The Storm & The Calm Inside Us

“Fate whispers to the Warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.’ The Warrior whispers back, ‘I am The Storm.'”

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Have you felt that storm inside of you lately? Whether it be a firey surge, rainy tears of joy, pain, sadness, surprise, windy rushes of emotion, or the tumultuous hurricane of the day to day. We feel so  much! As adults we’ve learned over our years how to harness our emotions, our “feels”, and how to manage them and conduct ourselves in a way in which we’re heard and respected ~ for the most part that is! Don’t get me wrong I’ve been known to let go, scream, cry, and be wild with emotion and That.Is.OK.

Our children are a storm of emotions as well! However, they are less “edited,” more “no filter” when it comes to how they are feeling. Screaming, tantrums, floods of tears, or ridiculous bursts of happiness, whimsy ~ surely we are no stranger to our children in these states. Our kiddos don’t always have the words for these feelings. They may not articulate, “I’m hungry and don’t want that apple. I want string cheese please.” Or, “You see, it hurt my feelings when you raised your voice and asked me to stop building Legos. I was so close to finishing my knight’s castle.” Right? Instead we hear their pure, unfiltered, raw emotion. This, my friends, is our storm. And it’s inside us all.

“You were wild once. Don’t let them tame you.” ~ Isadora Duncan.

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It is so important that we do not suppress our emotions, children or adults. We are wild creatures! Butttt…..we also need to go to work, not yell at our co-workers or cry. We need to get through a shopping trip at Target with our kiddos in tow. We need to just have Peace, amiright? And so, we work to learn how to manage our emotional states, how to identify what’s really going on (“I’m noticing you may not be hungry for that apple.” “I see that I’ve interrupted you while you’re building Legos & you may need 5 more minutes.”). All of this affirms that our emotions are real and that we recognize them and have words for them ~ angry, happy, sad, confused, frustrated, etc. And that these emotions matter.

When I sit with children in our yoga circles, I call these emotions “our storm.” Now here in Southern California we’ve all been experiencing rare storms all around us ~ intense wind, rain, hail ~ and it’s been wild! I connect the storm we experience outdoors with the storm inside us all, cultivating our understanding and recognition of the world around us.

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By making a storm with our bodies (see below), we are able to get wild, to yell, to move, to chant….and then, quite magically, to find the calm after the storm, to gradually slow down, find our breath, close our eyes. Be still as the earth after a rainfall, as puddles shelter the rain drops and slowly dissolve.

Just as our emotions create wind and thunder within us, we have the tools, the breath, to recognize the storm and return to a state of peace.

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There are many ways to build storms with our bodies. Below are some examples to try with your lil’ yogis. And from personal experience, these work for adult yogis as well ~

Wind ~ Sit in criss cross applesauce and allow the “wind” to blow you from side to side, in a circle, forward and back, to bounce. Let the wind begin to subside as you return to seated position.

Rain ~ Gently begin tapping the floor with your fingertips. Then move on to your hands. The rain will get stronger and louder. Let it go on your mat! And then gradually the rain will slow down (back to fingertips), and grow quieter until there is peace (leave your hands resting on your mat or in your lap).

Thunder & Lightening ~ From a standing position, open and close your legs & arms (as in jumping or yoga jacks). Clap your hands together to form the sound of thunder. Pause with arms overhead and hands together as though you are a bolt of lightening.

Rainbow ~ Often after a storm we see a rainbow, reminding us of the light and the magic after the storm. Let your fingers rain down to your toes from a standing position. The reach for the sun, bring your hands into your belly with a “HOT” breath, firing up your center. Repeat as often as needed, gently softening with each HOT breath. Settle into a downward dog rainbow. Relax back into child’s pose, allowing the colors of the rainbow and it’s bright light to fill you with magic, color, and light.

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Please do share below how these work for you and your family! All blessings, love, and gratitude,

Miss Beth

 

Family Summer Solstice Celebration!

 

summersolsticeI’m so excited to announce that I’m partnering with Steph Zito and Leucadia’s new inspired space mandala daydreams to bring you a Family Summer Solstice & Super Moon Celebration! Details are below….

Family Summer Solstice & Super Moon Celebration!

Sunday, June 23 10am-noon at mandala daydreams

815 North Vulcan Ave, Leucadia 92024

Join us at mandala daydreams in Leucadia as we celebrate the summer solstice! We’ll enjoy Family Yoga together with Next Generation Yoga’s Beth Guerrette, followed by summer crafting & explorations with the kids. Parents will join Steph Zito in the quiet cottage as we manifest intentions for the new season. Let’s culminate with a family dance party, a la bubbles, hoops, and more! Light seasonal snacks will be provided.

$20 suggested family donation, no one will be turned away.

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Check out our morning schedule of events…

~ Family Yoga Class with NGY with Beth Guerrette

~ Children’s summer crafting and affirmations with Beth

~ Parents gather in the quiet cottage with Steph Zito for manifesting intentions & meditation

~ Family dance party with bubbles, hoops, and more

~ Closing Circle *

Light seasonal snacks will be provided.

* Following the celebration, mandala daydreams will remain open with their weekly community seva sundays. Also, the Leucadia Farmer’s Market will be rockin’ down the street for lunch!

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For more information, and to let us know you are coming please leave a comment or email Beth at bethguerrette@gmail.com.

All Love >>>>

stephbeth

 

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Yogi Playground is Growing Up!

This past weekend I had the honor of participating in Next Generation Yoga‘s 8-13 year old teacher training. And the training was led by the one and only Jodi Komitor! Jodi is THE children’s yoga instructor. Her book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Yoga with Kids was the first book I purchased after my training with MiniYogis in Santa Monica about 6 years ago. Even more, Jodi opened the first children’s yoga studio IN THE WORLD in 1998. Needless to say I was more than excited to meet Jodi and train under her profound experience and expertise.

The weekend was so full of Light and Love and information. Over three days, ten trainees, including myself, practiced yoga classes, took part in practice teaching sessions, observed classes, journaled, and shared more than I could have ever expected. Jodi was accompanied by her beautiful and inspired business partner, Nicole Koleshis. We were so fortunate to soak up both their energies and wisdom, and to witness their lovely, true friendship on top of being business partners!

Below are some photos from the weekend (all photos courtesy of Next Generation Yoga). Yogi Playground is happy, inspired, and ready to bring all this Light into our spring classes here in Encinitas. What a beautiful community….

Checking In….

Hello Dear Yogi Playground Friends & Family,

Just taking a moment to check in and say Hello! My Yogi Playground school classes and privates have culminated, and I’m now taking time to be fully present for my 2 young boys. My days are spent playing Transformers, filling water buckets to “paint” the driveway, and basking in spontaneous dance parties and cuddles. Ahhh…Summer Lovin’.

My family is also in the midst of a major life transition as we are selling our Silver Lake home and moving westside to support my husband’s new, exciting partnership at a design house in Santa Monica. I’ve been an eastside gal for 8 years now, living in Echo Park and Silver Lake, but evolution is vital and a GOOD thing, as I keep reminding myself.

While we deal with the chaos of showing our home (read: Keep it tidy with 2 kids!), looking for a new dwelling, dreaming of a beach side life, signing paperwork upon paperwork, and discussing emotions attributed to such change, I’m reminding myself to remain grounded and true. I am the Mama Bird of this house and it’s my responsibility to tend to my nest. No matter what wild changes may come, it’s most important that my children know home is within the 4 of us. Our family is home.

It’s been most insightful and heartwarming to talk with my (gasp) almost 5 year old about the move. When the “For Sale” sign was erected in the front yard, he cried to me, as I cried inside, and he said, “What if people buy the house and we still live here? There’s no room for them!” Ah, these babes of ours. After it became clear that new people will not be moving in with us, we talked about the nature of the house. How we spent the last 3 years repairing the house, tending to the orchard, growing a garden, filling it with Love and Light as only we could. Now it is time to pass it on to another family, so they can fill it with their own dreams, grow their own life. He said he knew the house would keep smiling.

And now, as we revel in our potato and lime harvest, we play more in the backyard. We stir up more limeade, and we leave our silent wishes with the bees and butterflies.

As Yogi Playground moves west, I will be taking a short hiatus from teaching weekly classes as I focus on my family. In autumn, I plan to begin my Seasonal Celebrations for children and families. I’ll also keep you updated on new class developments and exciting projects underway! In the meantime, remember to Breathe, continue to Love, and Savor the Cuddles in all your homes…

Namaste Dear Friends….

YogiBeth

 

Children’s Yoga versus “Real” Yoga

In the past couple weeks, I’ve had 2 students remark that (1) “I do real yoga at home with my Mommy” and (2) “My Mommy takes a real yoga class!”

Oh the mouths of babes. I followed up both statements by asking, “Do we practice real yoga?” This lead to giggles and a clear “No.”

Real Yoga. Real. Yoga. I’m so so delighted to hear that children are practicing with their parents, and being exposed to their parents’ daily practices. Perhaps our yoginis are even bringing some of their yoga into our vinyasas and daily routines. But I really had to smile and put myself into the 4 year old minds of my yoginis, and meditate on “real” yoga.

Yoga, at it’s core, means union – a union of the mind and body, or in a spiritual sense, a union of mind, body, and spirituality. In our classes we talk about joining our moving bodies and breath. Of course, yoga means so many different things to so many people, but what does it mean to my yogis?

Delving a bit deeper with my students, I was enlightened to learn that “real yoga” means advanced or “harder” poses. It means Mama saying “I’m going to my yoga class now!” It means being still in our poses and in our thoughts. Yes! All of these scenarios are yoga. But the yoga we practice in our circles is also the heart of “real” yoga.

As a children’s yoga teacher, I believe it’s my responsibility to cultivate an appreciation and respect for yoga, and to create a strong, positive yoga foundation. Of course, we practice poses and sometimes give them silly names. We learn Balloon Breath and Volcano Breath, and we play Yogi Yogi Dog and Pass The Planet. But we also discuss the seasons, the Earth, our feelings, our friendships, our connection to nature and all that is around us. While practicing ant (plank) and spider poses we may talk about how we take care of all creatures, even the smallest beings. While passing around the singing bowl we may fill it with our dreams and wishes for a new season (intentions). All of which is real yoga – yoga as a way of being, a way of life. And how fortunate to begin practicing these ideas at such a young age!

Of course, at 4 years old this may not be entirely clear, but I do smile. And once again, I’m given a brilliant opportunity to delve a bit deeper, and for myself, to meditate on the connections and sense of beings we are cultivating. And of course to giggle and play with all my yogis!

Namaste Yogis!