Monday, May 1, 2017

Kids' Yoga Summer Camp


I'm so happy I can offer kids' yoga camp this summer! Registration is now open, and I'm only accepting 10 kids per class, ages 4+. I won't be able to host a class unless there are at least 5 participates, so recruit friends! Here's a run down of how it'll work:

There are four sessions in June, and signing up for all three classes in a session gives a discount compared to signing up for an individual class. Classes will be hosted at localYOGA at 6357 S Redwood Road in Taylorsville, UT.

This yoga camp will offer kids a chance to learn more about yoga as exercise, how to calm themselves with art and breathing techniques, and can also help them develop body/self-confidence, strength, and flexibility. I look forward to having your kids learn and grow with me!

10% discount on total cost for siblings who attend together, and you can earn a 10% discount if you refer another camper! If someone you refer signs up, there's a place on the registration form for them to put YOUR name, which will let me know to deduct 10% from your enrollment cost.

Session 1 June 6-8 1:30-3p REGISTRATION CLOSED

Session 2 June 13-15 1:30-3p REGISTRATION CLOSED

Session 3 June 20-22 1:30-3p REGISTRATION CLOSED 

Session 4 June 27-29 1:30-3p (REGISTRATION CLOSED)

Session 5 July 5 AND 6 1:30-3p

$36/child for both classes
$20/child for one class
-Each 1.5 hour class will include yoga education, yoga practice, yoga games, and an art project related to yoga. Approximately 40 minutes of active yoga practice, 30 minutes for the art, and 20 minutes for education.

Session 6 July 11-13 1:30-3p 

$54/child for all three classes
$20/child for one class
-Each 1.5 hour class will include yoga education, yoga practice, yoga games, and an art project related to yoga. Approximately 40 minutes of active yoga practice, 30 minutes for the art, and 20 minutes for education.

I'm 200 hour certified in yoga instruction, as well as CPR and First Aid certified. I've worked in day care for the last three years, plus have had prior years of experience in childcare. Please email livnamasteyoga at gmail dot com if you have any questions. Registration can be found by clicking HERE.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 15

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 15
Practice 1
Date: April 21, 7:30-8:00p
Intention: Non-stealing (use props)
Content: Tadasana, swan dives, chair with bow and arrow (5x), Surya Namaskar (3x)
Downward dog, lunge over right, Virabhadrasana II, Trikonasana, Wide-Legged Forward Fold, Fold at the top of the mat, Tadasana, Standing Pigeon/Figure-four Standing balance, Malasana, Navasana, Roll to fold at the top of the mat, Tadasana (repeat opposite side).
Tree pose (both sides)
Forward fold, Downward Dog, lower to Pigeon, Lizard
Supine spinal rolls, supine hand-to-big-toe pose, Supta Baddha Konasana, Figure-four/supine pigeon legs for spinal twist, happy baby.
Savasana
Reflection: Lots of release in the hips from this practice. Also fun to use props in poses when I usually neglect to (like Trikonasana, Malasana, Navasana). My alignment improves when I don't force a pose simply because I'm flexible.

Practice 2
Date: April 24, 3-4p
Intention: Arm Balance
Content: Seated warm up, neck rolls, shoulder rolls, wrist rolls, hip rolls, seated forward fold, cat/cow/child's post, cat/cow/downward facing dog. Plank, curl left knee under torso to left, then middle, the right. Plank, curl right knee under torso to right, then middle, then left.
Surya Namaska A (3x)
Goddess, Warrior II, Plank, Chaturanga, Updog, Downdog (repeat on other side)
Malasana on block
Navasana with variations (twists, leg extensions)
Baddha Konasana
Firelog
Half-lotus legs for Tolasana, with blocks under hands
Janu Shirsasana (both sides)
Gomukhasana (both sides), Lizard, prone arm stretch, Supta Baddha Konasana (on pillows), Ananda Balasana, Supine pigeon.
Savasana
Reflection: The studio where I'm teaching sets a monthly area of focus. April was arm balances and inversions. This gives me an opportunity to be extremely thoughtful with my lesson planning, and this is what I came up with for a class this month. I like the accessibility of Tolasana when done with different leg positions, and with blocks for elevation. Usually when I think of arm balances I think of inversions as well, so doing a little study before preparing this lesson brought me to Tolasana, a pose I don't usually incorporate in my practice. It was a great reminder of what else is out there.

Practice 3
Date: April 25, 7:30-8:30p
Intention: Arm Balance
Content: Seated warm up, neck rolls, shoulder rolls, wrist rolls, hip rolls, seated forward fold, cat/cow/child's post, cat/cow/downward facing dog. Plank, curl left knee under torso to left, then middle, the right. Plank, curl right knee under torso to right, then middle, then left.
Surya Namaska A (3x)
Goddess, Warrior II, Plank, Chaturanga, Updog, Downdog (repeat on other side)
Malasana on block
Navasana with variations (twists, leg extensions)
Baddha Konasana
Firelog
Half-lotus legs for Tolasana, with blocks under hands
Janu Shirsasana (both sides)
Gomukhasana (both sides), Lizard, prone arm stretch, Supta Baddha Konasana (on pillows), Ananda Balasana, Supine pigeon.
Savasana
Reflection: This time I was able to enjoy this practice without using it as prep for teaching. I enjoyed the overall theme of balancing (did tip toes in Goddess, balanced in Navasana, etc...) that led up to the arm balance.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 14

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 14
Practice 1
Date: Saturday, April 15 7:30-815p
Intention: Brahmana practice
Content: Forearm plank to Dolphin, transition to hands and knees, then prone.
Baby Bhujangasana to Sphinx
Downward Dog
Virabhadrasana I and II, transition to hands and knees, then kneeling.
Virasana (on block), then recline (Supta Virasana)
Bridge
Matsyasana on block
Legs-up-the-wall (without block first, then add block)
Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)
Reflection: I LOVE doing Matsyasana on a block or bolster. It's still challenging, but it lends enough support that I can work on puffing my chest (I have a tendency to forget about that element of back bends). This was a good practice to do to cement the concepts we discussed in class; back bends are warming and need good prep. And after the discussion we had about not immediately countering a pose, I'm more aware of how I sequence things and the effects the poses could have if done from one extreme to the next. This sequence definitely felt like it was building up to something and then giving my back a chance to relax/neutralize (legs-up-the-wall) before going into something considered a counter to the back bend. I felt less discomfort in my back after prepping it more thoroughly, using a prop, and neutralizing.

Practice 2
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 8:30-9:30p
Intention: Yoga for menstruation
Content: (taken from Yoga Sequencing by Mark Stephens)
Supta Baddha Konasana (blocks under thighs), knees to chest, Ananda Balasana
Supta Padangusthasana, each leg (with a strap)
Supta Virasana (with block, partial recline)
Cat-Cow, with alternate-leg-extensions
Downward Dog to Balasana (5x)
Bridge Pose (with a block)
Supine spinal twists
Gomukhasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Seated Forward Fold (with pillows on the thighs to support the upper body)
Legs-up-the-wall (without block)
Savasana
Reflection: This definitely worked through some of the discomfort I was experiencing in my lower back earlier in the day. Having a bolster would be nice for a sequence like this since I wanted the poses to be more restorative. I can make due with about three pillows, but it's not the same. After doing a back-bending seqeunce last month in an attempt to help with cramps, I see how doing more to compress the front of the belly is beneficial.

Practice 3
Date: Wednesday, April 26 7:30-8p
Intention: Samana practice
Content: Seated lateral stretches, easy seated twists, Cat-cow with variations (extending arms and legs for balance), low lunge (each side), downward dog, forward fold.
Tadasana
Utkatasana
Lunge over right, then revolve
Parivrtta Trikonasana (over right)
Trikonasana (over right)
Lunge over right, then forward to fold
Tadasana
Utkatasana
Lunge over left, then revolve
Parivrtta Trikonasana (over left)
Trikonasana (over left)
Lunge over left, then forward to fold
Malasana (transition to sit)
Marichyasana I (left leg extended 1st), then bind the twist
Marichyasana I (right leg extended 2nd), then bind the twist
Dandasana
Seated forward fold
Legs-up-the-wall
Knees to chest, supine spinal twists, ananda balasana, windshield wipers with bent knees (more gentle spinal twist)
Savasana
Reflection: I'm a Pitta, so I love twists. And now that I know more about the energetics of poses, it's fun to experiment with them. This felt especially good as I work through my cycle; today the back pain wasn't present, so I felt ready to twist. This was a nice sequence for paying attention to either side of my body, and acknowledging the changes after doing the sequence on one side.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Yoga for Busy Moms on PS i adore you

Today I'm thrilled to share that I've teamed up with the incredible site PS i adore you to sell my online yoga course at a 50% discount.

If you're not family with PS, I'll give you a brief run-down: they're a flash-sale site that donates a portion of their proceeds to children with cancer. They have fun, practical, cute, amazing products that change out weekly, and it's for such a good cause.

Photo via PS i Adore You website
For the next week on PS, you can purchase Yoga for Busy Moms for 50% off retail, and the coupon code you receive can be redeemed at any time on Udemy (the site that hosts the yoga course). This is a great deal that I'm so happy to be able to offer to you! If you're not interested in yoga for yourself, or if you've already purchased it, you can buy the course as a gift for someone. Think of the women you'll be celebrating on Mother's Day this year... *wink wink*

Head over to PS and check out this amazing deal! You just have a week to save some $$$. See the deal by clicking right HERE.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 13

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 13
Practice 1
Date: Monday, April 10 7:30-8:45p
Intention: Practice for teaching practicum class Tuesday night
Content: Seated warm up- lateral stretches, hip circles, neck rolls, cat/cow with child's pose variation, downward facing dog, half sun salutes, chair with bow and arrow, wrist rolls, sunflower.
Chandra Namaskar
Goddess pose
Star pose
Virabhadrasana II
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Crescent lunge
Wide-Legged Forward fold (supported with blocks under hands/head, and twist after surrendering for a few breaths)
Malasana (use a block under the sits bones first time through)
Bakasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold (supported with blocks under hands/head, and twist after surrendering for a few breaths)
Crescent lunge
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Virabhadrasana II
Star pose
Goddess pose
Garudasana
(Repeat twice, with progression. Second time through, add Ardha Chandrasana after lunges on each side).
Static side lunges
Sage Twist
Ardha Virasana
Lizard
Prone shoulder stretch (but share variation: seated shoulder opener for pregnant classmate)
Marichyasana I (with strap for the class, without strap personally)
Legs-up-the wall (with or w/o block)
Ananda Balasana
Savasana
Reflection: I originally planned this sequence with Pyramid to follow side angle, but I didn't like having to adjust my feet to go into lunge afterward. I wanted lunge to prep for Ardha Chandrasana, so I pulled out Pyramid pose. I liked that flow so much more and felt my alignment wasn't compromised when I played around with that change. Also, even though I won't have time to teach Bakasana or Garudasana in my 50-minute practicum, I included it in this practice for myself.

Practice 2
Date: Wednesday, April 12 8-9p
Intention: Enjoy the moon sequence without worrying about tweaking it for teaching. Be present.
Content: Seated warm up- lateral stretches, hip circles, neck rolls, cat/cow with child's pose variation, downward facing dog, half sun salutes, chair with bow and arrow, wrist rolls, sunflower.
Chandra Namaskar
Goddess pose
Star pose
Virabhadrasana II
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Crescent lunge
Wide-Legged Forward fold (supported with blocks under hands/head, and twist after surrendering for a few breaths)
Malasana (use a block under the sits bones first time through)
Bakasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold (supported with blocks under hands/head, and twist after surrendering for a few breaths)
Crescent lunge
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Virabhadrasana II
Star pose
Goddess pose
Garudasana
(Repeat twice, with progression. Second time through, add Ardha Chandrasana after lunges on each side).
Static side lunges
Sage Twist
Ardha Virasana
Lizard
Prone shoulder stretch (but share variation: seated shoulder opener for pregnant classmate)
Marichyasana I (with strap for the class, without strap personally)
Legs-up-the wall (with or w/o block)
Ananda Balasana
SavasanaReflection: Doing this sequence again, but without stopping to make notes, was so much more relaxing. I was able to move through the poses without thinking of my breath or cues. I was able to listen to the music that I had specifically picked for the flow and to notice how it connected with my poses (for example, while in crow the lyrics of an Iron and Wine song were "flightless bird." I could appreciate that when in the moment). It was also fantastic to have a longer savasana.

Practice 3
Date: Thursday, April 13 11:55a-12:25p (I took advantage of today's late start and did a flow!)
Intention: Regroup after rushing all morning to get errands done and son to sitter before class.
Content: Warm up- sunflowers, Downward Facing Dog, cat-cow, Chaturanga to Downward Facing Dog (5 times), baby cobras (3 times), child's pose, Virabhadrasana I to II (3 times), Virabhadrasana II to straight-legged variation (3 times), forward fold, Chaturanga, Chaturanga Dandasana, Upward Facing Dog, Balasana.
Reflection: It's amazing how a few minutes of "me-time" can help me center and feel refreshed. I had been stressed all morning and practically ran to class to get there on time. Then I realized I wasn't late, and that I had even more time because class would be starting late. It changed my perspective and I realized that stressing about a few minutes lost here and there didn't mean my entire day was shot. I really appreciated having time to go through some poses and literally catch my breath.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 12

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 12
Practice 1
April 3, 8-9p
Intention: Vishudda practice
Content: Seated warm up- gather the breath in easy pose, drop and lift chin slightly, ear to shoulder, shoulder rolls, lateral stretches, seated hip circles, dandasana with roll ups, cat-cow with variations (side-to-side, through child's pose), downward facing dog, forward fold.
Surya Namaskar 3x
Warrior I, cactus arms, tuck chin and bow over lunging leg 5x
Salutation
Warrior I other side, cactus arms, tuck chin and bow over lunging leg 5x
Chair, forward fold, plank to salabhasana (start with legs, then do arms, then full expression)
Child's pose
Ustrasana
Child's pose
Hare pose
Hero's pose on block with forward folds
Child's pose to belly
Prone arm stretch, half-knot
Child's pose to transition to seated
Dandasana, Seated forward fold
Janu Shirshasana
Matsyasana
Legs-up-the-wall (hips on block)
Supine pigeon, spinal twists
Savasana
Reflection: I'm working on being creative and thoughtful with my practices, and not having a physical concern or goal in mind when practicing. This practice gave me the opportunity to experiment with Jalandhara, which is something I haven't done on my own before. It's wonderful to have a fuller experience with yoga that goes beyond just the asana.

Practice 2
April 5, 10-11a
Intention: Apana practice
Content: cat-cow with variations, downward facing dog, Surya Namaskar
Pyramid with bows, 3x
Warrior I with bows, 3x
Forward fold with twist
switch sides
Wide-legged forward fold, with twist
Lunge over left, Warrior III
Wide-legged forward fold, with twist
Lunge over right, Warrior III
Supine pigeon and twist
Sage twist with fold over front leg
Legs-up-the-wall with block
Savasana
Reflection: My body appreciated the forward folds in this practice because I made the mistake of indulging in too much dairy earlier in the week. It helped get things moving!

Practice 3
April 6, 7-7:30p
Intention: Just move my body
Content: Seated warm ups- neck circles, ear to shoulder, wrist rolls, foot massage, dandasana with roll ups, cat-cow, downward facing dog, Surya Namaskar (5x)
Baddha Konasana, janu shirshasana, seated wide-legged-forward fold, virasana on a block, child's pose, supine spinal twists
Savasana

Reflection: It was nice to move at my own regular pace tonight instead of disciplining myself to go slower than I naturally tend to in my practice. Sometimes it's nice to go with my old flow!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 11

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 11
Practice 1
Date: March 24, 8-8:30p
Intention: Practice and get comfortable to teach kids yoga tomorrow
Content: Seated breath discussion. Explain that we want to fill the belly and the lungs like balloons in our bodies. Standing warm up: lift the arms with the breath and make a hot air balloon overhead, sunflower lunges, crescent moon lateral stretch, "fireworks" stretch (squat into a ball and then expand arms and legs like a jumping jack).
Child's pose, cat-cow, downward facing dog
Squat, bound angle
Cobra, cat, forward fold with roll ups
Cat, bridge, cat with tiger's tail
Half-monkey
Partner pose: seesaw
Child's pose
Savasana with hands on belly to feel the breath
Reflection: Repeating the poses for 5-10 breaths will probably work well for this group. They're older than kindergartners (who I did a similar practice with in Februrary) so I'm not oging to give them free time at the end to request a pose. I think the partner pose will be a lot of fun for them, and give them a chance to talk to someone about how it feels. They'll have to tell their partner if the stretch doesn't feel good, and they'll have to ask their partner how it feels for them as well. I hope to encourage the kids to develop awareness of their bodies. I also want to teach them yoga can be simple and fun until the day comes they're ready to learn more. I hope this will be a good 30-minute session for them.

Practice 2
Date: March 28, 8-8:50p
Intention: Practice for teaching Chad's SLCC class, Vishuddha-inspired
Content: Seated centering and warm up- raise the arms with the breath, tilting chin up and down if comfortable. Ear to shoulder, shoulder rolls, seated hip circles (folding the torso over the legs), dandasana with knees bent and rolling folds, cat-cow with variations, downward facing dog (pedaling the feet).
Surya Namaskar A 3 times (progressive)
Warrior I, cactus arms, bow over front leg (repeat 3 times)
Salutation
Warrior I, cactus arms, bow over front leg (repeat 3 times)
switch sides 3-5 times depending on pace of class, tucking chin to create awareness of throat lock
Salabhasana 3-5 breaths (progressive: lifting arms only first, then legs only first, then putting the two together)
Child's pose
Ardha Ustrasana
Hare pose
Virasana with block, and forward folds/roll ups over the quads
Child's pose
Roll to back for Matsyasana
Supine Garudasana
Invite class to take any stretch they need
Savasana
Reflection: I've never felt this nervous to teach a class before. Usually I'm a little jittery, but after a run-through of the lesson plan I feel fine. I can't shake the butterflies on this one. Even after going through everything I'm second-guessing myself and worrying that I have either not enough or too much planned. It may be because I've never done a sequence inspired by a chakra. It's not a strength of mine. I worry it may not come across as sincere or knowledgeable. Or that I'm out of my league trying to give suggestions for something that some people take very seriously. Chad's class is only 50 minutes and I wonder if I'd feel better if I had time to not only lead a practice, but to explain myself more before and after. Hopefully everything goes well tomorrow.

Practice 3
Date: March 30, 8-8:30p
Intention: Santosa
Content: Seated warm up- gather the breath, lateral bends, hip circles, foot massage. Cat-cow with child's pose and pull-through variations. Downward facing dog pedaling the feet and dropping the hips side-to-side. Forward fold and half-salutes (repeat 3 times).
Surya Namaskar B (3 times progressively)
Low crescent lunge over left, revolved crescent lunge, warrior I, reverse warrior
Salutation
Low crescent lunge over right, revolved crescent lunge, warrior I, reverse warrior
Forward fold, downward dog, hands-and-knees
Sage twist
Hare pose
Prone shoulder stretches
Supine rolls, twists, happy baby, pigeon
Legs-up-the-wall
Savasana
Reflection: Due to some financial goals, I'm in the midst of a "spending fast." It's hard to limit myself to only purchasing essentials (groceries, paying bills, gas, etc...) when I'm used to the occasional treat. The day after I set my two-week goal to freeze spending, it seemed like huge sales popped up all around me. I laughed about the irony, but still couldn't shake the subtle desire to break my fast and just get that $10 eyeliner. But I'm committed, and doing a practice to focus on being content with what I have is helpful to get me through the second half of this fast. I have so much to make my life easeful and enriching, and don't need to waste my resources on non-essentials.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 10

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 10
Practice 1
March 18, 10-11a
Intention: Relieve discomfort in the shoulders
Content: Seated warm up- neck rolls, shoulder rolls, spinal twists, lateral bends, wrist rolls, dandasana with knees bent, arching with cat back. Cat-cow and variations (side-to-side, sweeping through child's pose), child's pose, kneeling plank to downward facing dog.
Forward fold with twists
Half-salutes (4x)
Chair, bow and arrow arms (4x per side)
Sun Salutation A (4x)
Low lunge over left, Warrior II, downward facing dog, supported side plank left
Child's pose, plank, downward facing dog, forward fold
(repeat on the other side, then repeat progressively on each side again)
Crow pose
Camel pose (with hands on low back)
Child's pose, prone arm stretch, half-knot to knot, supine rolls, twists, eagle pose, pigeon/figure four
Savasana
Reflection: My upper body has been sore from getting back into my usual routine of physically demanding practices (after being sick), so I needed to do some poses to work and stretch that area. While it may be difficult to move through the sore muscles, it's always worth it afterward.

Practice 2
March 20, 7-8p
Intention: Ease low back pain (menstruation is coming on!)
Content: Seated warm up- neck rolls and rotations, wrist rolls, spinal twists, legs-crossed forward folds. Cat-cow with variations, downward facing dog.
Lunge over left, then revolve
Downward facing dog
Warrior II left, Triangle, Warrior II, Bound side angle
Downward facing dog
(repeat other side)
Camel (hands on low back), Thunderbolt/Hero's pose (with block under "sits" bones), child's pose with slow roll ups linked with breath
Pigeon (followed by King Pigeon and attempt at Mermaid)
Supine rolls, twists, happy baby, bound angle and leg extensions with block under hips/sacrum
Savasana
Reflection: Back bends, even gentle ones, don't usually feel good for me. I think I need to lift up more before allowing for the bend. The discomfort might be stemming from compression of the lower back. The transition out and the counter pose always feel great to me, though. I'm enjoy "legs-up-the-wall" without a wall this week, with a block under my hips for elevation. Feels good for the back!

Practice 3
March 21, 11-11:45a
Intention: Do Warrior III, a pose I never incorporate in my personal practice
Content: Sun Salutations for warm up (deliberate and with knees bent, 4x)
Warrior I, Warrior II, Reverse Warrior, Warrior II, Lunge, Warrior III
Sun Salutation
Warrior I, Warrior II, Reverse Warrior, Warrior II, Lunge, Warrior III
Sun Salutation
Navasana (knees bent)
Dandasana
Navasana (legs extended)
Dandasana
Baddha Konasana
Janu Shirshasana (both sides)
Wide-Legged Forward fold
Child's pose, supine spinal twists, happy baby, leg extensions with block under hips/sacrum
Savasana
Reflection: I usually stay away from Warrior III because I've always felt my hips won't stay even, and that I can't do the pose with my arms extended without compromising form. I allowed  myself to explore the pose with hands at heart-center or on my hips. That allowed me to focus on the leg lift/extension and on keeping my hips parallel to the floor. I can let go of perfection and still do a good job!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Living a Yoga Life: Cultivate Opposite Virtues


When you start the day, what are you facing? Do you consider the feelings you have as you get yourself, and possibly your kids, ready to leave the house? Do you dread preparing meals that picky family members might refuse to eat? Do you stand in front of the closet and hate what your choices are? Do you anticipate a stressful commute? A meeting with colleagues that you're nervous about? Are you looking ahead to a task or chore that makes you feel miserable? Are you worried about that person you'll run into at a playgroup or in the break room at work?

Then there are the unexpected things you might not have on your radar: an accident that harms someone you love, feeling jealous over some one's accomplishments that they share with you, or being caught off guard by someone asking you to do something you're not prepared for.

So many emotions are experienced throughout the day. Some of our responses are automatic, and some are habitual. For example, let's say you accidentally touch the hot stove while preparing dinner. Your body automatically draws your hand away before you even have a chance to think. On the flip side, maybe you habitually roll your eyes and sigh audibly when your kids bicker for the billionth time in one day.

To cultivate opposite virtues means to consider all the experiences you may have in a day, and prepare to feel the opposite of what may come naturally. Maybe you need to make a tangible list of the things on your schedule. Write down the response you usually have to all the tasks, and thoughtfully decide to feel the opposite.

Wake up early: feel irritated you didn't get to sleep in.
-Opposite virtue: be respectful of who you're getting up early for (your children, your boss, your self).

Big meeting at work: feel anxious about how it could go.
-Opposite virtue: feel calm because you made it this far, and feel brave as you continue to show what you're capable of.

A friend announces news that she accomplished something she's worked hard for: feel jealous it didn't/hasn't yet happened for you.
-Opposite virtue: feel acceptance that someone else's accomplishments do not diminish your own. Be content with your own life.

You're in bed at night, unable to sleep: feel anxious about how many hours until the alarm sounds and you have to get up.
-Opposite virtue: feel gratitude that you're physically resting at the end of the day, and feel peace that eventually you will sleep.

Do those examples help illustrate what I mean by cultivate opposite virtues? It's about retraining the mind. Instead of just reacting blindly to experiences, we thoughtfully respond. And not just respond, but anticipate our response.

Try it at the beginning of the day. Try it while in bed, snoozing the alarm. Try it while in the shower. Try it while seated at your desk with your to-do list sitting in front of you. Try it in the car on the drive to work.

Eventually, you can train yourself to thoughtfully respond to stimuli instead of instinctively or habitually reacting to it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Yoga for Busy Moms - Live on Udemy


It's happening, friends! My online course, Yoga for Busy Moms, is available for purchase on Udemy!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 9

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 9
Practice 1
Date: March 11, 2-3p
Intention: Practice for leading a group of runners next week. Aim to challenge them physically, but to also help them slow down.
Content: Standing warm up- Half sun salutes (5x, progressively opening the front of the shoulders), chair with leg raises to roll the ankles, chair with bow and arrow, sunflower side-to-side lunges (6x each)
Moon Salutation (Chandra Namaskar)
Goddess Pose
Star Pose
Warrior II
Side Angle
Pyramid
Low lunge
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Squat
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Low lunge
Pyramid
Side Angle
Warrior II
Star Pose
Goddess Pose
(Repeat 3 times with progression)
Static side lunges
Half-Monkey stretch, lizard, sage twist, prone T-arm stretch, prone half-knot arm stretch, supine spinal rolls, pelvic tilts (with invitation to try bridge), happy baby, knee rolls over the chest, supine pigeon
Savasana
Reflection: This practice feels like it can help a group of athletes slow down and check in with their bodies. I want to show a few variations for the lunges so they can be aware of their knees and hips and still feel successful even if they're feeling tight in those areas. Holding the poses for more breaths will be challenging on different levels, and will give them a chance to find the best version of the pose for them. I think there are a number of poses that will help open their hips and shoulders to counteract the posture they may assume when running. And hopefully the stretches will speak to their hamstrings and calves in a positive way. I'll be teaching this the day after the full moon, so I think it's fun to do Chandra Namaskar and go with that theme.

Practice 2
Date: March 13, 1-2p
Intention: Practice for teaching at LocalYOGA, and create a sequence for all-levels.
Content: Standing warm up- Half sun salutes, chair with leg lifts for ankle rolls, forward fold, chair with bow and arrow, forward fold with supported twist (hand on block), sunflower with lunges.
Moon Salutation
Tadasana
Standing baby back bend
Forward fold
Low lunge left
Revolved lunge
Downward Dog
Plank
Chaturanga
Baby Cobra
Plank
Downward Dog
Low lunge right
Revolved lunge
Forward fold
Standing baby backbend
Tadasana
(Repeat 4x, progressively)
Gomukhasana
Half-Lord-of-the-Fishes
Thread the needle, prone T-arm stretch, child's pose, supine rolls, legs-up-the-wall, happy baby, supine spinal twists
Savasana
Reflection: Using the blocks, I think this will be a very accessible practice. The pace will be slow since that's still something I'm focusing on lately.

Practice 3
Date: March 16 7-7:15p
Intention: Practice truthfulness/satya (I'm only practicing after a long day because I need one more for this log!)
Content: Seated warm up- neck rolls, gentle seated twists, seated forward fold with knees bent, wrist rolls, ankle rolls, cat-cow with leg extensions to stretch calves, cat-cow with lateral bends, child's pose to kneeling plank (repeat 4x), downward facing dog (pedaling the feet).
Supported side plank left, gate pose
Downward facing dog
Supported side plank right, gate pose
Downward facing dog
Plank
Child's pose, kneeling to stretch wrists (palms and backs of hands to mat, alternately), shoulder rolls, supine rolls, supine spinal twists
Savasana
Reflection: I didn't want to practice, but I'm glad I did it anyway. I felt less grumpy and a little more energized so I could spend time with my husband after he put the kids to bed. WORTH IT!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 8

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week8
Practice 1
Date: March 6, 9-10p
Intention: Non-stealing
Content: Half-salutes 4x, standing lateral bends, star to goddess 8x, goddess with lateral bend, wide leg forward fold, folded lateral stretch.
Lunge left
Downdog
Lunge right
Downdog, plank, cobra, child's pose
Supported side plank, L & R
Downdog, plank, cobra, child's pose
Lunge left
Lunge right
Wide leg forward fold, wide leg downward dog
Repeat 3x
Child's pose, thread the needle, prone shoulder opener, fish pose with blanket under the spine for support, spinal twists, happy baby.
Savasana
Reflection: I'm trying to focus on not going too quickly. I want to give each pose an appropriate amount of breath. I'm getting better at mentally counting to remind myself to keep inhales and exhales even.

Practice 2
Date: March 8, 9-9:30p
Intention: Non-stealing
Content: Child's pose to cat-cow (repeat 5x), chair to forward fold (repeat 5x)
Chair, lunge left and fold over left (lunging leg) 5x
Revolved lunge
Downdog
Chair, lunge right and fold over right leg (lunging leg) 5x
Revolved lunge
Downdog, three-legged dog, three-legged plank (2x), three-legged plank crossing opposite knee to elbow (2x)
Child's pose, thread the needle, pigeon, legs-up-the-wall, knees-wide supine twists, bound angle pose.
Savasana
Reflection: Moving at a slower is getting a little easier as I've focused on it the past few weeks. I don't always have to consciously count in my head to ensure my breathing is slow and steady. Hopefully this will lead to different experiences when I'm in a pose longer than I'm used to.

Practice 3
Date: March 9, 4-4:20p
Intention: Non-stealing
Content: Standing lateral bends, half-salutes 9 (5x)
Surya Namaskar A (5x)
Surya Namaskar B (5x)
Child's pose, thread the needle, Half-lord of the fishes pose, legs-up-the-wall pose, happy baby, wide-leg supine spinal twists.
Savasana
Reflection: Today I needed to focus on the counts of my breath to ensure I didn't rush. With a familiar sequence like Salutations, it can be easy for me to fall back into old habits. But I didn't want to take away from the benefits of the poses by rushing through them.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Living a Yoga Life - Letting Go

A few weeks ago I had a very powerful experience with a meditation practice from Erich Schiffmann's book, Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness (affiliate). And not only was it very emotional for me in the moment, but I ended up crying in one of my teacher training classes as I related the experience to everyone else.

The exercise is to count the breath. Starting at 50, and working toward zero, each breath corresponds to a count. The even numbers are on the exhale, with the odd numbers on the inhale. Once twenty is reached, only the exhales are counted. Once zero is reached, the natural flow of the breath resumes, and the counting ceases.

When I started this meditation, it immediately reminded me of when my second-born was colicky. He always screamed from about 5pm until 10pm or later, every night. If he wasn't nursing, or being held, he was screaming. Sometimes even being held wasn't enough, and he would only be soothed if I bounced on the edge of the bed, or on an exercise ball, while holding him. My husband worked incredibly long hours during our son's colicky stage, and was often gone well into the night. Even when he was home, our son would scream for up to an hour if dad tried to soothe him to sleep instead of me. So I bounced our son endlessly. And while I bounced, I counted. Each bounce was a number, and I'd force myself to close my eyes and count until at least 100 before I'd allow myself to peek and see if my baby was finally asleep. Some nights I'd count to 100 dozens of times.

This meditation exercise brought me back to the year+ I spent bouncing and counting with my son. Back to when I only slept for 4 hours, sitting up, in every 24-hour period. Back to when the screaming never seemed to stop. Back to when I felt I was neglecting my first-born just so I could keep the baby from crying until he was blue in the face. Back to when I was constantly anxious and depressed and wished I no longer existed.

this is helpings
 But, as I breathed and counted per Schiffmann's instructions, I tried to let go of all that. By the time I counted down to eight, I started crying. I felt a release. A weight lifted from my chest. My son is 2.5 years old now and sleeps through the night. He no longer screams if someone other than me holds him. I'm no longer afraid to leave the house, or leave him in the care of someone else. I survived.

And hopefully this means rhythmic counting will no longer hold the negative association it once did. Hopefully I've put some of that trauma behind me.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 7

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 7
Practice 1
Date: February 4, 9-10p
Intention: Focus on lines of energy

Content: Standing Warm Up: Neck rolls, half salutes - rolling up from fold, chair - raise and lower, rolling ankles // Utkatasana
Chair - Bow and Arrow (4x)
Sunflower lunges (6x each)
Chandra Namaskar (3x, progressively going deeper into poses)
Goddess Pose // Utkata Konasana
Star Pose
Side Angle Right // Parsvakonasana
Pyramid Right // Parsvottanasana
Low Lunge Right // Alanasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold // Prasarita Padottanasana
Squat // Malasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold // Prasarita Padottanasana
Low Lunge Left // Alanasana
Pyramid Left // Parsvottanasana
Side Angle Left // Parsvakonasana
Star Pose
Goddess Pose - with lateral stretches // Utkata Konasana
Half-Moon Pose right // Ardha Chandrasana
Goddess pose // Utkata Konasana
Half-Moon pose left // Ardha Chandrasana
Lower to lunge and move into stretches
Monkey Pose Prep Left // Ardha Hanumanasana
Lizard Left // Utthan Pristhasana
Pigeon Left // Kapotasana
Sage Twist
Monkey Pose Prep Right // Ardha Hanumanasana
Lizard Right // Utthan Pristhasana
Pigeon Right // Kapotasana
Sage Twist
PRONE: T-arm stretch, half-knot/full-knot stretch, child’s pose // Balasana, supine spinal rolls, supine twists, Savasana

Reflection: I recently had some suggestions for correcting my alignment in Ardha Chandrasana (in Yoga III with Mary), and I wanted to try a practice to incorporate them. When I became more aware of my alignment and the positioning of my limbs, the pose changed drastically for me. I've always enjoyed it, and now it's more challenging because I have to do it differently than I've done it for years. I try to envision the lines of energy more efficiently extending from my center, without being misdirected by an extra curve in my lumbar or collapse in my side body.

Practice 2
Date: March 2, 4-5p
Intention: Experiment with awareness and alignment when approaching Half Moon Pose
Content: Neck rolls, half salutes - rolling up from fold, chair - raise and lower, rolling ankles // Utkatasana
Chair - Bow and Arrow (4x)
Sunflower lunges (6x each)
Chandra Namaskar (only 1 time through each side, using a block)
Goddess Pose // Utkata Konasana
Star Pose
Side Angle Right // Parsvakonasana
Pyramid Right // Parsvottanasana
Low Lunge Right // Alanasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold // Prasarita Padottanasana
Squat // Malasana
Wide-Legged Forward Fold // Prasarita Padottanasana
Low Lunge Left // Alanasana
Pyramid Left // Parsvottanasana
Side Angle Left // Parsvakonasana
Star Pose
Goddess Pose - with lateral stretches for upper body // Utkata Konasana
Half-Moon Pose right // Ardha Chandrasana
Goddess pose // Utkata Konasana
Half-Moon pose left // Ardha Chandrasana
After Yoga IV today, I decided to add a second Ardha Chandrasana pose with Trikonasana as the approach instead of the more subtle shift I had tried from Goddess (of course, I basically went into a Trikonasana with my body after Goddess, but I wanted to be more deliberate). So Goddess, then Trikonasana, then Ardha Chandrasana (on each side)
Lower to Trikonasana, lunge and move into stretches
Monkey Pose Prep Left // Ardha Hanumanasana
Lizard Left // Utthan Pristhasana
Pigeon Left // Kapotasana
Sage Twist
Monkey Pose Prep Right // Ardha Hanumanasana
Lizard Right // Utthan Pristhasana
Pigeon Right // Kapotasana
Sage Twist
PRONE: T-arm stretch, half-knot/full-knot stretch, child’s pose // Balasana, supine spinal rolls, supine twists, Savasana
Reflection: I think it's important to be very deliberate with entry poses. As a long-time practitioner of yoga, I can understand what shifts of the body I should make in order to move from Goddess to Half Moon. But less experienced yogis may need more basic cues- like we discussed in Yoga IV today: going into Triangle first to position the body better before Half Moon. I can see the alignment benefits because it relates back to the foundation we want to give people when they practice yoga. Rather than get into the pose and adjust, adjust beforehand and find a more effortless entry into a pose. I do still like to mix it up in my personal practice, though! It's helpful to experience and experiment with different sequences.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 6

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 6
Practice 1
Date: February 19, 9-9:45p
Intention: Move with the breath, but slowly.
Content: Seated warm up- raise the arms with breath, neck rolls, arm circles, lateral stretch.
Cat-cow, cat-cow with leg extension, supported side plank, gate pose, Downward Dog, Hero's pose for wrist rolls and shoulder rolls. Child's pose.
Forward fold
Tadasana
Sunflower
Half-Salutes (3x)
Sun Salutation A (4x)
Sun Salutation B (2x)
Warrior II (with lifts on the inhale)
Reverse Warrior to Side Angle (4x)
Forward Fold
Tadasana
Repeat other side
Tree Pose
Squat
Boat
Bound Angle Pose
Sage Twist
Half-Lord of the Fishes
Staff Pose
Spinal rolls
Supine twists
Legs to chest, circle knees and hips
Supine Bound Angle Pose
Savasana
Reflection: I know I usually breathe too quickly (and shallowly) when I practice on my own. So I created a sequence that asks me to move with my inhale and exhale to make me more aware. If I was zipping through it, I knew I wasn't breathing deeply enough. If I felt like I was deliberately moving between poses, I knew I was breathing deeper and slower. It was a good exercise in mindfulness.

Practice 2
Date: February 21, 11-11:50a
Intention: Slow the breath and hold poses for a number of counts.
Content: Seated warm up- raise the arms with breath, neck rolls, wrist rolls, lateral bends.
Cat-cow, cat-cow with leg extensions. Child's pose.
Forward Fold
Tadasana
Sunflower
Half-Salutes
Sun Salutation A
Sun Salutation B
Lunge
Warrior II
Reverse Warrior
Side Angle
Forward Fold
Tadasana
Chair
Lunge Left
Warrior II Left
Reverse Warrior Left
Side Angle Left
Forward Fold
Tadasana
Tree Pose
Squat
Boat
Bound Angle Pose
Sage Twist
Half-Lord of the Fishes
Staff Pose
Spinal rolls
Supine twists
Legs to chest, circle knees and hips
Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (each side)
Supine Bound Angle Pose
Happy Baby Pose
Savasana
Reflection: For this practice I wanted to remember to breathe more slowly, and to hold poses for 4-5 breaths. I felt good about my earlier practice of moving slowly from one pose to the next (with inhale and exhale) so my challenge was to breathe more deeply without moving and linking with poses. I benefit from making myself hold still. I benefit from reminding myself to breath "into the belly" when I usually just breathe into my chest.

Practice 3
Date:February 22, 9:35p-10:15p
Intention: Prep for supported headstand
Content: Half-Salutes (4x), Chair, Standing Bow and Arrow (4x each side), standing lateral bends, Star Pose to Goddess Pose (8x), Wide-Legged-Forward Bend with lateral stretch each side. Lunge left and right, followed by Downward Facing Dog.
Plank
Chaturanga
Cobra
Child's Pose
Kneeling Plank
Supported Side Plank, Left and Right
Downward Facing Dog
Plank
Chaturanga
Cobra
Child's Pose
Side Plank, Left and Right
Downward Facing Dog
Revolved Lunge, Left and Right
Wide-Legged-Forward Bend to Wide-Legged-Downward Facing Dog
Prep for supported headstand- pad the mat with a folded blanket, cradle the head, place the elbows (using couch behind me for additional support).
Child's Pose
Thread the Needle, and prone shoulder opener
Fish Pose on blankets
Spinal twists
Happy Baby
Savasana with blankets to open the heart
Reflection: I enjoyed doing a flow, and then workshopping a little with the supported headstand prep we learned in class recently.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 5

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 5
Practice 1
Date: February 10, 8:40p-9:10p
Intention: Stretch the quads (a friend asked for a practice to help her with sore legs)
Content: Seated neck rolls, wrist rolls, forward fold, Sage twist, Dandasana with soft knees. Cat-Cow, Child's Pose, Downward Facing Dog, standing Forward Fold, Tadasana.
Goddess Pose (up and down 8 times) // Utkata Konasana
Sunflower Pose (8 times each side) //
Low Crescent lunge left (hands on the mat) // Anjaneyasana
Low Crescent lunge right (turn to face the opposite end of the mat) // Anjaneyasana
Side-to-side low lunges (4 times each side) // Skandasana
Low Crescent lunge left (hands on the thigh) // Anjaneyasana
Low Crescent lunge right (turn to face the opposite end of the mat) // Anjaneyasana
Side-to-side low lunges (4 times each side) // Skandasana
Low Crescent lunge left (hands elevated) // Anjaneyasana
Low Crescent lunge right (turn to face the opposite end of the mat) // Anjaneyasana
Side-to-side low lunges (4 times each side) // Skandasana
Pigeon left leg // Kapotasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Pigeon right leg // Kapotasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Hero's Pose (on a block) // Virasana
Child's Pose // Balasana
Camel Pose // Ustrasana
Child's Pose // Balasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Standing Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Tadasana
Tree Pose left leg // Vrksasana
Dancer Pose left leg // Natarajasana
Tree pose right leg // Vrksasana
Dancer Pose right leg // Natarajasana
Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
lower to the mat
Sage twist
Supine twists
Supine Bound Angle Pose // Supta Baddha Konasana
Happy Baby Pose // Ananda Balasana
Savasana
Reflection: I enjoy the challenge of sequencing for others. It's satisfying to know I can give them something to help complement their existing workouts, and help them better understand the benefits of yoga. This practice was invigorating and fun with the two balance poses.

Practice 2
Date: February 12, 2-3p
Intention: Create an athletic practice for runners
Content: Seated neck rolls, wrist rolls, and raising the arms with breath. Sage twist, cat-cow, and cat-cow with leg extensions/knee curls under the torso. Child's pose to cow, and back to child's pose (moving with the breath). Downward dog to plank, and back to downward dog (moving with the breath).
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Three-legged Dog // Eka pada adho mukha svanasana
Warrior II // Virabhadrasana II
Reverse Warrior // Viparita Virabhadrasana
Low Crescent Lunge // Alanasana
Three-legged Dog // Eka pada adho mukha svanasana
Switch Sides
Sun Salutation A // Surya Namaskar A
Tadasana
Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Plank // Chaturanga
Chaturanga Dandasana
Cobra // Bhugasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Repeat
Sun Salutation B // Surya Namaskar B
Tadasana
Chair // Utkatasana
Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Plank // Chaturanga
Chaturanga Dandasana
Cobra // Bhujangasana
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Warrior I right side // Virabhadrasana I
Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Forward Fold // Uttanasana
Tadasana
Repeat left side
Figure 4 Standing Balance // Eka Pada Galavasana
Crow // Bakasana
Wrist rolls
Knot (like threading the needle, but prone. With one or both arms)
Bow Pose // Dhanurasana
Seated Figure 4 or Gomukhasana
Bound Angle // Baddha Konasana
Sage Twist (with fold over the leg added)
Supine rolls
Supine twists
Happy Baby // Ananda Balasana
Supine Bound Angle // Septu Baddha Konasana
Savasana
Reflection: I haven't done much power yoga lately since I've been sick, so it was challenging to come up with a practice that would appeal to an athletic group (I plan to use this practice for a volunteer opportunity at Salt Lake Running Company). But I like the movement in this practice, and using Salutations within the practice instead of right after the warm up. I'm not an avid runner, so catering a practice to those who are required me to think about the anatomy of running and what stretches might be most beneficial.

Practice 3
Date: February 13, 8-830p
Intention: Create a practice for kids aged 5
Content: Standing warm up: inhaling arms overhead and exhaling to release (like a balloon), axial extension and forward fold (like pulling clouds from the sky and placing them on the ground), starburst (exploding like fireworks into star pose), walking in place, chair pose, shooting cupid's arrows (standing bow and arrow pose).
I told a story to the kids and had them act out the yoga poses that correlated
Child's pose (sleeping cat) // Balasana
Cat-cow pose (waking cat) // Dhurga-go
Downward Facing Dog (dog walks by the cat) // Adho Mukha Svanasana
Tiger's Pose (cat arches its back, then releases and extends its tail) // Vyaghrasana
Forward Fold (cat finds a waterfall on his walk) // Uttanasana
Kneeling lunge and fold over leg (elephant drinking from the stream)
lunge both sides
Cobra (a snake hidden in the grass scares the elephant and cat) // Bhujangasana
Bridge (the cat gets away from the snake by going to the other side of the stream) // Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Squat (the cat sees frogs on this side of the stream) // Malasana
Seated Bound Angle (and there are butterflies) // Baddha Konasana
Tree Pose (the cat watches the butterflies land in the leaves of a tree) // Vrkshasana
Child's pose (cat is tired and needs to take another nap) // Balasana
Savasana (hand on heart and hand on belly to create awareness of the breath).
I did each pose with the kids for four breaths as I told them the story. Then I had ten minutes with the kids to explore animal/plant-related poses of their choosing.
Reflection: I'm nervous to teach to kids for the first time, so it was good to go through this practice a few times to prepare. Kim McKellar suggested I approach teaching this class with a story, and I'm glad I did. Telling a story helped me decide on a sequence of poses to teach the kids. After a couple of run-throughs on my own, I decided I needed to break it down into a smaller chunk of time. I didn't want to lose the kids' attention or overstimulate them. I worked on doing just 15-20 minutes of a practice, and then gave myself time to be free-flowing and give the kids some power to choose what kinds of poses we'd do