YBTDphotocollageI received a copy of JoAnna Ross’s, “Yoga by the Dozen” DVDto review. “Yoga By the Dozen” is a yoga video designed for young children ages 2-6. As a parent and yoga teacher, I am always interested in finding new ways to encourage my children to be active and to learn healthy behaviors and attitudes. Yoga has been known to accomplish this along with several other benefits such as improvements in balance and coordination, emotional wellness and mood regulation, self-esteem and confidence, stress management, concentration, attention span, memory, self-respect and respect for others, and creativity. Consider this a short list of all the benefits that come from practicing yoga regularly. Sure, it’s good for us all, but the question most parents probably wonder is, “how can I get my children to do yoga on a regular basis?” Children’s interests change so frequently and sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to catch  and keep their attention long enough. Before you sign your children up for the next yoga course at your local community center, I would recommend “Yoga By the Dozen.” This DVD is very kid-friendly, informative, has great illustrations and directions throughout the video.  The energy of the overall class and instructor should peak the interest of children new to yoga as well as children that have previous yoga experience. The “Yoga By Dozen” DVD is an interactive yoga class that incorporates 12 safe and fun yoga poses demonstrated by a class of twelve children and the instructor, JoAnna Ross. For each pose, the video starts with a segment with the instructor, JoAnna, demonstrating and cueing proper form.  The next segment includes the pose being demonstrated by one of the yoga students in a class setting. The class is setup with all students and mats formed into a large circle and the student “teacher” comes into the circle to show the pose before the class joins in. This creates 3 different opportunities to practice each pose before moving on to the next pose. The pace and flow of the entire video is well matched for children. The interactive communication style of the video is also meant to keep children engaged with answering questions throughout each pose. There is never a dull moment in the video and this style is sure to keep many children engaged through the entire class. The length of the video not too long, not too short. If your child completes the video and seems like he or she could do more, just start the video over.For the review, I decided to use the video several times over a one-week period to see how my children reacted to this new yoga workout. The first day, I just put it on to take notes and see if my kids would do the video without me asking. At first, my son was more interested in the video than my daughter so he kept up with the video a lot longer, but even with less of an interest, my daughter kept coming back to see each new pose when demonstrated on the video. My son, stayed on or close to his mat the entire video. When the pose was harder he just watched, but joined back in once he understood or felt the pose was something he could try. My daughter, tried a few poses, but wandered in and out of the room. I noticed she stayed longer once she realized the poses were numbered 1-12 and each had a unique name. This was the key to her participation when we watched the video more times throughout the week. The next few times we viewed the video, my children both participated and I did, too. I really enjoy yoga and also knew that my participation would further encourage my children’s participation. On top of being a great children’s yoga video, “Yoga By the Dozen” can also be a great family yoga video. I was able to complete my own yoga workout and help each of my children during their workout. First, I followed JoAnna’s instruction for each pose. Then as the class demonstration started, I helped my kids try the poses. We all successfully completed a yoga class – what a great way to get the family involved!

Here are a few more highlights from the video to note:

  • Both Sanskrit and English names of yoga pose are used throughout the video. This is a great way to teach your children the names of poses they may hear in yoga other classes they take. It’s also fun to hear your children try to pronounciate each pose and learn how to sound out each name. There is also good use of the well-known preschool class “pose”, crisscross applesauce in the video – except it’s “crisscross yoga-sauce.” Both of my children thought this was VERY funny!
  • The instructor uses easy to understand cues, such as “place your same arm with your same leg” so a young child that hasn’t learned left and right can also understand how to do a pose.
  • Throughout the video, all the children make mistakes while attempting the poses. The instructor is very encouraging and patient and the children never fret over falling out of a pose. This is a good attitude and message to send to your children as they practice yoga. The instructor does a good job of encouraging the students to keep trying. She counts how long the child holds a pose, but if the child falls out of pose, she stops counting until they try again.

For more information about the “Yoga By the Dozen” DVD, and JoAnna Ross’s approach to yoga, visit the Yoga By the Dozen website. You can also purchase the Yoga By the Dozen DVD for $17.99 as well as other yoga essentials like mats, and the Yoga By the Dozen “Use your Belly” T-shirt in the Yoga By the Dozen online store.  The “Use your Belly” T-shirt has illustrations of the major organs that are emphasized during a yoga class and helps participants understand correct breathing and posture. A great resource for any yoga class.

“Yoga By the Dozen” is a video I would recommend to anyone looking for a fun video to incorporate into their exercise routine – even adults. Sure, there are other yoga videos geared for adults, but I can’t deny that I would do this video without my kiddos by my side on their mats. It’s fun! I would also recommend it to fellow yoga instructors as a continuing education resource. I learned a lot of new ideas that I can use in my yoga classes.

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