Affirmation Poses

I like to start out the year with some simple affirmations repeated as a group call-and-response while holding poses. For example: “I am strong!” - horse stance “I am in control!” – star pose “I am responsible!” – warrior II “I can do this!” – warrior I Jump back to horse stance with hands in fists, elbows bent, and forearms parallel with a satisfying sound ringing from your belly, “Huh!” If your child is struggling making friends, you might help her come up with affirmations like, “I know how to be a good friend;” “I am likeable;” “I enjoy getting to know others.” She can come up with statements that reflect her own personality. Once she has her affirmation chosen, she can choose whatever poses she likes to combine with

By | 2017-10-16T18:54:07+00:00 October 16th, 2017|

Connecting to the Yourself and Your Children with Child’s Pose

The beginning of the school year can really leave adults and children in a stressed out tailspin. Why not take a couple minutes before and after school to connect with yourself, your children, and the earth using child's pose? Begin by kneeling quietly and facing each other with enough space to extend both of your arms in front of you. Take three slow breaths together and chant, "Om" or any other sound to tune in. For your first child's pose, take your knees as wide at your mat, keeping your feet joined together under your bottom. Now mindfully walk your hands before you as far as they will reach with your bottom continuing to rest on your heels. When you can't reach any further without lifting your bottom, let your

By | 2017-09-07T01:53:48+00:00 September 5th, 2017|

Singing Bowl Meditation

A very simple and elegant tool for meditation and creating space for yoga and awareness is the singing bowl. Children are naturally are drawn to instruments and can be guided into focused attention when sounding them provided that they are shown how to hold the bowls with reverence and care. You can get a singing bowl at any Tibetan store or online for a wide range of prices. My one student acquired hers at a yard sale for 50 cents! It’s a good idea to try a number of different bowls to get a feeling for the sound you like the best. Begin by sitting up tall in cross-legged seat with your singing bowl resting in the open palm of one hand and your mallet held relaxed in the other

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:37+00:00 October 13th, 2016|

Yoga as a Tool for Easing Back-to-School Anxiety

The beginning of school season is something that brings anxiety and fears up for all of us- kids, teachers, and parents. This is natural, normal, and healthy. A lot is changing, and we all need to be alert so we can respond appropriately and make all the necessary changes that will serve us best. But there is so much that is beyond our control, and when we are under pressure, this can cause a lot of stress. Even when the changes are leading us to greater opportunities, knowledge, and well-being, we can resist change in our bodies, and this causes suffering. This September, I intend to start my classes with the following breathing exercise that students can take home and practice by themselves and with family. Belly Breathing- Begin by

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:38+00:00 September 2nd, 2016|

Bedtime Poses for Parents Who Need Help Sleeping

Happy End of the first month of 2015! It’s almost time for Chinese New Year! Call out your dragons, let’s go dancing in the streets, and pass out fabulous fortunes to each other in red envelopes! But for now, I’d like to present today’s topic to you- bedtime poses. How did I come up with the topic? Funny enough, this blog post was inspired when I received an email from a woman who works at a new mattress company called Casper. She was inviting me to write a blog post for Casper to possible include in their newest project "Bed-time Yoga Poses." I want to be clear that I do not own one of these mattresses, nor am I endorsing it. I took a quick peek at the website:

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:39+00:00 February 2nd, 2015|

Strength Training through Asana & Positive Self Talk

"I am in control!"  -paired with star pose My focus for my classes in October has been the Yoga Calm® principle of Strength. Very simply defined, Strength is the power to act, to endure, or to resist action. To have Strength is to have the ability to protect oneself and others from hostile transgression or illness. Nearly everyone desires Strength in one form or another, but how does one possess it? Inside of every person is a well-spring of infinite Strength, but how does one access it? How does someone who has a weak self-image become empowered to stand up to bullies or move beyond today's limitations? Yoga Calm®, the program through which I am certified, outlines three different kinds of Strength. “Physical Strength helps prevent injury and disease and

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:40+00:00 October 19th, 2014|

A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh

Hello beloved yogis and parents of young yogis! The fall equinox is almost upon us, and last time I wrote to you the Summer Solstice had just passed. As the days accelerate, it is more important than ever to make the time to breathe mindfully a daily practice. I went on summer hiatus from this blog in order to recharge, and now that school has resumed, I am inspired to return to bi-weekly posting. I plan to expand the topics this blog covers to include stories, books, music, recipes, and kids yoga tips that can aide you in supporting your young yogi in more mindful living. So what exactly is mindful living? It’s living that seeks to bring the critical element of Consciousness to it. And just how do we

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:41+00:00 September 19th, 2014|

Changing Woman

Happy Week-After-Solstice! Solstice weekend was a brilliant blast of nurturing sunlight that I felt perfect for reflection on the part of the cycle that has to do with growth. Earlier in the year, we planted a lot of seeds. Back on Mother’s Day, I planted the young corn plants featured in this blog. This is a very good time to look around and observe what is growing in your garden and life. Do you like what is growing? Is something missing that you might have forgotten to plant? Perhaps, you like what you have planted, but you need to create more space for it so it can grow unimpeded by obstacles. During the month of June, I focused on stories of community. And what is a story if it is

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:42+00:00 June 26th, 2014|

We Are Here

It’s one of those refreshingly overcast days that I love to experience once the sunshine becomes prevalent in Portland. The contrast feels so soothing. I thought today that I would share the song that I share the most often in my classes. My intention is for as many of my students to have it memorized as possible before they move on with the rest of their lives. I feel this song pretty much sums up the grand philosophical spiritual question of, “What is the meaning of life?” It’s a very simple song written and performed by Sharon Burch, a woman of Dine and German ancestry. There’s not too much information available about her online, but her songs carry the powerful messages of her people in praise of Mother Earth, the

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:43+00:00 June 12th, 2014|

Frog Old Woman

(photo credits: Talia Keen) Drinking my coffee, gazing out the window at the rose bushes, and the clouds in the Portland summer sky are conducting a conference about whether to allow a full sunshine blast in the next 15 minutes or 2 hours from now. It rained quite a bit this morning, and that feels just right. This week’s story is from the Maidu people of Northern California, and it is called “Moon and Frog Old Woman.” It is part of the compilation of Native American Folktales titled, The Girl Who Helped Thunder, retold by Joseph Bruhac, Sr. and Joseph Bruhac, Ph.D. In the Beforetime, Moon, who is atypically cast as a male entity in this story, once lived on Earth. He builds an earth lodge with the only opening

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:43+00:00 May 28th, 2014|