Beginning a yoga practice can much be like building a snowman…where do we begin?
Often summertime offers kids an opportunity to break away from the rigid schedules and busyness of school and slow down a bit. The slower schedule of summer can also bring about an opportunity to introduce children and young adults to new ideas or ways of being. Kids minds may be better able to attend to ideas of mindfulness and meditation as ways of addressing their anxiety and stress they may often encounter over the school year.
Mindfulness is the act of becoming more in the present moment and can be achieved through breath work (pranayama) or meditation (watching our thoughts with non-attachment) and/or yoga postures (asana).
Although many studios (including DRISHTIQ Yoga) offer yoga classes for kids and teens- there are also many great articles online that help explain mindfulness to kids and resources online and on the app store that help parents and caregivers foster a mindfulness or meditation practice with their kids.
Watching mediation videos like Amy K's mindful moment or using apps like Smiling Mind can allow kids the opportunity to practice meditation or mindfulness in small amounts of time each day. These resources can give them tools they need to understand how becoming more present in each moment, slowing down the breath, focusing the mind away from the worries about the past or fears or anxiety about the future.
YOGA IN SCHOOLS
DRISHTIQ Yoga is excited to work with our community to bring yoga and mindfulness to area teens and young adults. We've been privileged to serve area schools staff and students as well as local Girl Scout/Boy Scout troops and other social and educational settings. We are here if you need help or have an opportunity for us to come in and share our expertise with the students or population you serve.
Just give us a call or stop in so we can chat!
For most of us, it's not always storming. Our lives aren't always filled with chaos and turmoil, threat of danger, illness or injury. Our minds may feel that way sometimes- our inner "roommate" may constantly be warning us of impending threats, contemplating reasons to worries or possible worst outcomes.
In reality- only 50% of our lives are spent in storms.
But when you're in one, it may seem like there is no place to turn.
The Role of Self Care
That's why a regular self care practice can prepare us in the body and mind- and change our reaction to storms when they really do arise. No one is immune to trauma. We all will experience our own trauma from time to time. We are human, and that is a part.
However we can work to live in a way that we are better able to move through trauma in all its "glory". Creating a life of accepting that even storms bring sunshine. Our yoga practice is just that, a practice. On our mats we tap in to more stillness, peace, and breathe trying to find as safe place to land. When things are going quite well,and when the reality is just the opposite.
As a community of yogis, we know we are all on a journey. That's why our studio is one of the happiest places to be. A place of acceptance, honor for one another, and space- physical space and the mental/emotional space we can find in the communal solitude we find on our mats. And that's why when we can't make it to the studio- because of storms or impending weather,we find solace on our mat in our home practice when we can. With the helpful guidance of an online yoga practice or simply using what we've learned at the studio to move and breathe through some postures.
Gratitude- for self care. Self care- knowing where to land when you're not sure where to go, is a life preserver. Namaste.
Whatever your goal is DRISHTIQ Yoga wants to help you reach it. Our classes are designed with you in mind. Often our instructors ask at the beginning of class- what are your intentions, what do you need from your practice today? These are questions you should also be asking yourself- Why am I here? What can I commit to each week so I can reach my goal?
Stop in and chat with our front desk. Share your goals with us. Let's get started reaching them.
We're ready....are you?
For teachers and students alike, gearing up to go back to school is not the most exciting thing in the world. Besides seeing your friends and meeting new teachers, the school year brings stress and anxiety for everyone.
Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to sleep before midnight on the first-day-of-school-eve as I lie in bed, anxiously contemplating what will happen the next day and where my summer had gone.
It's common for you or your children to feel stressed on the first day; who am I going to sit with at lunch? What if my teachers don’t like me? What if I fall down the stairs and make a complete fool of myself? With this, the cycle of stressful classes, homework and tests also begins. And to make a healthy learning environment, we need to eliminate some of that stress. Here are a few tips to help you or your child transition into a stress free school year:
Happy (almost) New Year!
New Years Resolutions
Time to set those resolutions, get inspired, and energized for the New Year you have been given.
2018 is knocking at the door and it will soon be time to let it in! Before you do-- take a moment in gratitude to truly FEEL 2017. What do you have to be grateful for in the past year? Even if it's been the hardest, most challenging year yet…. What can you find hiding in the corners that strikes a bit of gratitude in your heart?
Now stop-- breath there...allow the gratitude to become an ALL OVER physical sensation for a moment-- notice how the physical body responds to gratitude-- and instead of letting the thought pass-- for a moment, be OVERWHELMED by the physical sensation of gratitude.
Now moving into 2018, how can you channel that which brought you bliss in 2017 and bring it with you in 2018?
Perhaps it’s the relationship you had with your yoga mat, your meditation bolster, or lavender eye pillow?
The safe space you have created to come and surrender, find space, and move into peace and bliss in the body-- and likewise because, we believe yoga means Union- if we can find space in the physical body-- perhaps, then, we can also believe this transcends into the mental-emotional space as well.
How do we cultivate, feed and encourage our commitment to our mats (or any self-care practice) in 2018?
#1 BELIEVE in self-care
Ask a yoga practitioner on the way out of class- we are overwhelmed by the “I love Yoga” feeling-- at the end of a practice. We know we feel better, (and others around us feel better) when we practice. Like any other commitment we make, the practice must come daily. The effort to carve out space for ourselves must be paramount on our schedule. We must believe that self-care- regardless of its form-- is as important, if not MORE important as caring for others. When we put self-care into practice-- it OVERWHELMINGLY shows up in our personal connections with others, our work productivity, our energy to connect and live peacefully.
#2 Reinforce the belief-
Stop and notice the effects. Take in the gratitude when you take time for self-care.
So what happens? What happens to New Years Resolutions on January 15? (if we make it that long). We forget to stop and take our “I love Yoga Moment” or pat ourselves on the back-- for carving time and making the effort towards our self-care. We need to stop and acknowledge when we take-- even 5 minutes of our day to stop and rest in stillness or meditation-- or our efforts will be lost to “busy-ness and fight or flight existence.”
#3 Form a community
Self-care comes more naturally when you surround yourself with people who also practice self- care. Join a yoga studio, a running group, get a book club going or try a meditation circle. Sometimes, when we know someone else is going to show up to a class-- on the days we are really struggling to find time-- make a date and an effort to just get there. This does not mean your practice is not personal to you.
#4 Have a backup plan
What if you get hurt and you cannot exercise? -Meditation takes no movement. What if you are traveling or do not have exercise equipment with you? - Grab your phone and a towel and play an on-demand class. What if you just don’t have time? -Make an effort to focus on breath in your morning commute or while you are waiting for your child to get done with basketball practice. Do you have to work a double? -Take the stairs. Do some pushups before lunch and stop while eating lunch-- to actually “taste” the food.
Have a backup plan-- should things not work out as you would have liked.
#5 Do not skip a day
Do SOMETHING every day that brings you bliss. You do not have to do an hour of yoga or a run a day. It can be as simple as getting out of bed and stepping on your mat to take a child’s pose-- and that’s it. Make the effort towards self-care-- any DAILY habit, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair.
#6 Let us help
Our community here at DRISHTIQ is here to help you. Grab a teacher after class. Chat up our front desk crew. Among our many opportunities to practice all types of yoga- we also have challenges-- you can join in-- to keep you motivated. For instance, work towards our 2018 Om Club re-birth or try any of our super helpful workshops-- which will get you closer to finding your bliss. We also have private one-on-one opportunities-- where you can meet for a personalized class with a yoga teacher. Our On-Demand Library of classes is there for you to access ANYwhere-- at ANY time! Our goal for 2018 is to better equip our community for self-care. We are here to help. Get in touch!
My @tedxcinnati video of my talk: Disconnect to Connect (below) was just released this past weekend on YouTube. This experience was truly life changing for me personally and as a speaker. I thought it may be helpful to share some of what I learned during this year while going through this process of creating a TED Talk, auditioning to make it to the main stage and then performing it.
When new students walk into class to practice yoga for the first time or a business opens its doors for the first time, a very similar experience happens. They both look around at what others are doing and want what they have today even though they are just beginning. I see in both cases they can be quickly disappointed if it doesn’t come fast enough. A yoga student may see the flexibility of the person next to them or see another person fly into an arm balance and ask how fast they will be able to do the same thing. An entrepreneur looks around at the success of other businesses that have been working in the same field for years and expect the same revenue and success as them in their first year.
How do we set the right expectations so we don’t disappoint ourselves and are able to enjoy the process of starting something new? Over the years I have seen people take steps through the journey and have intention as they go through the process and achieve success. I have also observed firms and clients alike try to rush through implementations without taking the steps to train, create unrealistic goals and a tremendous amount of stress for themselves and those around them. In yoga, I see students try to muscle through poses rather than understanding their breath and proper alignment first. They miss that if they slow down and learn the poses it will help them into each posture naturally with very little muscle involved.
I did the same thing when I started yoga. I started and stopped yoga a few times thinking I could never do what I saw others doing – whether that be their flexibility or ability of being still in a pose. Then I finally decided to go to a Beginners class and that changed everything for me. I finally understood where to put my feet, hands, gaze and utilize my breath. I also began to understand that I needed to stop focusing on the people next to me, that I may never do what they can do. I learned to be okay with that. I stopped being competitive and starting enjoying the practice. There is no reason that starting a new business line or service shouldn’t be the same. You should enjoy the excitement of starting something new and all the learning ahead of you. The climb is exciting and opportunities open up that you never realized were available.