Our modern world moves very fast not only for us adults certainly for children too. It is not long before they may feel all kinds of pressure, whether personal, parental or social, to keep up with everyone and everything around them.
This has fascinated me over the years. Especially when at times, because of it, we tend to overlook the small things in everyday life. The things that don’t cost anything. The things that somehow make all the difference. The simple smile that comes from within that, in return, can bring about a smile on someone else’s face. In that moment, all is good, we are in a happy place. By spreading a little happiness, we are spreading a little love around. Something that simple can make a big difference.
The underlying concept behind Ommie is to help children understand that happiness comes from within. When being in that happy moment, the world around us is a happier place too.
How does it work?
‘Ommie and the Magical Garden’ is based on the underlying concept of uncovering your own inner peace and happiness, that then you can rely on and guide you through life.
Combining this idea of inner happiness within a story line and integrating simple yoga moves is a beneficial union, as yoga helps to calm, as well as focus, amongst many other benefits.
Yoga for kids
Yoga has become more ‘mainstream’ over the past few years, and the benefits to adults and children alike are manyfold.
Here are just some of them:
- promotes physical strength and enhances flexibility
- refines balance and coordination
- develops focus and concentration
- boosts self-esteem and confidence
- strengthens the mind-body connection
In schools where yoga has been part of the daily curriculum, teachers have observed that children are able to concentrate better and that yoga helped reduce stress. Other studies undertaken have shown substantial positive changes in children with autism and ADHD.
Far from ‘Ommie and the Magical Garden’ being deeply spiritual and categorised as a ‘yoga’ book alone,
I envision this to be a fun and interactive children’s book where the yoga poses complement the story and vice versa.
‘Ommie and the Magical Garden’ is a story about self discovery, respect for other beings, and the idea that we’re “in this together”, all of us as one, making a positive change together, spreading a bit of happiness.
In the story Ommie finds a gate that leads into an enchanted garden. Here he meets lots of fun animals. He talks to the animals one by one seeking to find out more about this magical place which leads him to an unexpected conclusion.
The age group
Observing the children I have read the story to, I think that the book is most appropriate for the age group of 3-7 year olds. Ommie has been created to appeal for both genders, boys and girls, alike.
The younger children (3-5 year olds), when read to, love the active part of the poses and repetitive pattern of the wording. The older ones (reading age -7 year olds) enjoy reading through the book and experimenting with the poses themselves, or if they have younger siblings, take on the role of ‘yoga teacher’.
When the book is read in a class room environment, it works best to do so at the start of class begin, or during play time.
Hopefully through the accessibility to the website too, soon more stories and yoga inspiration can be drawn whenever and from wherever you are.