Once Upon a Mat – Yoga DVD for Kids Ages 2.5+

Good: A genuinely fun and creative way to introduce kids to Yoga
Bad: Some kids in this age range just don't want to follow along, no matter how clever the program
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Yoga DVD for kidsIn this era of ever-present distraction and childhood obesity, more and more parents are looking for ways to help their children enjoy the fitness and mindfulness benefits of a regular yoga practice, making the “Yoga for Kids” segment of the yoga DVD market one of the fastest-growing niches.

Is your child a namaste kid?

In contrast to other companies who have simply “kid-sized” their adult Yoga routines, Namaste Kid takes a unique approach which shows they have a complete understanding of the challenges of introducing toddlers and other young children to something as deep as Yoga. In Once Upon a Mat, energetic and accessible instructor Jessie Forston leads your Yoga kids through a series of 9 “adventures”. Rather than overwhelm typical colorful imagery that will quickly turn your child into a thoughtless TV zombie, Once Upon a Mat takes the opposite approach, leaving it to your child’s highly-capable imagination to fill in the visuals as Forston talks kids through each adventure from her Yoga mat, leading them through real Yoga poses that are tied into the story.

Both Once Upon a Mat and Namaste Kid’s earlier work Yoga Motion – Yoga DVD for Kids Ages 2.5+ have earned rave reviews from parents and experts alike. Once Upon a Mat was the winner of a Parent’s Choice Silver Award and boasts perfect 5-star reviews on Amazon, while Yoga Motion has a 4.5 star average and yielded a Parent’s Choice Recommended commendation.

One enthusiastic reviewer writes:

“I am trying everything to calm my 2.5 year old and sideline a major negative phase, and the DVD does help when we do it. The instructor is great– would recommend without hesitation!!!”

Another gushes:

“I love it because it uses the same yoga and breathing techniques that I do in my adult classes, and once my preschooler is old enough, we can transition easily into mommy and me yoga classes together.”

Still more praise:

“My kids, ages 9 and 6, have the Yoga Motion DVD (made by the same company) and love it! Each chapter is a mini story and the yoga is incorporated into the story. What a cute concept!  My kids get to go on 9 different adventures. What a great way to keep their bodies moving while using their imaginations. We love it!”

Conclusion: Is it even possible to get 2 to 7-year olds to stand still for the duration of a short yoga routine (to speak nothing of holding postures, regulating breathing, or looking within themselves)? Before this DVD, I was among the skeptics who would have laughed at the mere notion of 3 year olds doing Yoga. Now, however, I am among the believers, and as the reviews show, I am clearly not alone. Namaste Kid’s latest effort represents a step forward not only in the Yoga DVD niche, but amongst children’s programming in general. In contrast to a sea of programs that turn your kid into a TV zombie while attempting to justify turning their brain off by offering educational content, Once Upon a Mat is all about keeping kids active. There’s very little dazzle and sparkle to keep them entranced. Instead, kids themselves provide the adventure and as a result their minds and bodies remain engaged. Imagine that — TV turned into a tool to develop childrens’ imaginations and actually increase physical activity. That’s something all parents can stand behind, whether or not they practice yoga.

Best Price: $15 on Amazon

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Danny V.


I discovered Yoga about 2 years ago after following along with my girlfriend's home fitness routine. It seemed a nice compromise to bring peace to our evening workout routine: half the week, she would follow along with my strength routine (P90x, etc.), and the other half we would do Yoga. “Perfect for rest days”, I thought. Boy, was I wrong! View reviewer profile...

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