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Little Flower Yoga for Kids


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Written specifically for parents and kids, the book aims at teaching children to pay attention, increase focus, and balance their emotions-all while building physical strength and flexibility. Based on a growing body of evidence that yoga and mindfulness practices can help children develop focus and concentration, the simple yoga exercises in this book can easily be integrated into their child's daily routine, ultimately improving health, behavior, and even school achievement.

About the Author

Jennifer Cohen Harper, MA, E RCYT, is a leading voice in the children's yoga community. She is the founder and director of Little Flower Yoga, a national organization based in New York, and an active member of the Yoga Service Council and the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Harper leads the well respected Little Flower Yoga Teacher Training for Children program, provides therapeutic yoga classes to children and families, and frequently collaborates with other organizations to bring yoga for children to places as diverse as tent cities in Port au Prince, Haiti and FAO Schwarz retail stores in Manhattan, NY. Jennifer C. Harper lives in the greater New York City area. Foreword writer Daniel J. Siegel, MD, is an internationally acclaimed author, award-winning educator, and child psychiatrist. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he also serves as a co-investigator at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. He is also the executive director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions and communities. His books include Mindsight, The Developing Mind, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, Parenting From the Inside Out, and The Whole-Brain Child. He lives in Los Angeles, CA, with his wife and two children.


Harper [Cohen], founder and director of the New York-based national organization Little Flower Yoga, explains the general tenets of yoga, as well as the elements of her program in this parent- and child-friendly guide. The interrelated traditions of yoga and mindfulness, Harper asserts, can help children learn awareness and self-regulation, relieve stress, and increase focus. The core of the book is devoted to the five Little Flower components: connect, breathe, move, focus, and relax. The sections provide yoga poses (asana), breathing techniques, and meditations, and are clearly illustrated so parents can readily follow and teach. Harper also walks readers through the eight limbs of yoga, and clearly explains how yoga strengthens 'the thoughtful brain' (the prefrontal cortex) so children feel 'calm, safe, secure and unconditionally accepted.' Advice on how to bring yoga off the mat and into other parts of a child's life (school, friendships) is also offered. Written with clarity and compassion, Harper's guide will inspire parents and educators to use the tools of yoga to help children overcome daily stress and live with greater emotional balance; the text is also likely to prompt adult readers to step up their own yoga practice.
--Publishers Weekly
"Little Flower Yoga for Kids is a wonderful introduction to present-moment awareness and mindfulness through a grounded and playful yoga practice. It is an inspiring resource for children and their parents."
--Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and Lovingkindness
"Little Flower Yoga for Kids is an excellent guidebook for parents and educators seeking a program that will help children with focus and balance. Cohen Harper does a masterful job of simplifying the practices of yoga while maintaining the integrity of the tradition. She divides activities into handy categories like connecting, breathing, moving, focusing, and relaxing--all of which offer a comprehensive set of tools for parents to support the growth of the whole family. The perfect manual for making kids and parents more aware of the magic of mindfulness."
--Beryl Bender Birch, director and founder of the Hard and the Soft Yoga Institute and the Give Back Yoga Foundation
"Bridging the science of yoga for children with practical application, Cohen Harper demonstrates her extensive experience as an educator and kids' yoga teacher with this indispensable resource for parents, educators, therapists, and other adults who care deeply for the children in their lives. Whether you are new to the practice or an experienced Yogi, Little Flower's five essential elements of yoga for children will provide you with an accessible framework for sharing yoga with kids. This thoughtfully written book includes information such as how to set up a yoga space and which props to use; dozens of child-friendly meditation activities, breathing exercises, and poses; and the science behind it all, providing the reader with a comprehensive approach to promoting mindfulness, focus, and resilience."
--Lisa Flynn, founder of ChildLight Yoga and Yoga 4 Classrooms and author of the Yoga 4 Classrooms Card Deck and Yoga for Children
"I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning practical ways to integrate health and wellness into the lives of children. Even someone with no prior experience in yoga or mindfulness can utilize this content immediately to bring more balance to daily home life. Cohen Harper masterfully weaves theory and practice in a format that dispels any mystery around these ancient practices, making them accessible for folks wanting to find a little more focus and peace."
--Abby Wills, MA, cofounder of Shanti Generation
"Jennifer Cohen Harper's Little Flower Yoga for Kids is a clear, thoughtful, distinctive guide to the world of children's yoga. A must-read for the journey. It is a great addition to my training resource list."
--Joanne Spence, executive director of Yoga in Schools

"Body awareness enables people of all ages to be present in the here and now, an uncommon state these days. Cohen Harper helps young children to begin to move and connect their breathing with their bodies, from head to toe. Starting yoga at a young age plants a seed that will provide innumerable benefits later on, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. This book can be easily utilized and understood by many."
--Gina M. Biegel, MA, LMFT, is a psychotherapist, founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program for Teens (MBSR-T), and author of The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens "This delightful book is an integration of the author's experience both as classroom teacher and a yoga teacher. Clearly and succinctly, Cohen Harper shows how dynamic mindfulness skills such as yoga, breathing techniques, and meditation can help children flourish in school and in life. It is as much a guide for children as it is for the adults around them, helping all with stress management, self-awareness, and emotion regulation. With one in two children dropping out of our inner-city schools, there is no time like the present for widespread dissemination and adoption of these foundational, time-tested, transformative practices."
--Bidyut K. Bose, PhD, founder and executive director of the Niroga Institute at

"Stress is an epidemic in our society. Kids not only carry the stress of their own lives, but also absorb the anxiety that comes from the adults closest to them. This book is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers to teach our kids the essential life skills they need to thrive in a world that grows more complicated by the day. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to teach their child how to be happy, healthy, and well balanced."
--Tim Ryan, congressman and author of A Mindful Nation
"The curriculum's fluid and organic incorporation of 'connect, breathe, move, focus, and relax' ensure that students will have a full and joyful experience each time they are on the mat and practicing yoga. My favorite parts are the laughter, the connection, and the 'a-ha' moments that are a part of her classes every day!"
--Susan Verde, parent
"This book is infused with joy! Every page offers wisdom and essential skills with a delightful, gentle playfulness. Jennifer Cohen Harper shares the historical foundations of yoga and mindfulness and the complex neuroscience regarding their benefits in simple, accessible writing. The joyful process of sharing these sweet practices with your child will have profound benefits for both your child and you."
--Amy Saltzman, MD
"This resource will empower school staff and students, and makes a solid contribution to the school yoga-mindfulness movement."
--Karma Carpenter Shea, founder of the International Association for School Yoga and Mindfulness at

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