Monday, September 30, 2019

Emma' s poem

So Emma evidently enjoys that I write  yoga poems, and told me yesterday that she wrote her own and I had to record it. She is so cute . It reminds me why I teach them yoga and why I have been sharing my poems- so my kids can learn in a creative environment and learn how to express themselves in healthy ways.

Then Michael got in on the action. He was enjoying Emma's poem too.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Little Yogi

Here is another version of my yoga pose poem. This one is titled "Little Yogi"

I start with standing tall as a mountain
reminding  me to be still and not shrink.
It is time to start my practice drink from this fountain. 

Then I move to be a triangle, one that I create
I take my body and notice shapes around me
Naturally born from mother earth upon these I meditate

I jump to be all the Warriors one, two and three. 
Each one is a challenge but I calm my face and remember
I am able to conquer all hard things that come to me. 

Downward dog makes me laugh as my dog joins in this pose
We both stretch from the ground to the sky
And I love to take time to smell a rose. 

I become a downward tree by coming up to a handstand. 
I extend my arms away and I see the world upside down
Now I feel invincible upon all the land.  

Next balance like a boat on the water, legs in the air
Be still in my practice, still in my mind don't waiver, 
Don’t overturn my little boat keep afloat stay up there.

Sit up straight, legs stretched out my toes to see
I raise my arms and lift my chest
Take big breaths in and out free to breathe free to be. 

I bind my feet with my hands see my knees press to the ground
They remind me of a butterfly that goes through changes
And lives it life meaningfully without making a sound.

Upside down again I go, this time a candle I become
Trying to calm the flickering flame my legs appear to be
I press my arms down lift my body up and answer the sky’s beacon, come. 

I close my practice on my back, lying on the floor. 
Arms to the side quiet, I remember my poses

My yoga today seems to small, but helps my mind to soar. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Need kids to meditate? Try this

As part of yoga we meditate. I wrote this to help my kids learn a form of meditation.

Dogi duke stands at the front of the class
Today we are going to sit on the  grass
We will cross our legs to let our minds fly
To teach them to calm and how to soar high

Close your eyes and soften the face 
Sit tall from your head down to your base
Relax the neck and take the shoulders down
And do not worry if you have a frown

Gather your thoughts and Relax your mind, 
then let it be empty so your ready to find
A peaceful place one to explore, 
As you breathe in be ready for more 

As you begin see a light grow
Look around what do you know?
Are there lots of colors to fill your sight
Or is it all just  black and white?

Do the colors form shapes, as they come into sight?
Are they round, solid, or fuzzy, and light?
The breeze that throws your hair back To play, 
does it dance? Does it whisper? What does it say?

Did you catch the scent that flew on the breeze,
Lavender, mint, or maybe the seas?
Can you follow the scent to where it goes
Over, and under you follow your nose,

A flower, or tree, or sand and the waves. 
Something to touch, something to save?
Can you taste it? Maybe your hungry by now, 
Our noses can always find food somehow. 

Now this place is established in view
You feel its calmness through and through
Do you see anyone else coming into your place
Anyone to greet, that can share the space?

Embracing the each moment of calm and repose
Now you hear a voice that you know and suppose
You stop to remember the scene and hear, 
 “Count to three and bring your draw your thoughts near”

Feeling you breathe and legs on the floor
You start to sense where you are once more
Your in Dogi Duke’s class, and you just slipped away
On an amazing trip you can see everyday. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

New Schedule

I am excited in 10 days I get to start my new schedule! Come and visit me at InShape or contact me for a class here at the house.

Monday 9:30am Oswell
Tuesday 8-11 Home
Wednesday 8-11  Home
Thursday 8-11 Home
                            7:35pm Riverlakes
Friday 8-11 Home

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tantrum anyone?

I got to come home a little early this last week and do some therapy from home. It was really nice to be able to apply what I am learning and see how it reacts in real life. Well real life happened and I didn't fail, and I did finish up my poem inspired by my kids.

Grumpy Grumpy Fussy Monkey
started the day all wrong
his covers fell off
he had a slight cough
so his plans went so long

Grumpy Grumpy Fussy Monkey
stormed into the kitchen to eat
he had to just stare
his favorite chair
was now just a broken seat

Life isn't fair
And no one here cares
Is all what he had to say

Grumpy Grumpy Fussy Monkey
said maybe I can read
the books stood high
but thought he could spy
the favorite that he needs

Grumpy Grumpy Fussy Monkey
howled and hit the ground
his book was not there
he pulled at his hair
and stomped his loudest sound.

Life isn't fair
And no one here cares
Is all what he had to say

Grumpy Grumpy Fussy Monkey
just sat and wiped his eyes.
why couldn't he be
a happier me
He went to go and cry.

Grumpy Grumpy Fussy Monkey
Couldn't handle any more
Mamma came round
picked him off the ground
and hugged him more and more

Life is not fair
but know I always care
is all she had to say.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I want to start.... but how?

When I would spend a lot of time at The Yoga Space in Bakersfield, CA I heard lots of questions and concerns about yoga.
1. What class should I start with?
 Check with the studio and see what classes are offered. Typically there are 
  • Restorative, Typically slow paced class good for anyone with medical conditions and beginners
  • Level 1- beginner, perfect class to start with. Standing poses, seated poses, and beginning inversions are taught.  
  • Level 1/2, Typically you know shoulder stand, and looking to go deeper into your practice
  • Level 2 - advanced, Not for beginners, typically at least 6 months of regular practice. Either can or preparing to do a headstand- against a wall. 
  • All levels , this class is a generalized class with poses that are good for beginners, and includes poses that will begin to deepen your practice. Always good for a beginner. 
 Each class has a focus and a purpose. Don't go to a restorative class expecting to constantly be moving. You will often find yourself holding poses for a few minutes, and often with props to support the pose. 

2. How often should I come to classes?
  • Commit to come once or twice a week. 
    • Many studios offer class packages at an introductory rate to help you start your practice and enable you to try as many teachers as you can. 
    • Other studios offer grouped sessions. Grouping the year into sessions allows the practitioner to get familiar with a teacher, see their progress from start to finish, and gives them a good idea what classes they are ready for next. 
  • Set up a spot in your home for yoga. Keep your mat there and any props you use. 
    • If you use the TV or Internet to practice classes make sure you have a hard surface to practice on and enough room so you can always see the instructor on the TV. 
3. How much are classes or packages?
  • Depending on where you live, major urban area or smaller town yoga classes are typically $18-$25 per class. If you want privates you must ask the instructor what their rate is, and where they teach. 
  • Studios often offer discounts for buying groups of classes in a bundle lowering the overall price of classes down from $25/ class to $20 or $15 per class. Some studios have greater discounts. 
4. I can't touch my toes... should I come?
  • I love my students who tell me they can't touch their toes. Because it places the participant in a very humble position ready to learn and to accept what their body can or cannot do. If you cannot touch your toes you may emotionally feel best in a restorative class, but don't just stay there, when your willing and ready to progress in your practice go to a level 1 class. 
5. I have an injury, or condition can I do this safely?
  • Yoga is very safe and wonderful for most conditions. Here are a few conditions that yoga has been proven to be effective for
    • Aging​
    • Amythrophic Lateral Sclerosis​
    • Anxiety/ Depression/ Stress​
    • Arthritis
    • Asthma
    • Back Pain
    • Bone Health
    • Breast Cancer
    • Cancer
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    • Diabetes
    • General Health and Well Being
    • Hypertension
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Menopause
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Neck Pain
    • Ovarian Cancer
    • Pancreatitis
    • Parkinson's Disease
    • Restless Leg Syndrome
    • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Focus more on the qualifications of your instructor to help decide if this class is right for you. Quality teachers typically have 
    • an advanced certificate of training.
    • many years of teaching and practicing, teacher training  in yoga
    • an understanding of Eastern and Western anatomy 
    • has training or experience in providing therapeutic yoga. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

How to be a great parent

My Psychologist challenged me to write an article on being a good mom. This is not the easiest thing for me because I often feel I fall way short of a good parent. But over the last few weeks my views have been challenged and I'm trying to define what is a good parent.

Lets start with the very basics. A good parent provides food, clothes, shelter, care, and love. That sounds pretty easy doesn't it? We all have seen the meme's on facebook. "When I was a child all my mom had to do was clothe, feed, and have a place to stay. Now the list is endless. "

So if you were a good parent then, you are what a grandparent now? Great. They get to be the awesome parent and grandparent to your kids. How about you? Can we live by the same standards they did? Can I go back to when my mom was raising me and utilize her standards to see if I can be a good mom?

Lets see...

Are you kids fed, do they have clothes? Do you do your best to put shelter over their head (all kinds, temporary to owning a house)? Are their medical needs met? Do they feel like they are loved?

Look I even added a few because Millenials and Generation Y kids are special and like emotional needs met.
That is where I am starting at, and I can happily say I do all these things. Therefore I am a good parent.

But what about their mental growth? Spiritual growth? Physical growth? Don't I have to focus on their well-being of the whole child?

Shouldn't every child be in one activity each season, play an instrument, and willingly goes to church, also know a second language in order to make a parent at least seem good? I tried with the second language they gave up and look at me when I am using ASL to them like I am crazy. I just tell them they used to be able to talk to me and we had a quiet house. Actually I would yell at them in ASL and my neighbors never knew it! Now  my husband tells me that he can hear me yell outside. Sorry Neighbors!

So then what about interacting with the kids daily? Meeting emotional needs.

Daily interactions does not mean constant attachment to the hip. You did a lot of that when they were babies and were nearly worn down by bed time. All my kids were needy as babies. I know that is improper to say, "babies cry for a reason, not to be manipulative" well they never met my baby. I could hold him for 4 hours and try to put him on the ground and it sounds like someone came in and tried to abduct him. All day I was holding my kids to keep them from screaming, and I even let them scream themselves to sleep so I could get some sleep, because heaven knows I didn't get showers then.

As kids get older they are fine to learn to play by themselves, they need time to make choices- good and bad, and they are fine if they are bored. I was so excited when my kids got mobile. They could walk they could run, they could play by themselves.... not my kids. My oldest is doing alright learning to play by himself, it took many years of training and a lot of money spent on Legos. I really should own a share in that company by now. But my baby.... I will be in bed, 7:30 am, not horrendously late, though he has found me in bed at 9:30 am,  and he comes and wants me to get him a banana- he can get one himself- and open it in the kitchen. I ask for 2 minutes, but he takes my covers and pulls them off of me! The little punk. I have no choice but to get up because now I am cold and he won't let go of the sheets!

Well, I yell at my kids? Doesn't that cause them distress and harm?

 My psychologist has told me to work on "seethe on the inside". But you are a new mom. Every day you are a new mom, just because your kid is 7 or 17 doesn't mean you know what in the world you are doing. And yelling, well in the very least feels like I am doing something to get them to stop ignoring me. Will it hurt them? Maybe, but will they grow up to be a well adjusted child? You bet, especially if you pair yelling at them with a  "I'm sorry Mommy had a meltdown and needs a timeout". Then go lock your door and either pee by yourself or post an adorably cute edited photo of your kids so you feel better about your mom status.

Speaking of facebook- let me say the girls in my family 'get' Instagram, Pintrest, and every other social media tool that can be used to make other feel infrior. I told my Psychologist about a pie my sister made, and she told me to get what I need for a box cake and icing. Then put a picture of it next to some weeds my kids picked. That post is coming up in the next week or so. My photos are never as cute as my families, or parties are never as good as the friend's. Does it make my feel guilty? Yes. I forgot to buy a smash cake for my youngest's first birthday and had to run to a bakery and get whatever cake they had available. It was a nice, chocolate, round cake with frosting so hard that you couldn't make indents with your fingers or teeth! Cute picture getting into the cake, failed.

Social media is the worst thing to happen to moms. We are always falling short or going to great lengths to be a 'good' mom for the party and have the perfect picture that gets 200 likes. Give the kids Nerf guns, safety glasses (protection), 500 darts and a place to shoot each other, and you will be the coolest mom. Pair it with a pizza and store bought cupcakes and your child will always remember that party. That was my son's favorite party, but they Beyblade tournament party we had the following year was just as simple and epic. No themed foods, I did but some plates and napkins to match the theme... but I get so stressed that even my 'amazing' parties turn out to be thrown together at the very end because I didn't plan on having 29 kids at my house to play Nerf War and there was not enough cake or pizza!

I don't take photos very often.... I have missed capturing some of the cute moments in their life. Like when they first walk, I have pictures of them walking as babies, but the first step? I don't even know where my camera was. I might have been holding it waiting for their 10th step, but even then they sat on the ground and just looked at me.

So at the end of the day do your kids love you? They may not like you but do they know they are safe with you and will always be loved?

If that is a yes then you are a not just a good parent, you are a great parent. No matter what anyone else tries to tell you. Just take your non smash-able smash cake and dig in with the baby.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The best yoga pose

What is the best yoga pose?

Well that depends, what do you want to accomplish? Do you want to de- stress from the day? Do you want to feel empowered? Why are you practicing at this time? Because, every yoga pose could be the best. So find what is your reason for practicing that day and ask what pose will bring that awareness that emotion to your body.
 Let me explain.

When I was pregnant and had sciatica down both legs, Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) was the best pose for me because it lengthened my torso and when I did it on the Yoga Wall, I had amazing traction as well. I loved this pose.

When I was in training to become a teacher, Utthita Trickonasana was the best yoga pose. It is a foundational pose that should be done in most classes, and though it looks easy there are so many subtleties that can be worked on. Being able to know these little adjustments and show them in the pose helped me show my Senior Iyengar Teachers that I was qualified to be an Instructor.

What if you want to feel empowered?
Go upside down. You can do a handstand against a wall. This pose is very heated, it is a great empowerment pose allowing you to say, “I can do a handstand, I can do anything!” And yes I tell me children that. If you want to boost a child’s self confidence, help them into a handstand and watch their faces glow.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Always Learning

How I was 
There are things I love about Iyengar Yoga. You are always a student, and there is more than 1 right way to do something. We often get caught up in how 'our teacher' teaches a pose that when we go to a new teacher it feels uncomfortable.

It is in that moment that we are able to grow. our teachers a certified, well trained by others who have years of knowledge and practice. Just because a teacher shows you her 'preferred' way does not mean every teacher will do the same.

I remember being in DC and going to John Schumacher's class. We were doing Upavistha Konasana and we put the blanket so the corner came between our legs. I had never been taught that before, and when I showed a teacher out here she was just as surprised.

Well this last week I learned a new way of doing headstand. It is different than how I have been taught for the last 7 years, but according to Patricia Walden this is how they do it in Pune, India. Has the method changed? Many times, does it mean I am wrong? No. It is just a way to continue to learn.

The first two pictures show how I have been taught and how I teach going up into headstand. You keep the back of the head touching the base of the thumbs and there is space between your head and you fingers.

What I was just taught, is your whole hand goes against the head, with the pinkies tucked under, almost as a little stop for your head.

New method
They both work, I will continue to teach the way I was taught until I can master this new way.

Friday, September 6, 2019

For Daniel

I have been thinking a lot about Daniel this year, he is turning eight years old in January. I am excited to see how he has grown and gained a testimony of Jesus Christ. I wrote this poem for him.

I’m turning 8 this year
Mom and Dad have great cheer

I’ve learned to walk
I’ve learned to run
I’ve learned to fall
I’ve learned life is fun

I’m going to be 8 this year
The next step is so clear

You taught me to read
You taught me to write
You taught me to believe
You taught me what’s right.

I’m excited to be 8 this year
Please don’t shed a tear

I know God lives
I know  God cares
I know God loves me
I know I’m prepared

So when I turn 8 this year
I’ll take the step there is no fear

I’ll walk in God’s path
I’ll follow God’s light
I’ll go and be baptized

I’ll be confirmed in white. .