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Book Review: Garuda, The Eagle Who Soared with Ahimsa

I love Garuda.

This book fills a growing need for quality children’s stories that deliver positive messages about life. It was written by Ally Ford, a wonderful yoga teacher (and all-around-amazing-person) who is the mother of two young children.

Garuda started as a bedtime story that Ally would read to her own children. It evolved into a marvelous book that can also be acted out as a children’s yoga class, with fun postures that kids love to do, like cat and cow pose.

garudaposes

It is the story of Garuda the Eagle, who comes down from his lonely perch to make friends with the animals below, teaching them lessons along the way about loving-kindness, non-judgment, gratitude, and the yoga philosophy of “ahimsa” (“non-harming”).

It is written in beautiful and catchy rhyming prose. And the illustrations, drawn by Eduardo Micardi, are eye-popping and gorgeously capture the emotions and expressions of the characters depicted.

Garuda-Ahimsa

I teared up the first time I read it to my four-year old son, on our plane flight to India for a six-week sojourn this Fall. The part that got me was near the end, when Garuda leaves his friends to head back home and says:

Be grateful for all of the things that you have.

If you think of them daily, it will make you feel glad.

I will fly by often and promise you this,

there’s no need to live in fear so live life in bliss!

 

What a great message! And it is put in simple language that my son was able to understand. There really is so much good stuff in this book that can be used as conversation starters for kids.

In fact, we used the messages of loving-kindness and ahimsa as learning tools throughout the rest of our trip and now back home. We often say to each other, “what would Garuda do?” and talk about whether an action is kind or not.

The book is available in hardcover for $15 on Ally’s website.

Check it out, you will love it too. Now go off and get a copy for a child you love!

As Garuda would say…

Run and jump and explore this grand world

and share all the treasures your hearts will unfurl.

 

Oh Garuda, you are the best.

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