Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kids Yoga: Winter Theme

Yesterday we had a great time at the East Side YMCA in Providence playing around in the "snow" yoga style. In all our Family Yoga classes we sneak in pranayama, chanting, postures and yes, shavaasana.  The parents gets to stretch, move and perhaps close their eyes for a moment of rest.

Winter Yoga started in our living room while reading "Snow Bugs".  Silvia jumped in an empty laundry basket and decided to go on a sleigh ride.  Jenn Thomas, fellow Eyes of the World yoga teacher, helped expand on the idea offering snow shoeing, skiing, and skating as other ways to pretend on our mats.  We made hot chocolate and blew deeply from our belly's to cool it off and of course sang "Jingle Bells" and "Frosty the Snow Man" with Brenda Lee, making sure to act out the lyrics.

What ways have you celebrated winter on the yoga mat?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Money is like Energy: Invest in Yoga

Stop the excuses; Commit to your Yoga practice.

Nothing takes the place of practicing yoga with a supportive community and seasoned teachers. For over ten years Eyes of the World has cultivated this community, tucked away in a brick building off North Main, probably the best kept secret in Providence. You may think that committing to such a beautiful yoga studio would be expensive, a luxury well beyond your reach. Think again.

The teachers, and especially studio owner Tom Gillette, are dedicated to bringing yoga to the entire community regardless of income. And if you can afford classes, but only once or twice per week - these opportunities can help you deepen your yoga experience by increasing the frequency of your practice.

What are these options?

  • Community Yoga by Donation: Wednesdays 3:30 PM
  • Rise and Shine: As low as $9.90 / class 
  • Back to Basics Package: only $8 / class (open to beginners as well as seasoned practitioners)
  • And if you can dish out the funds upfront, you can take any class for as low as $13.50 / class
So while the $17 per class drop in price (the going rate for many studios) might make you baulk, if you plan right, you can make yoga classes part of your life. Money is like energy. Consider where the "leaks" are in your money energy. Regular visits to the coffee shop? Lunches out instead of brown bagging it? You can easily find the spare change to build community at a local studio by making simple changes in your spending habits. Try it for a month, perhaps right now? Indeed, now is all you have.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pull up a Chair

It's interesting to note a student's reaction when I offer a prop - be it a chair, a block, a pillow.  Depending on the person looks of confusion, surprise, defeat project onto their face.  It seems that many judge props as "crutches" and those who utilize them as not good enough.  Somehow, the person using a prop is not able to "do the pose right".

On the contrary.  Poses done safely with  props can enhance the experience of a pose, even for a seasoned practitioner.  Our bodies change from moment to moment, even our left side can differ in strength and flexibility from our right.

A Practical Example:
So even if your hands reach the floor in trikonaasana, reach for the block next round.  Place it BEHIND your front foot.  Straighten both legs and engage your thighs and lift your knee caps.  With arms stretched out in "T" position, send your kips back over the back leg and reach out over the front foot, twinkling the fingers.  Only when your "horizon" pose is it it's peak do you let the fingers float to the block.  Gently press down on your block to find added lift in the torso.  Explore the new space and freedom to spin the rib cage around so the sternum can glance at the sky.

For more on Chair Yoga, check out: http://yogawithlakshmi.com/

Use props to fly in your poses, pull up a chair even, and add lift to your waist while cultivating humility and courage. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kids Yoga Theme: Outer-space!

What could be more fun to a toddler yogini than blasting off into outer-space?

Tomorrow at the East Side YMCA in Providence we'll do just that!  Parents will following along as their kids put on space suits, breath fire into their bellys' and take flight on this fun yoga adventure.

Thanks to my dear friends Erin (she'll be giving us a lift tomorrow) and Evelyn (whose book and CD "Catch the Moon") helped inspire the class.

Want to test yoga out at home?  Try this Space Yoga video out at home with your family.

3-2-1 Ready for blast off!