Raising our daughter has been an adventure. Watching her learn has been a miracle.
Today, I would love to share with you one lesson that we have learned along our journey as new parents. We have learned how well Spanish and yoga goes together.
Here’s our journey …
Integrating Spanish and Yoga
As parents, we knew that practicing yoga, learning Spanish, reading together, and traveling the world was important to us.
So, I started practicing yoga postures with Anamika when she was only a few months old. Nothing fancy. I would practice a few poses in the mornings, and she started to copy me. I was actually shocked at how easily she did the postures at such an early age. Then, she would sit on my lap while I sat in a few moments of meditation. Read more about how we brought yoga into our home: 10 Ways to Have Fun and Be Active with your Toddler on Danya Banya.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
At the same time, we started creating an environment where Spanish language learning was integrated into our lives. Read more: Spanish for Toddlers: 10 Tips for a Language-Rich Home on Spanish Playground. We love Umbral Yoga’s Spanish Yoga DVD and our daughter started picking up more poses. Here she is practicing Tree Pose “counting” to ten in Spanish.
Now, over to my other passion.
My parallel journey to raising our daughter is “raising” Kids Yoga Stories. We translated the first book, Sophia’s Jungle Adventure, into Spanish for two main reasons: because the story was based on my travels in Costa Rica and I feel a deep connection to the language from teaching in Guatemala for five years.
Surprisingly, the Sofia book was really popular with Spanish-language learners. Jenny from Spanish Playground wrote an insightful review on how Spanish language learning and kids yoga books are a great combination. She says “The practice of yoga itself is conducive to language learning.”
That’s when the penny dropped.
Spanish and yoga together?! Of course! A perfect match. An unexpected opportunity to bring together my love of yoga and Spanish.
4 Ways to Integrate Spanish and Yoga:
1. Read Spanish children’s books and “act” out the story with yoga poses. Eric Carle books are a great start, and available in English and Spanish.
2. Read Spanish kids yoga books. We read and act out Sofia en una Aventura de la Selva and Lucas en un Dia en la Playa. We color and learn the alphabet with Lucas y los Animales Australianos de la A a la Z.
3. Watch Spanish kids yoga videos. Our favorite is Umbral Yoga’s DVD where Lina takes the children on yoga journeys to Africa, the beach, and the farm.
4. Practice yoga and Spanish together everywhere. When we go to the zoo, we point out the giraffe, lift our hands up in Giraffe Pose, and say “Jirafa”. How cool is that? Fun and natural. Also, read about Summer Fun with Spanish and Yoga on SpanglishBaby. Our next step is to travel to a Spanish-speaking country, until then we can “visit” Mexico City while still at home.
What do you think? Does Spanish and yoga integrate well in your family? I would love to hear your story, please email me at giselle at kidsyogastories dot com.
Check out Tips for Teaching Spanish to Children.
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