Help Children Relax at Bedtime

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December 4, 2017

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Excerpted from Good Night Yoga. Written by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder.

Mariam Gates holds a master’s in education from Harvard University and has more than 20 years’ experience working with children. Her renowned Kid Power Yoga™ program combines her love of yoga with teaching to help children access their inner gifts. See kidpoweryoga.com.

 

 

Illustrator Sarah Jane Hinder creates acrylic artwork for a variety of children’s book, including Good Night YogaGood Morning Yoga, The Three Little Pigs, and The Elves and the Shoemaker. She lives in Manchester, England, with her husband and two chihuahuas. See sarahjanehinder.com.

Mariam Gates

Photo of ()\

Mariam Gates holds a master’s in education from Harvard University and has more than 20 years’ experience working with children. Her renowned Kid Power Yoga™ program combines her love of yoga with teaching to help children access their inner gifts. For more, visit kidpoweryoga.com.

Also By Author

Meet the Author of Good Morning Yoga

The Author
Mariam Gates holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard University and is the creator of Kid Power Yoga. She is the author of the bestselling Good Night Yoga and many other yoga-related books for children. Mariam’s favorite yoga pose is Tree. She lives in Northern California. For more, see mariamgates.com.

Good Morning Yoga Book Cover

The Book

Good Morning Yoga is a board book version of the bestselling picture book. Targeted for the littlest yogis, ages 0–4, it is the perfect introduction to simple yoga poses at an early age, encouraging children to enjoy moving their bodies, using their imaginations, and learning a new skill.

 

 

 

 

 

The-Monster-at-the-End-of-This-Book

What was your favorite book as a child? 

 

My absolute favorite book as a child was The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and illustrated by Michael Smollin. (Though on the cover, it really just gives credit to “lovable, furry old Grover.”)

 

It is the original “interactive” book. As a child, the fact that Grover was speaking directly to me, the reader, and that I was in on (and affecting) the progression of the story was nothing short of magical. It was my first experience of feeling amazed, surprised, and delighted by what could happen in the pages of a book—a feeling that has obviously never left.

All of my books are “interactive,” and my hope is that children feel that kind of connection and magic when they read them. I want young readers to be transported and to feel how each word and each image was created as a gift for them to enjoy.

 

Has your book taken on a new meaning in the world’s current circumstances? Is there anything you would have included in your book if you were writing it now?

I have loved hearing over the years about how teachers and parents incorporate Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story into morning meetings and family routines. But once we went into shelter-in-place in 2020, I started having daily and weekly emails and messages from people around the country. I’ve had the honor of hearing personal stories from teachers who are still using it, but now on Zoom, and parents who use the flow and the visualization at the end as transitions and breaks in their homeschooling schedules. In the midst of all of this separation, it has been an unbelievable gift to be connected to people through the book.

mishavayner

Photo courtesy of Misha Vayner

 

moja.yoga

Photo courtesy of MOJA YOGA

 

What is something that doesn’t make it into your author bio?

In my 20s and 30s I was a hand model! It was an incredibly fun (and lucrative) job. I had always received compliments on my hands, so in graduate school, when I did not have time for a regular employment schedule, I started hand modeling on the side. Mariam hand model

This was back when most things were done in person, so I made an appointment for an interview with Ford Modeling and brought in a set of “handshots.” They signed me on the spot, and I spent several years working in commercials and print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Morning Yoga Book Cover

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Bedtime Visualization: Rocketing to the Moon

Sweet Dreams, Sounds True

Bedtime should be the calmest moment of the day with our kids, but often it is anything but. Whether we are dealing with last-minute pajama changes, tooth brushing negotiations, or we’re trying to corral our kids into their rooms, it can end up being an exasperating time for both kids and parents alike.

There are many reasons bedtime can be hard. The first is that we are tired, and of course they are too, so no one is exactly ‘at their best’ at the end of the day. Another challenge for children is that they are about to say ‘goodbye’ to us for the night and that can bring up anxiety about being on their own. Also, let’s face it, falling asleep can be difficult regardless of age. The shift from active to rest is not easy; especially when you add a mind full of racing thoughts—which is typical for children (and adults) when things get quiet at night.

What is needed is a way to help children settle mentally and physically at bedtime. When they feel safe and at ease, falling asleep gets a lot easier. Guided visualizations are tools to support children in using their own imaginations to let their bodies and minds relax at bedtime.

The visualizations in Sweet Dreams: Bedtime Visualizations for Kids ,by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Leigh Standley, engage children in mini journeys to underwater worlds, a horseback ride through a field, and even into space while helping them naturally shift into relaxation. The fun and gentle exercises move them into a calm state which is essential for a good night’s rest. Each visualization is also short enough that it can be easily added as a ‘final story.’

We invite you to try the “Rocketing to the Moon” visualization from Sweet Dreams and see if it helps make bedtime a little smoother for everyone.

Lie down on your back and bring your legs together, pressing your arms tight against your body. You are a rocket ship going to the moon.

Start bouncing your legs to ignite the engine.
10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . 7 . . . 6 . . .

Now shake, shake, shake your whole body.
5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1. BLAST OFF!!!

As you launch into space, point your toes and make yourself as long as you can.

Take a DEEP BREATH IN and a LONG BREATH OUT. Relax your whole body as you sail through space. You are heading toward the moon.

All around you are bright stars and clusters of asteroids. It’s peaceful and quiet.

The moon is getting bigger and bigger the closer you get.

Thud. YOU HAVE ARRIVED.

Step out of your rocket. Bend and extend your legs to make big steps onto the moon like you are walking in slow motion.

You can see Earth in the distance. It is blue and green, like a jewel hanging in the dark sky. Take some deep breaths in and out and think about Earth and how beautiful it is. Think about how lucky you are to live on such a wonderful planet.

It’s time to climb back into your rocket ship.

Take another DEEP BREATH IN and a LONG BREATH OUT.

YOU ARE HEADING HOME.

 

Mariam Gates, Sounds True

 

 

MARIAM GATES has a master’s degree in education from Harvard University and two decades of experience working with children. She is the author of the bestselling Good Night Yoga series. Mariam likes to spend most days writing, where she can explore underwater depths, fly through the sky, and walk on the moon—all in the same afternoon! She lives with her highly imaginative family in Northern California. Learn more at mariamgates.com.

 

 

 

Leigh Standley, Sounds True

 

 

 

LEIGH STANDLEY is the artist, writer, and owner of Curly Girl Design, Inc. She creates art for greeting cards, calendars, journals, wall art, and more, and her art is sold throughout the U.S. and around the world. Leigh resides in Boston with her husband and twin little people. She can’t live without yoga, her family, Snickers, and Lucy the Wonder Dog. Leigh believes in magic and is quite certain that given a cape and a nice tiara she could save the world. Learn more at curlygirldesign.com.

Sweet Dreams, Sounds True

 

 

Available at your favorite bookseller

Amazon

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IndieBound

Sounds True

Help Children Relax at Bedtime

Looking for more great reads?

 

Excerpted from Good Night Yoga. Written by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder.

Mariam Gates holds a master’s in education from Harvard University and has more than 20 years’ experience working with children. Her renowned Kid Power Yoga™ program combines her love of yoga with teaching to help children access their inner gifts. See kidpoweryoga.com.

 

 

Illustrator Sarah Jane Hinder creates acrylic artwork for a variety of children’s book, including Good Night YogaGood Morning Yoga, The Three Little Pigs, and The Elves and the Shoemaker. She lives in Manchester, England, with her husband and two chihuahuas. See sarahjanehinder.com.

You Might Also Enjoy

Mindful Movement: Walking Meditation 101

The Here and Now

What if you could change your life by doing one thing for just ten seconds each day? What if this thing would make you more contented, more grounded, and less stressed?

Welcome to mindfulness.

We spend almost all of our time worrying about two things: what has already happened (the past) and what hasn’t happened yet (the future). This only makes us miserable. The past is over, so there’s nothing we can do about it. And the future isn’t something we should be thinking about right now—unless we’re taking concrete action toward a goal.

Mindfulness breaks us out of this pattern by turning our awareness to the simple moments of life as they happen. We laser in on our senses as we’re experiencing them, and we feel them deeply.

So, the way to “be deep” is to focus on what’s going on right now.

I have two favorite ways to zap into the present moment.

The first way is to briefly tune in to my breath a few times a day. Set an alarm on your watch or phone to go off at three set times during the day. When it goes off, close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Notice how the breath feels as it flows in and out. Let go of whatever else is going on in your mind. Then open your eyes and go back to your day.

The second way is to tune in to the little details of the day. Say you’re picking up a water bottle. Consider this: How does the bottle feel in your hand? Is it heavy or light? When you take a sip of the water, how does it feel on your tongue? Is it cool or warm? What does it taste like? Try this exercise with one small act each day.

deepMINDFUL MOVEMENT: Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is a great way to de-stress and get centered while moving your body and getting some fresh air. It takes only a few minutes, so you can do it almost anywhere.

  1. The next time you’re walking down the street, start by getting your senses alert. Tune in to the pace of your steps and fall into the rhythm of the steps. What do they sound like?
  2. Turn your attention to an object you see as you’re walking. It might be a sign, a tree, or a building. Look intently at that object and observe it without labeling it. Just notice it.
  3. Now turn your attention to the noises that surround you. Don’t label them. Just listen.
  4. Finally, turn your attention to your breathing. Is it fast and shallow or slow and deep? Take a few deep breaths and continue with your steady pace.
  5. When you finish your walking meditation, take a minute and pause before reentering your day. Notice the way your body and mind feel. Carry that alertness and presence with you into the rest of your day

walking meditation

This is an excerpt from the chapter “Be Deep” from Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food by Sadie Radinsky.

 

sadie radinskySadie Radinsky is a 19-year-old blogger and recipe creator. For over six years, she has touched the lives of girls and women worldwide with her award-winning website, wholegirl.com, where she shares paleo treat recipes and advice for living an empowered life. She has published articles and recipes in national magazines and other platforms, including Paleo, Shape, Justine, mindbodygreen, and The Primal Kitchen Cookbook. She lives in the mountains of Los Angeles. For more, visit wholegirl.com.

 

 

 

 

whole girl bookSounds True | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Indiebound

Vegan Salted Caramel

Vegan Salted Caramel

From the book, Whole Girl by Sadie Radinsky

Yield: Serves 10

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 – 5 apples, sliced, for dipping

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Whisk together the coconut sugar and coconut milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the mixture has started boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low and let the caramel simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, whisking every couple minutes. If it starts to smell very strong, remove from heat; it could be burning. When the caramel appears to have thickened considerably and darkened in color, remove from heat.
  3. Slowly whisk in the vanilla extract, coconut oil, and sea salt. Let the caramel cool for at least 10 minutes, to thicken up more. Pour the caramel into a small jar. I recommend serving it with sliced apples for a healthy snack. Store any leftover caramel in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

salted caramel

sadie radinsky

Sadie Radinsky is a 19-year-old blogger and recipe creator. For over six years, she has touched the lives of girls and women worldwide with her award-winning website, wholegirl.com, where she shares paleo treat recipes and advice for living an empowered life. She has published articles and recipes in national magazines and other platforms, including Paleo, Shape, Justine, mindbodygreen, and The Primal Kitchen Cookbook. She lives in the mountains of Los Angeles. For more, visit wholegirl.com.

Setting Intentions to Clear the Mind

Clear Your Mind

Do you ever feel like your brain might burst? Right this minute, my mind is simultaneously processing way too many thoughts:

Need to walk the dogs.

Text my friend back.

Tomorrow’s physics final.

College applications.

Need to make lunch.

What time do I have to wake up tomorrow?

It seems as though my mind is always on overload. But I’m not actually getting anything done. Why is this?

It’s because our brains aren’t meant to hold this much information. Science shows that we can only store a maximum of three or four things at once in our conscious mind, also known as our “working memory.” When we hold on to more than this, our brains become like messy rooms—cluttered and full of junk, so we can’t find anything. No wonder I feel so overwhelmed and disorganized.

clear final

 

I Intend

Another way we can be clear is by setting intentions each morning. Intentions are state- ments for how we would like to go about our day. Unlike a goal, an intention doesn’t require any steps to reach a certain objective. It’s simply a way to be.

Intentions work like magic. They affect our behavior, how our day goes, and even what things “happen” to us. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Make your intentions at a set time each day, such as right after waking up. Take a deep breath. Notice how you feel. Do you have pain anywhere in your body? What is the first thought that pops into your mind? Is your brain racing with stress or worry? Pay attention to all of it.
  2. Ask yourself, What do I want to bring into this day? Breathe and listen to your body’s answer.
  3. Roll over, grab a pen and notebook, and write down three intentions for the day. Be sure to state them all in the affirmative. (For example, “I will practice forgiveness” rather than “I will not hold a grudge.”) Here is a sample:

I will be patient with myself.

I will listen intently to others. 

I will speak out of kindness.

  1. Read over your list. Let your intentions seep in. It might help to read them out loud. When you feel satisfied, seal the practice with another deep breath. Throughout your day, whenever you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or stressed, think back to those statements.

This is an excerpt from the chapter “Be Clear” from Whole Girl: Live Vibrantly, Love Your Entire Self, and Make Friends with Food by Sadie Radinsky.

 

sadie radinskySadie Radinsky is a 19-year-old blogger and recipe creator. For over six years, she has touched the lives of girls and women worldwide with her award-winning website, wholegirl.com, where she shares paleo treat recipes and advice for living an empowered life. She has published articles and recipes in national magazines and other platforms, including Paleo, Shape, Justine, mindbodygreen, and The Primal Kitchen Cookbook. She lives in the mountains of Los Angeles. For more, visit wholegirl.com.

 

 

 

 

whole girl bookSounds True | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Indiebound

  • Yuko Kasai says:

    I LOVE this page‼️ Very easy to grasp the meaning of visualization or mediation, which seems a little bit difficult for little ones. And it makes easy to pratice for them. The Japanese translator , Mrs. Sayuri Ito, put the words “Yoga with dreaming″, or “Yoga in a sleeping pose″ (more literally).

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