The truth of the matter is that I have reaped so many benefits from my yoga and meditation/mindfulness practice that yes, I would love for my entire family to practice on a daily basis with me. I will say, my daughter does enjoy going to class with me when she is not hanging with her friends. My son well, I think if he could teach the class he would practice yoga. And my husband would rather play his guitar. I have discovered a way to incorporate yoga into my son’s life. After attending a 1 day Workshop on Yoga 4 Classrooms in which I received this lovely deck of cards, my son and I started our Yoga Minutes. In the morning just before going out to the bus stop, he chooses a card or two. The cards have a pose and a description of how to do the pose as well as benefits of the pose. There are also various visualizations and breath practices in the deck. He and I look forward to choosing our card and, giggling always becomes part of the practice too. Another tool for mindfulness in our mornings is an app I have on my phone that I can set to chime at certain times. When we hear the chime, we stop what we’re doing and take a breath or do wiggly tree. These Yoga Minutes have proven to be a great way to incorporate mindfulness and yoga into my son’s life and mine. My hope is that these minutes will provide him with tools for his daily life to manage his emotions and the stresses that children incur in this hectic world of ours.
I would love to hear in the comment section how you and your family incorporate yoga and mindfulness into your lives.
“Simple practices like conscious breathing and smiling are very important. They can change our civilization.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
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Tagged bonding, contemplative time, family yoga, little inspiration, mindful parenting, mindfulness, mindfulness for children, parenting, restorative yoga, self-care, stress, Yoga 4 Classrooms, yoga with kids
Last night on my way home from work I received a phone call from my husband that he and my children were at the emergency room. My daughter had fallen and hit her head. They wanted to be sure she did not suffer a major concussion. I felt my feet on the gas and floor of my car and said a prayer. Walking into the hospital, I kept my awareness in my feet feeling the firm ground beneath each step. When I met up with my family back in the room I told my daughter to feel her feet and I placed my hands on her feet. She closed her eyes and her breathing slowed as did mine. When the doctor examined her they thought everything was mild but wanted to do an x-ray of her neck because of her neck pain. This entire experience was all new to my daughter, luckily, she has never had to go to the hospital. Once in the lab room for x-rays, I saw her anxiety increase. I once again told her to press her feet into the chair and she calmed. I was amazed how calm we both were throughout the entire ordeal. To all of our relief, everything looked good and we were sent home. Today she is feeling better and we are all grateful for this new day! Life is so precious! These simple words have been the most powerful tool in my life that I learned from my Urban Zen Training. Whenever I’m feeling anxious or scattered, I feel my feet. Whether I’m standing or sitting, I bring my attention to my feet and I really notice the firm ground under my feet. From this planted place, my breath naturally slows and my mind quiets allowing me to think clearer and to be present. When I’m working with a patient or client that is experiencing anxiety, nausea and or exhaustion, “feel your feet” are often the first words out of my mouth. When we feel our feet, we drop into our body and can immediately feel a sense of connection to the earth and a feeling of calm presence. Allowing us the ability to proceed with conscious awareness.
Give this a try. I would love to hear in the comment section below how this affects your life.
“When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises. You become more conscious of what’s around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without. Eckhart Tolle
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Tagged anxiety, calming techniques, concussion, exhaustion, little inspiration, mental-health, mindful parenting, mindfulness, nausea, parenting, stress, Urban Zen, yoga and parenting
It is popular in our culture to say how busy you are. As a parent, we can feel pressured to be on every committee and sign our children up for several sports, piano lessons, art lessons and, encourage them to achieve top grades. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there are many well intentioned people and parents out there and we are all doing the best we can. Employers are expecting more work out of fewer people and, with technology, we can stay connected 24/7. Just writing this, makes me feel a bit anxious and exhausted. I thrive with a full schedule of teaching yoga but realize I need some down time to be by myself and with my family and friends. I’m encouraging you and myself to find balance. Consider your schedule and your children’s schedule if, you have children, and, see what, if anything, can be removed. What are the things that you dread doing or what activities do you have to beg your children to participate in. These are the items to extract first. Then notice how you feel. Make note in this process of what it is you really want to do and make time for that. Simplifying our schedule offers us more time to do the things we love and spend time with our family and friends. I highly recommend Laura Thompson Brady’s Class again this week as she helps you with this process as well.
I also recommend the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne for the parents out there. Have a lovely week. I hope you have some time to enjoy the Spring weather!
“In the tapestry of childhood, what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trips to Disneyland but the common threads that run throughout and repeat: the family dinners, nature walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes.”
― Kim John Payne
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Tagged family time, healthy-living, little inspiration, mental-health, mindful parenting, mindfulness, overscheduled, parenting, self-care, Simplicity Parenting, simplify, stress, yoga and parenting
Clutter can leave us feeling bogged down energetically as well as mentally. When I have clutter, I have trouble focusing and getting things done. I feel a sense of underlying low level anxiety and stress. I, like many of you, do not have entire days off when I can clean and de-clutter so I’m left with where to start?! Recently I completed Laura Thompson Brady’s e-course “Hectic to Harmonious”. http://www.thenourishedhome.com/ This course was amazing and really helped me to set small achievable goals. One part of the e-course was simplifying your home. She suggested to pick one small corner or one small area and envision what you want it to look like and feel like and de-clutter or reorganize that one small area. WOW! This had a huge impact on me and my family’s energy level and mental health. I started with bookshelves as I love books. I reorganized and gave away books that were no longer age appropriate or ones that were no longer of interest to me. The energy I obtained from this small task encouraged me to continue this process when I had even just 15 spare minutes. My son’s art table was my most recent project. This table is in our kitchen and is one of the first things I see when I walk into my home from the laundry room. It is a “catch-all” for my son. If he doesn’t want to take the time to put it away, he puts it on the art table. I found some great ideas on Pinterest for organizing pencils and crayons and placed a large piece of white paper on the table. It looks wonderful and it feels so great to walk into my kitchen now. I invite you to pick one small corner of your home and de-clutter. I would love to hear how this affects your life!
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Tagged anxiety, change, healthy-living, Hectic to Harmonious, ideas for art supply storage, little inspiration, mental-health, parenting, self-care, spring cleaning, stress
I teach yoga to persons with disabilities where the person often has a weaker side which sometimes cannot move without assistance. In class I often encourage them to do the pose or movement on the stronger/ dominant side first to really feel in their body how the movement feels. I then encourage them to close their eyes and visualize the second side doing the same movement. They will often find an increase in strength and flexibility on the weaker side. There have been studies done on the powerful effects of visualization even for athletes. Check out this link.
One morning right before I awoke, I had a dream I was in Crane (Bakasana) Pose. In my dream, I could feel my abdominal muscles engaging and all the muscles working that needed to work. During my morning practice, I told my husband my dream and that I was going to see if I could do the pose, which I could not do before. Wow, I got into the pose with ease. I shared my experience with my students and encourage them to keep visualizing!
What is something you want for your life? Try some visualization. I would love to hear how it works for you!
“To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.” Richard Bach
I hope you’ve enjoyed this 4 week Meditation/Mindfulness Journey with me. I hope you have found more ways to be present for your life and those around you. Maybe you’ve found that sitting everyday is a challenge but have found mindfulness in your day to day activities. As a result, you are living with less stress and the increased ability to be more responsive versus reactive with the difficulties that arise in the ups and downs of life. I invite you to continue your Meditation/Mindfulness Journey and, would love to hear in the comment section how it is affecting your life and those around you.
Today or this week, I invite you to do a moving meditation. This can be a yoga practice if you do yoga or, a walking meditation. If walking is a challenge but you are able to walk with the assistance of a cane, I invite you to try walking backwards next to a wall using the wall for support. PLEASE only do this if your doctor says it is okay and if you have support and a friend or loved one near. Walking backwards is helpful for alignment of the pelvis over the legs and, may help you to feel more balanced.
As a side note, my son came downstairs this morning and noted that he heard birds singing, I do believe spring is coming.
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Tagged beautiful nature, contemplative time, health, healthy-living, Jon Kabat-Zinn, little inspiration, meditation, mindfulness, moving meditation, MS yoga, self-care, transformation, walking meditation, yoga
This week I would like to invite you to try a meditation/visualization practice. After the birth of my daughter, 14 years ago, ( wow, really), I went through a period of my life with high anxiety. This anxiety was keeping me from doing fun things around others and hurting my marriage. I started seeing a psychiatrist that was more open to talk therapy, yoga and meditation. In a session, she invited me to close my eyes and visualize a place where I felt most peaceful and joyful. The first place that came to mind was a beautiful rose park in our town, (I wrote a previous post about this beautiful park https://yogaandinspiration.com/2012/06/). She took me through this park with my senses. I found this practice so helpful and accessible to do on my own when I started feeling overwhelmed. I often used this meditation/visualization while going to sleep which helped me drop into a deeper more restful state of sleep. I invite you to read through this and then sit or lay down and try for yourself. What is your most peaceful place?
See all the colors around you.
Notice any sounds you hear.
Notice the textures around you and, feel the warm sun on your skin or a soft gentle breeze blowing through your hair.
Notice any pleasant aromas in the air.
Observe how calm and peaceful you feel in this favorite place.
Find a place to sit or lay down and rest in this favorite place feeling so relaxed and safe.
May you find comfort with this practice.
The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.
– James Allen
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Tagged anxiety, beautiful nature, contemplative time, health, little inspiration, meditation, meditation practice, mental-health, mindfulness, park, relaxation, rose park, self-care, stress, visualization, yoga