Spring Gratitude ~

“If you have a garden & a library, you have everything you need.”

Today I am grateful for my the gifts of my garden, and for the recipe for fermenting rosemary which I found in the latest issue of Taproot Magazine. Oh and as Taproot is all about “Song” this season, I am grateful for Ani Difranco & Utah Phillips streaming this Sunday morning on Spotify.

rose

For what are you grateful today?

Love, Beth

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

beachylu

 

It’s Dr. Seuss week! All week long we’ll be practicing yoga inspired by our beloved author. I sure hope Sam-I-Am doesn’t ask me to try green eggs & ham! But then again, you never know until you try, right?

Love, Beth

Bringing Yoga Home

Happy 2013 Friends! I read that the coming year “holds the vibration of home and family.” In this spirit, I’m often asked by parents and friends, how do we bring yoga and meditation into our family lives? As a new year’s gift to all of us, here are some thoughts on creating a yogic rhythm in your home for the whole family.
But what does this mean to bring “yoga” in? For some who are familiar and have our own home practice,  we seek to incorporate our children into our routine. This could be as simple as pulling out two mats and inviting your child to “do some poses” with you, or meditate with you on occasion (while also allowing and finding time for our own private practice!). For others who are not so familiar, this is a learning process together. How beautiful! And what a valuable lesson for our children to learn we don’t know everything…yet!

Yoga as a whole includes poses (asanas), wellness, nutrition, peaceful well being, spirituality, connection to nature and planet, and the potential for truly meaningful time together being fully present…the best gift we can give. So let’s all put our smart phones and tablets aside and start to dive deeper…..

:: First, as we do with all yoga practices, we establish an intention. Why are you interested in bringing yoga into your home? Take a look at your family “portrait,” your rhythm. What do you wish for your home? What works for you? Where can we shed some light or focus? What does it mean to bring yoga into your family? For some, this means a morning yoga practice, others meditation, for some a moment of absolute harmony, togetherness.

:: Please don’t give the process too much power. YOGA. The word, for some, is so natural. For many, so so daunting. Images pop up of 2 hour daily practices, standing on our heads with our legs wrapped like a pretzel while chanting strange vowel sounds. Let’s just toss, for the moment, the idea that it must be so regimented. This is not yoga bootcamp (there are classes for that if you are interested). If the idea of yoga is so daunting, we just won’t make it happen. Remember, it’s about our children and family. Let’s make it fun, natural, sometimes chaotic, and silly. Again, let it all evolve naturally.

:: But how do we know what to do? Videos are a great tool! And ooh child, there are some wonderful ones out there. Again, if videos aren’t your flow and you want something with less instruction, we enjoy following books together to learn and develop poses. At night, my son has taken to pulling out Babar’s Yoga Book, along with his mat, and stretching a bit before he settles in. Books are a wonderful tool to open the imagination, follow without fear of doing it “wrong,” and to expand on the stories with the poses.

(see some links below)

:: Meditation is a whole other blog post! If you have a practice again let your child sit with you for a moment, or repeat “Peace Begins with Me.” Breathe in Peace, breathe out love. Afterwards, play some music and draw together.

OK, but how are we supposed to get into the groove of all this? With school, sports, meals, carpooling, homework, oh my! It’s important to remember that small steps go a long way over time. Begin with simple things, not all at once, little by little. Here are some suggestions for placing one yogi toe in front of the other….

1. Establish a quiet space in your home. This is where you will stretch together, perhaps meditate together. Nothing fancy needs to be placed here. Perhaps just your mat, a wonderful reminder to practice!

2. Consider incorporating some small changes to your routine, in hopes of bringing more peace and harmony into your home. For example, make your bed, eat a meal together, ask questions, listen. What about our days was good/bad/happy/sad/silly?

3. Try creating one small change in your routine. Perhaps, for example, when you child wakes up, you practice one sun salutation. Or after homework, before dinner, you stretch together for 5 minutes. Before bed, you read through a book together to get your yoga. Maybe this happens only once a week, maybe every day. A little yoga is better than no yoga (at least in my world)!

A few more thoughts to ponder…

:: Have fun and be creative.

:: Let your child lead once in a while. Twisted upside down piggie pose? Sure! Let’s give it a try!

:: Sunrise and sunset are special, serene times of the day. Sunrise is hard to capture in our home, but try to get outside for the sunset when you can.

:: Dance, be silly…after dinner dance parties!

:: Play more music.

Most importantly, do what feels right for your family. I’d love to hear some more ways you bring yoga into your family’s life. Please do share! And Namaste dear friends…

Yogi Beth

Resources (Please note this is an ongoing list. Feel free to add your personal favorites in the comments!)
Videos
Books

“Wild Things” Yoga…A Tribute to Maurice Sendak

As I was eating breakfast this morning before teaching my preschool yoga classes, I learned the sad news of Maurice Sendak’s passing. Almost immediately, I changed my class plans for the day. After all, Mr. Sendak is a true inspiration, a bright light in the world of imagery and imagination for children and adults alike. It was decided. Today we would explore our “Wild” side with the book, Where the Wild Things Are!

I introduced the story to the children, explaining that Max was having one of those “wild” days. Do we ever have days when we feel particularly crazy or wild, or act out? Do we sometimes get into trouble if we chase the dog? We were ready to tap into our wild sides!

Here are some notes from our classes today:

We began in wolf pose. After reading the first page we howled at the moon.

When his mom sent Max to bed without supper, we were mad and sad in mouse pose.

As the forest grew, so did we! As shrubs on our knees to a great big forest of trees (tree pose). We held hands and tried extending our leg.

As the ceiling hung with vines, we swung side to side on our vines!

Max’s private boat arrived and we sang in boat pose, until we landed where…

The Wild Things Are!

We roared and clawed and showed our “terrible teeth!”

With “Be Still!” we sat in easy pose, with our eyes wide.

As Max was named King of All Wild Things, we put on our imaginary crowns, and practiced “King Dancer Pose.” Try not to let your crown fall!

And then…

“Let the wild rumpus start!”

To ‘Jungle Boogie,’ we truly let out our wild sides, dancing on our mats. When the music stopped, we practiced

Crescent Pose, leading into Half Moon Pose

Swinging from The Trees

Runner’s Lunge

As Max became lonely and The Wild Things slept, we sat again in easy pose, with our hands at our heart, and breathed Love and Blessings to someone special.

We took a roller coaster boat home, lined up one behind the other, until finally Max made it H(om)e, where his supper was still hot.

After the book, we talked about how we sometimes feel wild like Max, but no matter what, we are always loved. We then practiced finding our “calm,” while practicing our Dragon’s Breath and our Take Five, ending in a walk to the clouds where we rested in savasana.

Rest in Peace Mr. Sendak, and Thank You for allowing our imaginations to ROAR! Now, Let The Wild Rumpus Start!

Namaste Families. Love one another.