East Hampton resident, yoga instructor and former elementary school teacher Susan Verde has written a children’s picture book called “I Am Yoga” (Abrams, $14.95) that teaches 16 poses to kids ages 4 to 10.
“Yoga is something I would return to when I had stress or struggles. I always felt connected to my body and not as critical of myself when I left yoga class,” Verde says. “I thought if I could get these tools into the hands of kids, it would be a gift.”
The book explores not just the positions of yoga, but its emotional benefits, Verde says. In part it reads, “When I feel small in a world so big, when I wonder how I fit in, when the world is spinning so fast, I tell my wiggling body: be still. I tell my thinking mind: be quiet. I tell my racing breath: be slow.”
At the conclusion of the book are pictures and directions for each pose. “What I really wanted to capture was the essence of what yoga is and what yoga does for kids,” Verde says. “Kids will say, ‘Am I doing this right?’ The correct answer is, ‘How does it feel? Is your heart open? Are you having fun? Are you feeling powerful?’”
Verde is the mom of fraternal twins Joshua and Gabriel, 12, and Sophia, 10. She has written two other children’s books as well. “You and Me” (Abrams, $14.95) is about two cat best friends and the chance meeting that brought them together. “The Museum” (Abrams, $16.95) is about a girl’s joyful reaction to the art she sees on her visit to a museum. All of Verde’s books are illustrated by Massachusetts artist Peter H. Reynolds.