YouYoga

YOGA THAT LETS YOU BE YOU

Starting kids off with good habits and preventing them from learning the bad ones… June 14, 2012

I picked up a copy of “Yoga Essentials” this week – an issue entitled “Back to Basics.” This got me thinking about how kids’ yoga is really all about providing the basics of a successful practice, which the students will hopefully continue to build on as they mature.  And hopefully, learning some yoga skills – calming the mind, non-competitiveness, honoring the body – will help prevent children from taking on the bad habits of our crazy, fast paced society that is riddled with ill-health and dis–eases. Or at the very least, kids who learn yoga, will have tools to combat the unhealthy habits of “success” that modern life instills.

Hillary Dowdle, the editor of “Yoga Essentials” notes that all that is essential to a thriving practice is the right intention and the commitment to show up on your mat regularly. But it sure does help to have a handle on the basics. There is nothing new or revolutionary or even terribly complicated in a successful yoga practice, she goes on to note, only good solid instruction. And how wonderful if we can start as kids with that good solid instruction! How much sooner, and with how much more ease then, will the asana and the yoga path off the mat, become second nature, a way of life.  Some of the questions Dowdle hopes to answer in her issue of “Yoga Essentials” are: “How can I better control back bends? How can I stop wriggling and freaking out in savasna?” (my pet question!) “What constitutes safe inversions?” “How can I heal/treat injuries with therapeutic yoga?”

Though, when teaching children, especially younger ones, we don’t generally give very specific corrections on alignment and physiology, kids’ yoga is a great place to start introducing answers to these concepts, or at least creating an awareness of the questions.

I try to show kids alternatives or modifications for unique bodies and for safety, in poses, and all life situations, in a way that is accessible to young minds and bodies. If a child is wobbling and falling over in tree pose, one might suggest a drishti or gazing point, or come out of the pose, work on understanding the concept of engaging the pelvic floor muscles and then try again. Or just a suggestion of having the hands at heart center rather than overhead, or tipping off a wall slightly, may plant the seed of, “It’s ok for me seek other options, to find a way that works for me, to modify to my unique body.” These insights will translate into a freer, more relaxed, less competitive child in all spheres of life.

I wonder how different my life would have been thus far, if I had internalized ideas on necessary relaxation, stilling my racing mind and managing anxiety through breath control, non-competitiveness and listening to my inner voice at an early age. I’d wager I probably would have had an easier time battling anxiety and depression, an over- achiever’s mindset and burn out.

I realized how ingrained the patterns of our pressing, fast paced modern life are in me, when I arrived at a yoga class this week, anxious, headachy and stressed after a day of sitting still and doing admin work and trying to catch up on mails. After two minutes of deep breathing, I felt like a different person, lighter, more joyous, calmer, rejuvenated.  How different would my day have been if I had heeded the quiet inner voice (which I didn’t even think to listen for) and stopped my work once or twice to connect with the most basic of life functions just breathing. How sad that I internalized so many negative patterns of modern life and not this simple, yet essential health habit.  And though I teach this stuff to others every day, I still battle to implement it myself.  Silly! And, if kept up non-stop, debilitating!

Another essential yoga lesson I see kids learn in little bite size pieces in yoga class, is one-pointedness. It is, in fact, something we all once knew how to do to some extent, but have unlearned. It is one of the eight limbs of yoga – dharana  – sometimes translated as concentration. It really means more than concentrating – it means being present in the moment you are in, alert and aware with all your faculties, and not scattering your energies outward every which way. Another bad habit of modern life I have internalized is to be constantly busy (or multi-tasking and efficient, as my ego likes to think of it,) always doing more than one thing at a time – “Just think of the time I’ll save and how much more I can cram into my day if I read my email while I eat breakfast or talk on the phone while I unpack the dishwasher (or drive!)” Yoga teaches us to be fully present in the present moment and harness all the powers of awareness, mind, body and spirit. B.K.S. Inyengar says, “The practice of asana, performed with the involvement of all the elements of our being, awakens and sharpens intelligence until it is integrated with our senses, our mind, our memory, our consciousness and our soul. All our bones, flesh, joints, fibers, ligaments, senses, mind and intelligence are harnessed.” And thus, yoga asana teach us to connect to our body intelligence, our intuition, our inner voice. What could be a more precious lesson?

May we teach all our kids yoga lessons with which to combat the ills of modern life, so that they grow up never doubting the strength of the stillness they have within, and are able to draw on it every day, truly saluting the light within themselves and each other in all ways. Namaste!

 

The YOGA BREATH – a microcosm of all we are April 23, 2012

Breath is the most basic of all life functions – it’s the first thing we do on earth, and the last thing we do when we leave this world. It is what nourishes every cell, what makes us alive, yet we are too often so unaware of the quality of the breath and it’s power to influence how we feel, how we move, how we are. When we concentrate hard or are in pain, we tend to hold the breath, but breathing into the pain and through the challenging movement or situation is so helpful! It’s a gift to give ourselves – breath awareness.
 
I found this lovely simple deconstruction of what makes up a breath, and how each breath is a microcosm of all the elements of our lives. 
Breath really is the basis of all yoga… uniting mind to body, movement and breath, and so uniting body and spirit, and so reaching for enlightenment.
 
“The inhale is an expression of Self, of receiving, of making a place for me on this earth
The rest at the top of the breath is an expression of strength
The Exhale is about the Other, about giving, sharing
The rest at the bottom of the breath is about trust. Trusting in silence, trusting in the body, trusting in the world.”
 -Bersma and Visscher (Yoga Games for Children)
 

YOUYOGA Kids: Junior Yoga Instructor Program with Danelle Drury April 9, 2012

We’re looking forward to having your child(ren) participate in YOUYOGA Kids:  Junior Yoga Instructor Program.   You might be wondering what exactly is Kids’ Yoga?   Well, at YOUYOGA we believe it’s a combination of many things, and over the course of 6 yoga practices your child will experience the following:

First, we tap into your child’s creativity by pretending we’re animals or elements that occur in nature; such as  large mountains.  When we use our creativity we also learn to think for ourselves, and challenge our minds.

Movement is another aspect of YOUYOGA Kids.  By practicing asana, also known as yoga poses, your children will build strength and focus. They’ll also learn to appreciate their bodies, and what they are capable of accomplishing through consistent effort and awareness.

We’ll also focus on your child’s love of sound.  Connecting movements through song helps to build brain power, which is great way to increase memory.  The children will also learn the names of poses along with various breathing techniques.

The best part about YOUYOGA Kids is: During the 6th session each child will lead part of a yoga practice sharing with their families what they’ve learned.  That’s right……they’re going to teach YOU!  At the end of their instruction they’ll be presented with a Junior Yoga Instructor Certificate.

At YOUYOGA, we believe that sharing yoga with your child  can help promote self-awareness, discipline and self-confidence. It’s the ultimate learning through play!  We can’t wait to get started!  Here are the dates for the summer session, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there.  Each class is limited to 12 students, so don’t delay:

Summer Sessions:

 

Wednesdays, May 9 – June 6

4:00 – 4:45 pm, Ages: 5-8

5:00 -5:45 pm, Ages: 9-12

 

Wednesdays, June 13 – July 25

4:00 – 4:45 pm, Ages: 5-8

5:00 -5:45 pm, Ages: 9-12

 

Cost: $54 for each 6 week session

 

Spring Into YOUYOGA this April April 3, 2012

 

 

"Yoga That Let's You Be You"

 

 

 

 

Mom’s Day Special 30/30:

30 days of yoga for 30 dollars……That’s right give the moms in your life the gift of wellness and clam.  This 30 day window will be from May 14 – June 16.  She can take as many classes as she would like during this time frame…..with exclusion of YOU in Stillness; however, this gift will be recognized as a pass, so she may qualify for the discount.

 

 

Upcoming YOU in Stillness Practices Sundays @ 1:00-2:30 pm:

May 06: session filled

May 20: session filled

May 27: space available

Remember, space is limited to 6 students in this practice, so please sign-up and pay in advance for your session.

Cost: 20$, or 15$ if class pass holder

 

 

New YOU in the Beginning Practice:

Wednesdays: YOU in the Beginning @ 6:15-7:15 pm, this practice will begin on April 18

Learn to build your practice from the ground up, as well as learning name of poses, along with various breathing techniques.  You’ll gain the confidence to move forward in your practice…..while feeling good about yourself!

 

 

Pilates with Darrell Wray:

Thursday, April 12 @ 9:30-10:30 am (on the mat)

Saturday,  April 24 @ 9:30-10:30 am (on the chair)

Get your “powerhouse”  strong so that you can feel good in your body!

 

 

YOUYOGA Kids: 6 Week Junior Yoga Instructor Program with Danelle Drury:

Wednesdays:  May 9 – June 6 and June 13 – July 25

Level 1 (5-8 yrs): 4:00-4:45 pm

Level 2 (9-12 yrs): 5:00-5:45 pm

Cost:  54$ per session (9$ per class), or 12$ drop-in

By sharing yoga with children it can help to promote self-awareness, discipline and confidence in them.  It’s the ultimate learning through play!