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Little Yogi Deck: Simple Yoga Practices to Help Kids Move Through Big Emotions (Cards)
A colorful card deck featuring 48 simple yoga and mindfulness practices to help kids work through big emotions on and off the mat.
“Little Yogi Deck will be every parent’s best friend. A much-needed resource to help children cultivate emotional intelligence…” —Tracee Stanley, author of Radiant Rest and Empowered Life Self-Inquiry Oracle
Sometimes our emotions are too much to handle, and we need help understanding and processing what we are feeling. The Little Yogi Deck teaches kids how to recognize and navigate these big emotions by introducing yoga and mindfulness as tools they can use to feel calmer and more in control. The deck makes important topics like strengthening attention, increasing self-awareness, and soothing the nervous system fun and easy to understand through poses like “The Wet Noodle,” “Toe-ga,” and “Grasshopper Flow.” The 48 cards are organized into eight color-coded categories—anger, worry, excitement, sadness, joy, jealousy, shame, and peace—to give kids specific practices for the variety of emotions they might be experiencing. Along with a practice, each card also features a vibrant illustration to visually depict the pose or activity. To offer additional support to parents, teachers, and caregivers, the deck includes a booklet explaining the approach for developing emotional intelligence in children through the practices offered.
About the Author
CRYSTAL MCCREARY is a yoga, mindfulness, and health educator, actor, speaker, and writer. She consults for CUNY Hunter’s public health department research studies on the impact of mindfulness on health outcomes for youth. She serves on the Yoga Alliance Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Advisory Committee and is currently involved with organizations that aim to support youth with embodied contemplative practice including Mindful Schools and Bent on Learning. Crystal’s programs and continued collaboration with schools in New York City, organizations, and corporations emphasize self-care as the gateway to social justice and community healing. Crystal graduated from Stanford University with a BA in African and African American studies and completed The American Conservatory Theater’s Master of Fine Arts program in Acting and works as a health educator at a K-12 independent school in New York City.
“I love, love, love the Little Yogi Deck. It is designed to support children in becoming mindful of their emotional states and teaches ways of expressing those emotions through movement practices. Becoming emotionally articulate is an invaluable life skill. Learning to identify and manage emotions keeps children from becoming overwhelmed and acting out in ways that can be harmful to themselves and others. The deck teaches self-regulation and self-soothing strategies that are fun, engage imagination, and support creativity. Every child should have access to this deck of cards. Every household and school system should make them available. Even though the deck was intended for children, adults can benefit too. I, for one, plan to get a deck for myself.” —Gail Parker, PhD, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, psychologist, yoga therapist, author of Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma
“Little Yogi Deck will be every parent’s best friend. A much-needed resource to help children cultivate emotional intelligence, it is filled with accessible and fun tools that will create the foundation for radiant health, well-being, and empowerment.” —Tracee Stanley, author of Radiant Rest and Empowered Life Self-Inquiry Oracle
“As a mother to a four-year-old, former school teacher, yoga and meditation teacher, and author, I appreciate Crystal McCreary’s Little Yogi Deck on so many levels. This deck is thoughtful, culturally relevant, informed by depth practice and study of yoga, and contains practices that are accessible to little people. The names of the practices and poses are intentional, age appropriate, and still honor the traditional names and origin. The directions are easy to follow and clear. The accompanying images reflect the diversity that our children come in. My son saw the deck and said, ‘Mama I can see myself being a yoga person like that kid. That looks fun!’ while pointing to one of the images. This deck is a must for little people, parents, educators, and yoga teachers everywhere.” —Octavia Raheem, author of Gather
“What a great resource for youth and the adults who are caring for them! The Little Yogi Deck is an accessible tool that will help young people build embodied awareness and intelligence, which is a vital life skill to cultivate.” —Hala Khouri, MA, SEP, E-RYT, author of Peace from Anxiety: Get Grounded, Build Resilience, and Stay Connected amidst the Chaos
“This beautifully illustrated yoga deck of cards and booklet for children of all colors is a treasure. We see all children enjoying the yoga experience replete with exercises for improved breathing, attentional focus, and emotional release. This is a must-have for children and family fun, especially during these challenging times. It can be used as a guide by caregivers of children or as a practical healthy living tool in educational and therapeutic settings. This is a fun and easy way to use stress reduction tool for children’s healing through yoga. I highly recommend Little Yogi Deck to the diverse children and families I serve as well as to the pediatric health community.” —Linda Anderson, PhD, clinical psychologist, author of Silent Agreements: How to Free Your Relationships of Unspoken Expectations
“Crystal McCreary has created yet another resource to support children in moving through big emotions by engaging movement and mindfulness practices. Given all the uncertainty in the world right now and the ways in which children’s lives have been turned upside down because of a pandemic and system oppression, I cannot think of a better time for this resource to come forth. So many children are encouraged not to express their feelings, and I believe the Little Yogi Deck will support children in developing a healthy coping skill set to respond to all they are moving through right now. I am excited to share this deck with children in my life!” —Michelle Cassandra Johnson, author of Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World
“The Little Yogi Deck is an imaginative way to teach children of all ages how to calm emotions, balance their bodies, and focus their minds with mindfulness and yoga.” —Tara Brach, author of Radical Compassion
“The Little Yogi Deck is a powerful resource for children and adults alike. Normalizing that we all experience a range of emotions, from shame to joy and everything in between, this deck provides easy-to-use exercises to support youth, to connect their minds and bodies, and to stay with their experiences. Through yoga poses and helpful guidance, youth are supported to develop their emotional intelligence and resilience by learning how to identify their emotions and work with them. The use of colors associated with each emotion supports youth to understand their feelings, and the illustrations on each card are fun and inclusive of children from diverse backgrounds. As a career educator and parent, I can easily see how this deck can be used in classrooms and homes alike—by children independently or in small groups, by parents with their children, and by teachers with their whole class. I highly recommend this valuable resource and look forward to using these cards myself!” —Megan Sweet-Mellone, EdD, author of An Educator’s Guide for Using Your 3 Eyes
“Our children, families, and teachers of color need these Little Yogi materials now more than ever before. There are no easy solutions to understanding and managing stress and anxiety. Ms. McCreary offers expert guidance on how children can access their breath and their bodies to help regulate and reduce stress and anxiety. The earlier that children master these skills and connect to their breathing and their bodies, the more emotionally regulated and balanced they will become. In this three-part series, McCreary offers children, families, and teachers an accessible collection of images and information that will teach and strengthen your child’s emotional health and well-being.” —Josie Díaz, PhD, LCSW, clinical psychologist, social worker
“Little ones have lots of feelings—but they don’t always have the words to express them. This deck offers yoga and mindfulness tools to help children process their emotions through movement, breath and mindful practices. Bright illustrations are fun and engaging for kids; parents will appreciate the focus on difficult emotions like anger, worry, excitement, sadness, joy, jealousy, shame, and peace. Using the 48 cards can help everyone feel calmer and more in control.”—Yoga Journal