Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Can Rocks Teach Us About Life?

One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high powered overachievers he said,

“Okay, time for a quiz.”He pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the class said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks.

Then he asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” one of them answered. “Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?” “No!” the class shouted. Once again he said, “Good.”

Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?” One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!”

“No,” the speaker replied, “That’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.” What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life? Your children; Your loved ones; Your education; Your dreams; A worthy cause; Teaching or mentoring others; Doing things that you love; Time for yourself; Your health; Your significant other? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you’ll fill your life with little things you worry about that don’t really matter, and you’ll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks).

What are the ‘big rocks’ in my life? Start asking yourself that question to simplify your life. Always remember to put the big rocks in the jar first.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kids Yoga - Change

Change is in the air.  Kids Yoga at the YMCA exploded last week - nearly tripling our class size to 21 kids.  The energy in the room was amazing and got most of the kids super focused on the task at hand, yoga.  The ages ranged from 3 - 9 years old and (I think) mostly everyone was engaged at some level.

This Tuesday's class we'll celebrate the shift in our class by honoring the "change" and bringing awareness to how it affects our lives.  The theme will be relevant to both new and old students in different ways. The older students may not have felt positive about the expansion of the class, there was less attention provided to each individual student and the class dynamic shifted quickly without warning.  The new students may be encountering yoga for the first time and instantly have a judgment of yoga or of the class (the teacher, the kids, the exercises).

By focusing the class on change upfront, I hope to bring awareness to the concept.  Perhaps the kids will learn throughout the class how to be "non-reactive" to the constant ebb and flow around them.  Perhaps they will learn to notice the sensations that change incites on their bodies and minds - and then learn to let them go.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Sample exercises form the class include:

  • Chanting "Sa - Ta - Na - Ma":  http://www.kundaliniyoga.org/mantra.html
  • Changing our bodies form a seed to a tree
  • Balancing Flower Series in a circle (practicing warrior II with fingers touching, reversing the warrior, triangle to balancing half moon holding hands in a circle!
  • Wheel Pose

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fun with Family Yoga Starts Friday January 7th!

Another free-for-YMCA members or $10 drop-in class perfect for the winter months when you and your kids are crawling up the walls!


Fun with Family Yoga
Come bond with your child through Yoga!  



Perfect for parents with children crawling to 3 years (although any age welcome), this engaging class will incorporate yoga poses with movement, music and song.


And why not take advantage of our Prime Time room and sign up for Yoga Fundamentals on Fridays at 9:15 AM for some adult time as well?

Kids Yoga Series Starts January 4th - Drop-Ins Welcome

Did you know that you DON'T have to be a member of the YMCA to take a group class?


Kid's Yoga (ages 5 years +) starts tomorrow for only $10 / class. And always free for members.  Kids yoga is proven to increase mobility, strength & attention span by learning to follow instructions developed specifically for their unique curiosities and abundant energy!


Kids Yoga is perfect for after YMCA swim team or to wind down a busy day, your child will enjoy kid-friendly yoga poses in a fun & light-hearted class.


  • Ages 5 & up.
  • Younger kids welcome with an adult.
  • Tuesdays 4:45 - 5:30 PM
  • FREE for Members
  • $10 per class for Non-members
  • Begins January 4th at the Eastside YMCA in Providence RI
Parent Tip: What's great about the YMCA is that if you're a Family member and you have other children not ready for yoga (as I do) you can drop them off in the Primetime room giving yourself some much-needed adult time (stair machine anyone?).

Yoga Fundamentals Series Starts January 14th!

Kick Start Your New Year with a East Side/Mt Hope YMCA Series
Yoga Fundamentals

Whether you’re brand new or a seasoned yogini, this course will provide you with a solid foundation for your home yoga practice.


6 weeks, Fridays 9:15 - 10:15 AM
January 14th - February 18th, 2011
In the Downstairs Activity Room
$25 for members, $50 for nonmembers


Each week we will focus on specific yoga philosophies, poses, breathing and meditation techniques.


Don’t hesitate - space is limited,
register at the Welcome Center TODAY!
Or register online at http://bit.ly/YMCAYogaFundamentals