar.
- Feeling Mindful Lite ($0) and Feeling Mindful ($): This NIH-funded app uses animated games to teach kids about mindfulness, emotions, and the brain. The free version has fewer activities. Mindfulness, Meditation, and Breathing Apps for Older Children and Adolescents (iPhone and iPad)
- Soul Buddy EN Lite ($0) and Soul Buddy EN ($): iPhone only. A series of guided mindfulness meditations and relaxing music to help older children and teens cope with various life situations
- Sitting Still: A Mindfulness App for Teenagers ($, iPhone only): This app has guided meditations; a meditation timer; body awareness cues; and practice reminders. It also tracks one’s practice.
- Stop, Breathe, Think ($0, w/ in-app purchases): This app has an emotion tracker; a meditation timer; and guided meditations to help with everyday situations. It also tracks one’s practice.
- Take a Chill-Stressed Teens ($): This app features mindfulness tools for managing stress (body awareness check-ins, guided meditations; practice reminders). It also tracks one’s practice.
- Smiling Minds ($0): This app provides age-appropriate guided meditations, asks users to take pre/post-meditation assessments of their current emotions, and tracks their practice over time. Breathing and Relaxation Apps for All Ages (iPhone and iPad)
- We Breathe ($0, iPhone only): This app depicts a contracting and expanding balloon to encourage breathing. Users can customize the breathing speed and set breathing reminders.
- Relax App ($0, with in-app purchases): This app allows users to create colorful sparkling swirls by moving their finger around the screen. Relaxing music plays in the background.
- Zen Garden Two ($0, with in-app purchases, iPhone only): This app consists of a screen of sand in which users can draw designs with their fingers. A relaxing and soothing experience. Other
Online Yoga and Mindfulness Resources for Adoptive Children and Families
- The Trauma Center at JRI: A center for trauma research and the development of mind/body interventions.
- Street Yoga: A non-profit organization bringing trauma-informed yoga to youth.
- Kids Holy Yoga: teaches kids Biblical stories and principles via yoga.
Thanks to Tree Frog Kids Yoga and Elisha Bidwell for compiling this list.