Every year at the end of October, the Yoga Garden community begins to meditate on their Year in a Word. Word that will we will carry forward into the next year, not so much a resolution but a beacon towards which we are always moving. Once our words are chosen Laurel creates these beautiful flags to add to Yoga Garden’s puja.
This year, the youngest of our community were invited to join us in this amazing tradition! I had a great time, helping the students in Yoga Garden Kids Club think about and create their own word flags to add to the wall. I thought it would be super obvious which were the kids’ words but it turns out, it isn’t. These kids were so thoughtful and earnest when it came to their final choices!
The next Kids Club session starts January 26, 2017, each session in 5 weeks long! It is $45 for the full session. Classes are Thursday 4:30-5:15pm at Yoga Garden.
My favorite themes in yoga classes this time of year are: turning inward, getting settled and being thoughtful. When I get to a class and the teacher starts talking about these things and adds that we will be doing forward folds and grounding poses, my heart rejoices!!!
This is my more natural state, even tempered and grounded. I definitely view this as one of my strengths. I am usually a very calming person to be around. I am a slow and steady kind of girl. I keep moving and I get shit done!
The flip side to this is that I have a tendency to get anxious if there is too much going on. A life full of non stop activity is overwhelming for me and sometimes can stop me completely, and once I stop, it can take a lot of effort to get rolling again.
September and October are always crazy in my household. The beginning of a new school year, birthdays, anniversary and a very busy travel season at my husband’s work. So when November comes, it is SO tempting to delve full on into that comfortable meditative space and never come out.
My personal challenge at this amazing time of year when we are all encouraged to turn in and reflect, to go slow with awareness, is to keep my life and practice balanced so that I don’t get stuck. What that may look like… maybe do faster paced vinyasas, eat lighter and stay active. Instead of practicing a still meditation or a nidra, do a walking meditation. Things that may not feel like the natural things to do are what keep me balanced, and staying balanced is important to me and my family.
Now…. this definitely does NOT mean that you won’t still catch me at a Gentle/Yin class or that I won’t be relishing the calm that comes over me when I teach my Slow Flow class. It is my way, and it IS, after all, the best time of the year for it!
If you are interested in joining me for my Slow Flow class, I teach it at Yoga Garden in NE Minneapolis on Saturdays at 9:15! Open to all levels of practice and abilities, this soothing gentle 75 min. class focuses on an exploration of basic yoga poses and how to connect them through attention to breathing, alignment and mindfulness. Therapeutic in nature, you will learn techniques to help you gain flexibility, while immersing yourself in a relaxing class that moves at a perfectly slower pace – allowing ample time to enjoy each pose. Expect lots of stretching & lingering in supported seated poses. Meditation and relaxation techniques will also be introduced, perfect for stress relief and overall well being.
We just finished up another Yoga Garden Kids Club session! Our theme started out being Balance, and turned quickly into, How to balance trying to do our best and being comfortable asking for help”. Instead of relying on the words, I can’t do it. Even adults do this, they see a pose that is more bendy or requires more strength and the words that pop into our head first is usually, I can’t do that. For the kids, I noticed that they would say the words aloud… but then do their version of the pose brilliantly! (There are probably already million and one blog posts out there about the psychology behind that)
So, we made a new rule for Kids Club. They are no longer allowed to say “I can’t do it” until they have tried, then if they need help. They may say “I can’t do it YET” and we will work together as a team to find their version!
In our discussion/meditation time, we had really great conversations about things we found hard to do, how we could help ourselves and how to ask for help. We talked a lot about what a Guru is and they enjoyed hearing that we are all a Guru. One of the easiest ways to begin learning from each other is Active Listening. We practiced turning towards and looking at whomever was speaking. As we spoke of every day topics, we practiced making space for each other to share. After a few classes of practicing this, I noticed that the children were bringing both topics together while doing our physical practice! If someone was struggling with a pose, we would stop, see and hear that person and then work together to find a modification.
It was really a joy to see and I am always so grateful that I started teaching kids. I learn so much.
Yoga Garden Kids Club is a yoga class for kids ages 6-9. It is 45 minutes long and in it we practice meditation, yoga postures, play games, tell stories and have a ton of fun! YGKC is offered in 5 week sessions. It is $45/ 5 week session. There are two time/day options for Kids Club. Thursday 4:30-5:15pm or Saturday 10:30-11:15am
The next session starts on November 10 for the Thursday option, and November 12 for the Saturday option. Our themes for the next session will Gratitude and we will also be thinking about and discussing what we want to take with us into the new year.
If you are interested in having your child join us for the next session, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My kids and I share a beautiful meditation about gratitude and love. We hold hands, talk to each other about how each of us have gifts that are uniquely ours. How we can use these gifts to energize the universe and help others. At the end of the meditation, we breath, OM and state what we are grateful for in that moment. Deep things, like beauty in nature, past souls within us… that kind of stuff. We hug and then go on with our day feeling closer and good.
I bribe the kids with a snack to sit down with me. We DO hold hands, but I am instantly aware of the stickiness. We talk about our Super Powers (compromises were made on the verbage) and after a terrifyingly loud and long OM, their responses to what they are thankful for is Elliot’s “new remote control truck” and “that the dogs are still alive even though they are SO old and eat their poop”. They run off to play after a hug, and I feel like I need to meditate with a glass of wine.
Mindfulness in a family is hard to maintain when in the thick of increasingly busy schedules and their seeming unwillingness. Is it still meaningful? Yes. If everyday, we take a moment to notice the changing of the leaves, to think about what we are grateful for, to stop and breath… it becomes habit. One minute, a moment, Yes!
My expectations need to bend sometimes and that is okay. The result that I am hoping for looks different everyday. Some days we will snuggle and have deep conversation and others with will just meet eyes and smile.
A half hour after the above meditation attempt, June came up to me, gave me a hug and said that she was “thankful to have you as my mom too” and she was off again!
For Memorial Weekend, we decided to take a last minute trip to Madison, WI. We have good friends that live there with children of similar ages. It is far enough for the kids to feel like they went on a “road trip” but close enough that we could get there and back easily. We had one full day in Madison and it was filled with good conversation, the smelling of lilacs and tree climbing at the Arboretum and the ever popular hotel swimming!
After swimming, we were HUNGRY!!!! Thankfully, our hotel was right near the Capitol so our Madison hosts said that there would be lots of options within walking distance. Unfortunately, we kept striking out! The restaurants we were finding were either closed for the holiday, closed for a wedding, or not optimal for four hungry, tired kidlets. Desperation and crankiness were beginning to take hold, and it was beginning to rain. We see a restaurant that looks okay and is open… we start to turn in, when our friend (who are even more foodie minded than ourselves) says… “You know, Sardine is only another few blocks…” It is where he works and I was a little skeptical knowing how he rolls foodie wise, I KNEW that it would be delicious, responsibly raised food, doled out by super skilled waitstaff. My fears were the kids in this place and what kind of reception would 8 weary, and soggy diners with no reservations get… He called ahead and excitedly informed us that the Harvest Table would be waiting for us. His son was clearly happy about the decision, so we started off!
I have to say, it was a little slice of crazy pie getting settled, but we were greeted with smiles and a few crayons. One of the waitstaff brought over a large sheet of butcher paper for the kidlets to color on and after three trips to the restroom, we were able to finally look at the menu! YUM! Such delicious options, it was very hard to choose but I finally went with the Sardine burger which had carmelized onions, fig jam, arugula and gorgonzola (I subbed gruyere due to allergies) on a ciabatta bun. Sardine does NOT have a menu dedicated to kids, but they do have bar and appetizer menus with great options. All of the kids chose to have the bistro hot dog… it is a hot dog served on a toasted roll with melted gruyere cheese, the hot dog also comes with both a side of fries and greens. TONS of delicious food… we definitely didn’t eat all of the sides but the hot dogs and burgers were demolished quickly. One of our hosts also ordered the mussels… heavenly! I was very happy that he was willing to share and so was June.
You know, as far as kid friendliness goes… I am not sure if we experienced more because we were with an employee, but this is definitely a place that I would feel comfortable bringing them to again. It was lovely, and delicious. My only suggestion would be to add a children’s menu with smaller portions so there is less waste. Both Elliot and June gave two thumbs up!
By the time we were done with our meal, it had stopped raining and we able to enjoy a much less frenzied walk back to the hotel. The kids even got to play on the Capitol grounds for a bit. It was a wonderful weekend!
Thanks to Sardine for being friendly to even the smallest foodie and to our friends for being amazing hosts!
Awesome class last week! Thanks as always for making it great… remember that on the 8th of June, my 9:30 class will be a slow flowing, restorative, back to basics class. Maybe make it a twofer and come for both vinyasa and the basics!
This is where I worked for a little over 8 years. They are closing their doors this coming week because the property managers would prefer to put in ANOTHER chain restaurant. Dinkytown used to be about small business and now it is beginning to look like someone picked up a dinky suburb and plopped it next to campus! I am sad about this turn of events for many reasons but on a more personal note… it feels like the final end of my hair industry days. An industry that I loved very much and always wondered if I would someday go back to.
When you are a hair stylist, you get to know people in a very personal and unique way. After doing hair for almost 15 years, I had a very full and amazing clientele. I got to know them through their college years, I was honored to be a small part of their weddings, and towards the end I started seeing my clients with beautiful pregnant bellies, even giving their little ones their first haircuts. People put so much trust in you when you are a stylist… secrets to keep, knowledge of their true selves and helping them show to the world who they are. I used to tell people that when you see someone for a long time, it is like a never ending conversation. It gets picked up where we left off at the end of the last haircut. I loved having the opportunity to meet and know so many awesome people.
When you are a hair stylist, if you are lucky, you get to join a “hair family”. This family changes through the years like any other, but you know that you can cross any of those bridges that you have built and be greeted with a welcoming smile and maybe a hug. It is a very fun and creative profession that typically draws open, imaginative and loving caretakers to it. I was blessed to have had two wonderful hair families in my career.
Often a salon is filled with very strong personalities…. if you are lucky, as I was, you will find yourself in a salon home where those strong personalities are cohesive and celebrated. I loved my time at HCX, I loved the people that I had the opportunity to work with. We celebrated weddings, babies, new beginnings and mourned together loss and frustration. I met some of my best friends in this industry. I have known many people that I look forward to greeting again with a smile and a hug. Goodbye HCX… thanks for the memories!
We spent last Saturday trying to find our Tranverse Abdominis. It was fun to spend a class working on one pair of muscles, and interesting to me to discover what else needed to be worked to get to the target region!
So important and so hidden.
Here is the music that was playing, thanks for a great class!