Today, I went to the studio where I have been practicing for years. It’s known for the place to go for “ladies who lunch” and for so many hours I have stared at the huge rocks on the fingers next to me during “downward facing dog.”
I realize looking at others during yoga is not very yogic, but I am still human. I always wondered if I, too, one day would wear a wedding band to yoga at 11 a.m. on a Thursday when most other people are at work.
When I realized this as I set up for my first downward dog, I took a moment to be happy about where I am in life and happy with my decision to finally say “I do.” I felt very much right at home in this room of ladies.
Then, I realized, I felt right at home in this room for the past few years. Actually, nothing had really changed. I was the same person if I was married or not. Yes, I was now part of the “Mrs. Club,” but the person I am inside is just the same.
I went through my practice feeling achy and stiff, from not practicing after the activity of the wedding. Feeling achy and stiff had happened to me in other parts of my life.
It made me realize that we so often yearn for goals and think, “When I get there, life will be perfect.” In this instance, I had been saying, “When I get married, I’ll be different and better.” Actually, I’m good now and I was before, too. It also made me realize that maybe that’s the reason he married me :).
As posted in Juicing Healthy Magazine:
For most people under twelve, it’s not easy to sit quietly for more than a few minutes. It’s for this reason “Yoga for Kids” has been translated into a time for games, music, and stories that incorporate traditional poses. If the kids are quieter and more relaxed after a session, then why not! Here is a taste of what it looks like:
I love this one and practice it at home, in the car, or anywhere in between. It calms the mind, creates energy, and makes us smile all in one!
First, you take your arms up over your head, and lower them a little into the shape of a big balloon, exhaling. Then, you do it again, but this time we come down very quietly, practicing “Quiet Balloon Breath.” With this, we also learn to appreciate silence. For the last one, we bring our hands up and come down quickly for “Silly Balloon Breath.” Repeat this last one as many times as requested!
One of the best ways to get kids to incorporate yoga into their daily lives is to get music with animal noises and imitate the animal with the associated pose. Here is an excerpt from the ‘Yoga for Families’ DVD to see how it’s done http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1m7JIYopbQ&list=PL98C083975F441EF6
“Image going into a closet that is filled with presents. Each box is beautifully gift wrapped with bows and string. There is paper with stripes, polka dots, and many different colors of wrapping paper.
Imagine that you can take one box out of the closet and in this box is your favorite toy that you like to play with. You take this toy to a favorite place of yours – maybe your room, or the playground, or a secret hiding place. You can also decide if you’d like to bring a friend with you.
After being able to play with this toy for as long as you would possibly like, you put the toy back in its box, and bring it back into the closet. You know that anytime you get stressed or anxious you can close your eyes, imagine this closet, and be able to access your toy again.
As published in Juicing Healthy Magazine:
With the holidays bringing stress, there is no better time to make us more aware of what yoga has to offer. A full-length class is for sure a good way to let go of what is worrying us, but if you don’t have time for that, here are a few good poses that get right to it.
Who doesn’t love to lie on the floor with legs elevated? This pose takes it to an extreme by holding our legs vertically, with the support of the wall. This then pumps the most amount of blood to the heart. Not only does this relieve tired or cramped legs and feet, but also it gently stretches the back of the legs, front torso, and the back of the neck. In addition, it relieves mild backache and calms the mind.
As a kids’ yoga expert, I am often asked what is a great go-to pose that calms the little ones in times of anxiousness or stress. I immediately respond with any type of forward bend and especially a seated one. This type of pose calms the nervous system and helps us get focused on the here and now.
Obviously, this pose is great for adults. Not only does it help us find our inner peace, but it also helps with hypertension. Hypertension comes from blood causing stress on the heart. Here is a free video clip from Livestrong that not only explains the benefits, but also explains the pose:
It may sound like a broken record, but the words are true. When we take a few moments to quiet us amid the constant chatter, the world looks brighter, we feel like we have less on our shoulders, and the path forward is clearer. Here is a simple technique to get you started. It works for adults and children too!
Close your eyes, sit up straight in a chair, and relax the shoulders. Then, start to imagine your favorite place to go on vacation. Think of three or four things about it, such as the color of the sky, any particular landscape (mountains, sand, trees, etc), and what the weather is like. Don’t think of any slight annoyances such as travel inconveniences or how you paid for it. If that seeps in, just let it pass.
Then think of whom you would like to bring with you. Think of the feelings you get when you bring these people to mind. Imagine partaking in some of your favorite activities when you are there and embrace any feelings of joy or excitement that come up. For the remaining minutes, keep that visual in your mind to help keep your mind from jumping back to daily activities and concerns.