Monday, July 25, 2016

Where to learn American Sign Language

Learning a new language is a feat. Deciding where or how to learn a language is a challenge. As a stay at home mother of two young children I have found many options for learning American Sign Language (ASL), but quite a few were too expensive, or too time consuming to work with my family's schedule. However, we are lucky there are many options that are becoming more available today.

Traditional route
Jr College/ College courses- these classes are taught in person typically by a person well connected in the local Deaf community. ASL is traditionally split into 4 classes with a few extra options depending on where you live. In Bakersfield our local JC also offers a Deaf Storytelling, and Deaf Culture class. Colleges often offer an AA or BA with ASL and is a good starting point for a career within the Deaf Community. This is the most costly route and will take 2 years at least to do all 4 classes.

Local route
Community classes- These are often offered by your local Deaf agency, or School of the Deaf. These classes are affordable and are done in sessions. Look at your local Deaf Agency for when they are available and if they offer above ASL 1.
Deaf Churches- Deaf Churches are great resources for practicing ASL skills. They often hold events and are very open to people coming to learn. Pastor's are patient and understanding, church members are very open and welcoming. At times these churches will offer classes to the community that are equivalent to an ASL 1 course.

Non traditional Route
Internet- There are many available options to learn vocab and grammar online. These classes can be free, or very reasonably priced. The benefit is the availability to go at your own speed, you can cover ASL 1-4 with ASLU in a matter of months if you can memorize vocab well, and you can do it from home, so you are not adding the cost of child care to the cost of classes. I have listed my favorite options on my ASL page. Where this route fails, is the ability to converse and get outside of your head. ASL is a visual language. You need to have real conversations, and as with Yoga it is best learned in the presence of a teacher. Be prepared to have learned bad habits, and be ready to correct them. If you go this option I highly recommend you spend extra time within the Deaf Community to gain trust and learn properly from fluent signers.

Native Signers- As with all languages immersion is key. The more you can immerse your life in ASL the faster you will learn. Look for Deaf groups, events, go to their activities when you feel you can hold a conversation. The Deaf community is very welcoming and friendly. They are patient when you show you are willing to learn. Happily, unlike many other languages you do not need to go out of the country to immerse yourself in ASL. The more you learn from Native Signers the less you will need classes to teach you.

Don't forget your family. If you are learning ASL teach your children. One of the best ways to learn is to teach. But please remember ASL grammar and English grammar are different. If you talk as you sign you are using incorrect grammar, and be prepared that is a bad habit that will need to be fixed one day, but that is not a reason to not meet those in your Deaf community.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Virabhadrasana II

Virabhadrasana II

Warrior 2 Pose
Standing Asana

Key Benefits

  • correct deformity in legs and tone muscles
  • relieve backaches, neck strains
  • reduce fat around waist, hips, thighs
  • reduce acidity, release gas, remove heaviness and bloating sensations in stomach
  • vital organs are stimulated and activated
  • improve function of reproduction system
How to get into Virabhadrasana II

  1. Stand in Tadasana, jump feet 4 1/2 feet apart, into Utthita Hasta Padasana
  2. Turn right foot 90 degrees to the right and turn the left foot slightly in, Parsva Hasta Padasana. Breath
  3. Keeping the center of the trunk vertical exhale and bend the right leg until the thigh and the calf form a right angle. The shin is perpendicular and the thigh is parallel to the floor. The bent knee does not extend past the ankle, but is in line with the heel.
  4. Maintain the back leg straight, the foot anchored on the floor with the hips in line with the back of the legs.
  5. Extend the arms out sideways from the center of the chest. Expand the chest. Align the shoulders over the hips.
  6. Turn the head to face the right and gaze softly at the right hand. Do not turn the trunk.
  7. Breathe. Pull with the left arm and back foot to come out. Repeat on other side. 

  • Use a wall with either the heel of the back foot against the wall, or the whole back body against the wall for stability, and alignment
  • Yoga Horse for foot, knee, hip, back problems. Be sure to see a CIYT (certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher) for assistance with your practice. 
  • chair for stability
  • Can be done without fear during pregnancy, although using support of a horse or chair is best under guidance of an CIYT. 
  • Jumping movement and pose can be done during normal menstruation 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Laughter at the Allergist

I recently took my kids to have allergy tests. How those went is a rant I'm not willing to post today. We went back this last week for our results. I just knew there would be understanding and relief with the results.

Emma first. She is allergic to cats -she loves cats, dogs -we have 2 large dogs, horses -Daniel rides horses weekly, and dust -we live in Bakersfield. I laughed out loud and rather loudly as the results were read back to me. Her allergies cause congestion in the sinus cavities. Being around all her allergies constantly can and does explain her constant sinus infections. Having her adenoids removed has helped, but she still gets infections. Now I get to come up with a feasible action plan for her, so she is not miserable.

Playing Dad's trumpet
Now Daniel. Cats- again loves cats, environmental mold- explains why he was sick all winter, and weeds- again Bakersfield is in a drought most people have weeds for lawn, including a large portion of ours.

I am opting to try an essential oil blend instead of giving them daily allergy medication. Emma has had such a hard time with constipation that I am currently giving her a lot of apple juice to try to help, and essential oils. I can't imagine what a daily medicine would do to her little digestive system. I am also looking at a good probiotic to help that sweet gut of hers.

Now to come up with an action plan that does not include getting rid of dogs or keeping her inside constantly.