What does a yoga teacher who's passionate about storytelling get when he combines the two? Tall Tales Yoga.
Denver-based teacher Levi Noe has developed a program for kids that helps introduce them to postures and breath work through colorful stories including "The Wood Chopper and the Beaver" and "The Lion Who Couldn't Roar."
He also teaches Tall Tales Yoga classes in the Denver area and hopes to expand to Colorado Springs.
Yoga poses intersperse each e-book and audio book, asking kids to take breaks during the story to do some cat/cows, downward facing dogs and bee's breath, among other activities, that all relate to the story at hand.
"There's a whole range of benefits that kids experience," Noe said, "from executive function, motor skills, auditory processing, sustained attention, going into emotional self-regulation and emotional awareness in general."
Stacy Moore's 4-year-old son recently completed a semester of Noe's classes at Montessori School of Washington Park. Some of the yogic exercises have come in handy during doctor visits in the past couple of months.
"I said yoga breaths and he started breathing in and out as deeply as he could," said Moore. "It also calmed him down while we were in there. It was a cool medical benefit."
Noe has practiced yoga for a dozen years and taught for more than eight. Watching kids in his classes spurred him to create Tall Tales Yoga.
"I noticed a lack of integration and a gap in the different styles and types of education - academic, physical, social and emotional education," he said. "I've worked with kids long enough and wanted to create something that could bridge that."
The audio downloads and e-books are available for teachers interested in teaching Tall Tales to their students in the classroom or for parents who want to work at home.
"It's meant for young kids so the teacher doesn't have to put their feet behind their heads," he said.
"Anybody should be able to pick up the book, apart from those with strong physical disabilities."