Move, Play, Breathe

We all know the benefits of yoga for people of every age.  Let me preface this blog by stating that I am an amateur yogi.  I have participated in yoga classes and do light yoga at home but I am by no means a yoga instructor.  We have been using yoga with the kids in our social adventures groups to help them with emotional and physical self-regulation.   In the group kids take turns choosing a card from a yoga card deck, standing on our “yoga mat” (which is really a colorful area rug placed over wall-to-wall industrial carpet), and leading the group in the yoga pose.   Lately, our kids have been grumbling.  “I don’t want to do his pose,”  “I don’t feel like doing that”, “I don’t like yoga”, and so on.

Enter, The Adventures of Super Stretch, a fun yoga app for kids.  A cartoon super hero introduces the concept that breathing, calmness, and positive energy can be achieved through yoga.  Immediately, Super Stretch, floating in space with cape flying, begins talking about yoga, and engages our young kids quickly.  Andrew chooses the frog pose by touching one of the 12 cutely illustrated pictures on the screen.  Fierce the Frog jumps around as Super Stretch talks about how a frog moves.  Next, 2 young children appear on the screen demonstrating the yoga pose or action as Super Stretch talks.  Finally, calm music continues until another pose is chosen.   We show the pose, repeat it as many times as necessary, then turn the iPad around so only the music is playing as the kids assume the yoga pose.

One of my favorite parts of this app is that the children on the screen are quite young and their efforts are age appropriate and imperfect.  Andrew, who chose the pose, has motor planning challenges and often says “I don’t want to do that” when he fears he cannot do what is asked.  When the kids on the screen wobble around and lose their balance Andrew is able to drum up sufficient courage to try each yoga pose.

I didn’t intend to make this an app review but Super Stretch Yoga is a fun and functional app that is easy to use and so effective, I couldn’t resist…Namaste.

Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

If you found the ideas in this blog helpful, you will definitely appreciate the activity ideas in the Social Adventures app available on the Social Adventures - all4mychild 

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