Always Be Dancing

Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: 3 Books by Florenza Lee

3 Books by Florenza Lee:

IMG_5219 (1)Barry Bear’s Very Best: Learning To Say No To Negative Influences by Florenza Lee; Illustrated by Michelle Wynn

I really like how the main character, the mindless dog, is an analogy to the way our thoughts run rampant in our heads, like a dog mindlessly chasing its tail. Relentless and mind numbing. This book does a great job introducing deep belly breathing and the use of chanting to bring focus and calm. The chant is cute and memorable. I really like the straight forward approach of this book and it can be shared not only with children but pre-teens and up as well.

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The Tail Of Max The Mindless Dog: A Children’s Book on Mindfulness by Florenza Lee; Illustrated by Michelle Wynn

 This book addresses the very heavy and real life topics of drugs, bullying and bad choices through the very positive eyes of a young bear who is of strong conviction and knows that striving to be the best he can be is the way to live a happy, satisfying life. He is a wonderful role model and because of the deepness of the topics, it can be shared with children as well as pre-teens and up as well. It is a very accessible story highlighting goodness in oneself.

IMG_5221 (1)Welcome Home Daddy Love, Lexi: “Hi, I am…” Book Series by Florenza Lee; Illustrated by Maria Guevara

This is a very deep, reflective and richly detailed story of a very important topic. It is beautifully written with such love and compassion and I am sure speaks truly of this sacrifice of the whole military family unit. It was hard to read without tearing up. This story highlights the courage and strength of these families

This dynamic trio of straight forward help book are full of positive characters who face adversity but are able to remain true to themselves and use self-determination, courage and self-respect to fight against the odds. These are strong books and they need to be heard! These are especially good for addressing trauma and for learning how to be strong and courageous!

Thank you to Florenza Lee for sending me these books. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation For Kids & Mindful Me Activity Book by Whitney Stewart

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Mindful Me: Mindfulness and Meditation For Kids & Mindful Me Activity Book by Whitney Stewart; pictures by Stacy Peterson

This dynamic duo of mindfulness books for the mid-grade reader is the perfect gateway into understanding mindfulness and is just jam-packed with short & simple mindful activities, such as meditation, yoga, short self-focused quizzes and journaling to help the young discover the joys and benefits of mindfulness. The book, Mindful Me, is written in a really nice, kind voice as if a good friend is talking to you; it just makes sense for the the preteen mind. I also really appreciate the the book keeps adults (grown-up figures the youth can turn to) present and reminds the youth to reach out to these adults for help. I would also add that the book is great or teens and adults as well and could easily be incorporated into a yoga program or a classroom to bring up topics and activities to increase mindfulness. The accompanying activity book follows along , highlighting the activities in the book. I really love the little notebook feel and the graph paper background. It just begs to be filled in! The activities bolster creativity while bringing the focus to the present moment. I really enjoyed the thoughtful question & answer sections that are written with maturity for the growing mind but are light enough to not be overwhelming. This book-duo is an awesome addition to the mindfulness for kids book and fills a much needed niche for the preteen reader. I highly recommend them both-they would make a great gift!

Thank you to Whitney Stewart for sending me copies of these books. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Angry Octopus: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite

Angry Octopus: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite

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This is a very well-crafted relaxation story that takes you, step-by-step, through active progressive muscular relaxation meditation.  The story pays special attention to bringing attention to feelings and sensations and it highlights important concepts such as self-reflection, body awareness and cooperation. This is a great book to read aloud to your own children as well as any children you have the opportunity to read to! It makes a great addition to a yoga class or a bedtime ritual and school teachers could use it to help their students relax. The sea creatures are adorable and I love the brightly colored palette and the blurred background lends to the feeling of being under the sea. This book pairs perfectly with Angry Octopus: Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm by Lori Lite (see my review here). Together, they pack a power punch and are great books to help children to enjoy being calm and aware.

 


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: I Have My Baby, My Baby Has Me by Josh Mortensen

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: I Have My Baby, My Baby Has Me by Josh Mortensen; Art by Carol Gisler

Right off the bat, I was taken with the beautiful watercolors. The artist, Carol Gisler, pays incredible attention to the details of the natural world with her color palette, brushwork and loving touch and the over-palette of blue and green is extremely  soothing and relaxing. The written prose flow effortlessly and are very inventive. I love the choice of words and how they play with each other, creating soft, sing-song poetry as you read aloud. Your child will be enchanted by the beautiful words and the gorgeous illustrations.

Congratulations! This is a lovely book! I highly recommend it. I just included it in my latest blog post: 19 Books About Mindfulness for Kids, 2 Activity Books and a Deck of Cards, too. (http (colon slash slash) bit (dot) ly/2HXKKxB)

Thank you to Magpie Children’s Books for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

 


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19 Books About Mindfulness for Kids, 2 Activity Books and a Deck of Cards, too


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: A Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Sentence Completion and Feelings Cards by Dr. Karen Treisman

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These cards are so engaging and fun and so very useful! I have been using them all month during my “I Am…” unit in my youth yoga and mindfulness classes. The pictures are easily associated with the sentence completion and feeling cards and are great visual cues, making the deck usable with the very young as well as those with special needs. The accompanying booklet is great and offers practical usages for the cards that also allow for a lot of creativity.

The other day in my yoga class (the kids run in age from 5-18), we first went through all the feelings cards and the kids offered up some of their own. I then handed out the more difficult, stronger feelings cards and each child pantomimed the feeling while the rest of the class guessed at what it was. We then played a game of opposites and each child chose a yoga pose that made them feel the opposite of their feeling card (i.e. hurt: choose a pose that makes you feel safe; surprised: choose a yoga pose that makes you feel calm…). We of course played this round robin, so every few minutes I signaled that is was time to switch mats and so round we went making up roughly 20 poses each that helped us to feel safe, calm and in-control of our feelings. To top it off, I set my phones alarm to gently ring every 11 minutes and when it did ring, we all had to stop everything we were doing and do a 5-finger breathing exercises. There was so much fun and play between the laughter and the silence throughout the class. Namaste!!

I highly recommend this deck as an aide for therapy as well as for yoga teachers, classrooms, homes…they are great conversation starters! These cards are excellent for opening up communication all about “I Am….”

Thank you to JK Publishing for sending me this deck. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book reviews By Eve: Everyday Kundalini: Yoga, Meditation, Mantras and Breathing to Empower and Transform Your Life by Kathryn McCusker

 

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I knew this was going to be a great book from the get-go as I have been bit by the Kundalini bug and am hungering for knowledge. This book does a great job of hitting on the main points of Kundalini from the history to the subtle body to the therapeutic benefits and offers up a variety of meditations with easy to follow directions accompanied by clear pictures.

I was most inspired by the Sodarshan Chakra Kriya and have committed to a 40 day journey with it. I am starting a little lighter than the author (I am starting with an 11 minute version) but I was immediately drawn to the power of this meditation and after a little online research, I had the tools to begin.

This is book is a great kick off to the understanding of the amazing power of Kundalini yoga. It is a great addition to my personal yoga and mindfulness library and I highly recommend it. It will be a great companion to my expanding Kundalini practice.

Videos by Kathryn McCusker:

What is Kundalini?

What are the benefits of Kundalini?

Everyday Kundalini: Meditation to release anger

Thank you to Watkins Wisdom for sending me this book. All opinions expressed are my own.