YouYoga

YOGA THAT LETS YOU BE YOU

Sunday Inspiration 39 June 24, 2012

 “The major block to compassion is judgment in our minds.  Judgement is the mind’s primary tool of seperation.”

   Diane Berke

 

Notes From The Students March 28, 2012

 

A strong, peaceful and confident Tree Pose being demonstrated on a chair at YOUYOGA.

 
In keeping with the theme of Ahimsa this week….I thought it appropriate to share some kind words from one of our valued Chair Yoga students at YOUYOGA, as well as share a photo of her practicing Tree Pose/Vrksasana on a chair.  The practice of  Tree Pose helps to strengthen the ankle while creating new space in the hip.  This openness in the hip can help to improve the symptoms of Sciatica, which is a pain or numbness in the leg, hip, and/or lower back caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve located at the lumbar (lower back) spine.
 
It also increases our muscular and skeletal strength in our arches, calves and thighs.  Helping us to create a strong base to improve, or maintain our physical balance.  If we lift our palms above the crown of our head, it can also help to increase our ability to breath, along with improving our circulation.  With greater breath and improved blood flow….our internal organs get the support they need to function properly.
 
By lifting our arms we also engage the muscles of our back-body…..helping to make it stronger, while improving our posture.  However, if your shoulders sense pain from an injury, or weakness then keep those hands at heart, or belly center.  Remember to keep lengthening the neck away from the tops of the shoulders, as you draw your shoulder blades towards one another.   This action alone will help to develop strength whether the hands are above, or below the heart.  
 
Lastly, practicing Tree Pose wether sitting, or standing will help to develop a sense of calm and focus.  I think we can all agree calm is worth seeking on a daily basis……for too often it seems that they day isn’t long enough for the task list that awaits our attention.  So whether you’re at work, or at home between taks, or commercial breaks be inspired to take a moment and try Tree Pose…..sitting or standing…..and see what it can do for YOU!  If nothing else it can become a moment of quality time for yourself.  Helping you to create the quality of Ahimsa………loving, compassion, and a sense of worthiness.  All qualities that can help us be better people knowing that we deserve to feel and be well.
 
Special thanks to Christine for allowing YOUYOGA to share her kind words (found below) and lovely photo with all of  our viewers 😉
 
 
 
“Chair yoga at YOUYOGA is REAL yoga. It’s good challenging exercise and it …makes you feel strong and balanced.You’re doing real yoga and the chair is just there for support. Really, that’s what YOUYOGA classes, and YOUYOGA teachers, are for … a little support when you need it.

You’re never on your own, there’s always an encouraging voice to remind you to be mindful of, and explore, your strength.”

Christine

 

Our Goal this week….Practicing Kindness March 26, 2012

 
This week our goal in class will be to practice the Yama known as Ahimsa (non-violence)…so as we go through our practice we’ll try to be aware, we’ll be gentle in our actions, thoughts, and speech.
For example, as we go into a forward fold and our hamstrings (back of our legs) say….HALT!!! We’ll listen and we’ll become gentle in our action by using blocks to lift the earth, or rest our hands above our knees on the thighs.
We’ll view the stretch as a challenge, not an obstacle that can’t be overcome. We’ll be patient with ourselves while having a sense of pride for what is accomplished today.
The practice of Ahimsa translates into compassion, love, understanding, patience, self-love and worthiness.
I invite you in this moment to think of one way you can practice kindness for yourself……not someone else……yourself. Think of it and go do it!
Namaste
 
 

Danelle’s Take on the Teachings of Marsha Wenig, Creator of the YogaKids Curriculum March 14, 2012

 

 

 

Kids' Yoga at YOUYOGA: Half-Moon Pose at the wall

 

Since YOUYOGA’s kid’s program will be influenced by the teaching of Marsha Wenig, creator of the YogaKids video and educational curriculum,  I felt it important to share what she says and believes on the topic of yoga for kids:

“When presented in a child’s language, yoga can help counter the stress experienced by young people living in a hurry-up world. Our children live in a hurry-up world of busy parents, school pressures, incessant lessons, video games, malls, and competitive sports. We usually don’t think of these influences as stressful for our kids, but often they are. The bustling pace of our children’s lives can have a profound effect on their innate joy—and usually not for the better.”

Wenig explains that yoga can help counter these pressures. Yoga for kids teaches:

  • techniques for self-health,
  • relaxation
  • inner fulfillment
  • self-esteem
  • body awareness with a physical activity that’s noncompetitive.
  • cooperation and compassion
  • flexibility,
  • strength,
  • coordination
  • concentration and sense of calmness 
 
Doing yoga, children exercise, play, connect more deeply with the inner self, and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them. When yogis developed the asanas many thousands of years ago, they still lived close to the natural world and used animals and plants for inspiration—the sting of a scorpion, the grace of a swan, the grounded stature of a tree. When children imitate the movements and sounds of nature, they have a chance to get inside another being and imagine taking on its qualities. When they assume the pose of the lion (Simhasana) for example, they experience not only the power and behavior of the lion, but also their own sense of power: when to be aggressive, when to retreat. The physical movements introduce kids to yoga’s true meaning: union, expression, and honor for oneself and one’s part in the delicate web of life.

Yoga with children offers many possibilities to exchange wisdom, share good times, and lay the foundation for a lifelong practice that will continue to deepen.  Wenig notes that when teaching yoga for children, one needs to honor the children’s innate intelligence and use the yoga asanas as a springboard for exploration of many other areas—animal adaptations and behavior, music and songs, storytelling, drawing—it is a truly interdisciplinary approach to learning, informed by the flow of child’s play.

Wenig’s program, YogaKids,  combines yogic techniques designed especially for children using Dr. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner, an author and professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, describes eight intelligences innate in all of us—linguistic, logical, visual, musical, kinesthetic, naturalistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal—and emphasizes that children should be given the opportunity to develop and embody as many of these as possible.  In keeping with this theory, YogaKids integrates storytelling, games, music, language, and other arts into a complete curriculum that engages the “whole child.” We employ ecology, anatomy, nutrition, and life lessons that echo yogic principles of interdependence, oneness, and fun. Most of all, our program engages the entire mind, body, and spirit in a way that honors all the ways children learn.  When they stretch like a dog, balance like a flamingo, breathe like a bunny, or stand strong and tall like a tree, they are making a connection between the macrocosm of their environment and the microcosm of their bodies. The importance of reverence for all life and the principle of interdependence becomes apparent. Children begin to understand that we are all made of the same “stuff.” We’re just in different forms.

For more information contact Martha Wenig at (800) 968-0694 or e-mail innerwrk@niia.net

Adapted from “Yoga for Kids” by Martha Wenig, Yoga Journal