Fall Equinox Family Yoga Event

First, what is it? The term “equi-nox,” or equal night represents one of two days each year when the hours of the night equal the hours of the day. Everywhere in the world, the Fall Equinox is on September 22nd.

It marks the change of seasons. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the beginning of autumn — a time of harvest and transition. The days will grow darker from now until March. The leaves will turn red, orange and gold and fall to the earth. The air will feel crisp, and crops will have to last until the next growing season.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the opposite is true. At this point in the year, life has rooted to the earth, marking the beginning of spring. A symbol of rebirth, the soil thaws, seedlings surge, and blossoms open.

Wherever you are in the world, the Equinox enters in a new season. Here are a few rituals that to help you align with the seasonal shift.

1. Be in nature. Take a moment to enjoy your personal harvest. Take note of whatever you’ve been gathering or bringing to fruition this year. Celebrate your progress and how far you’ve come. 

2. Restore balance in your home. Clear closets and spaces. Give away or sell anything that is no longer needed.

3. With equal hours of light and dark, this Equinox brings an opportunity to recalibrate inside and out. Meditate, or do yoga to restore balance.

If you need some ideas, we have an abundance at It’s Yoga Kids® starting with the Fall Equinox Family Yoga Event on Sunday, September 25.

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Hey! It's Your Birthday Yoga Party

I’ve thrown over 200 kids yoga birthday parties over 17 years and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Here’s how to make your child’s birthday a unique and fulfilling event for everyone!

It can be FANCY!

For some, there is a lot of interest to present an event in a certain way. When we opened the studio, a yoga party was a super unique and a cool differentiator from other kids’ parties. We had special themes, party planners, catering, and some very fancy party favors. The kids had a great time and parents did too!

It can be simple.

For others, keeping it simple is where it’s at. I’ve hosted yoga parties at the park, or on the driveway, where kids are pinning the tail on the donkey or swinging at a piñata. And that was equally fun! Celebrating a birthday at home or outdoors can be easier and festive.

It’s all about the energy!

In either set up, or something in between, kids are excited (and often overwhelmed) and parents can be stressed. The key to a successful event is relaxed parents and burning through the excitement of celebrating - methodically. That’s what I figured out. There is an arc of energy and I know how to take that rainbow ride from one side to the other. Families leave with calm or completely exhausted kids at our customized events. The best compliment is - kids had a blast and it was easy for parents to host. YAY!

P.S. It’s my birthday on September 13 and I celebrated with my own yoga party including friends, champagne and chocolate. YUM!

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Kendrick Lamar is a Yogi

What does Kendrick Lamar have to do with yoga? More than you might think. Here’s what I observed, front and center, at The Big Steppers Tour in Oakland.

My son wanted to go to his first major concert featuring Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar. He wanted to mosh with friends on the floor. (I thought I’d drop them at the door.) A friend of mine, who knows musical talent like no other, insisted I go too. I was open to the experience. I didn’t expect to be blown away!

Kendrick is intentional.

The energy, artistry and composition of each song in his live performance is its own body of work. He’s a storyteller and the show was a cinematic completion of the lyrics combined with the lighting, technology and choreography. This level of attention to detail requires intense focus. The focus of a yogi. Every detail was accounted for with precision.

Kendrick is mindful.

This really got me. Between each song, he would often take a full minute to reset himself. I imagine he was letting the vibration of what just happened go to embrace a moment of silence and transition into the next experience. It was so cool to witness this consistently. The fans roared in anticipation. He totally gets the power is in the pause.

Kendrick can move!

I’m not saying he did any yoga poses outside of standing tall like a mountain, but the way he presented on stage was monumental. He’s not a tall man, but he felt tall. His mannerisms and movements were so organic and original to him. I appreciated the way he held the essence of a monolith with pure and total presence. That’s yoga.

I have no idea if he’s ever set foot on a yoga mat, but whether its “Poetic Justice” Kendrick, or “DNA” Kendrick, he and yoga go together. I’m officially Kendrick Rally Mom now - KRM.

Hey teens! We use playlists with pop, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and reggae to inspire our unique yoga practices. Check us out live online.

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Spanking in School Science and Yoga

Is spanking at school a good idea? For me, this is a HARD NO. Here’s the news, science and yogic perspective on spanking. 

The news: The Cassville R-IV School District in western MO gave the ‘OK’ to bring back spanking. Using paddles as a punishment for misbehavior will begin for students whose parents opt-in with written permission — with a choice to opt out later. Swatting kids will be a last resort in private with two workers present (the spanker and a witness) and no hitting the head or face. The measure is a school board response to a survey which found that parents were worried about student behavior. Many states have outlawed corporal punishment in schools — but Missouri is one of 19 that allow it.

The science: Spanking may be an effective short-term solution to change behavior, but it’s no more effective than other non-violent methods, like a timeout. The long term impact of spanking is associated with less compliance than other forms of discipline (Gershoff, 2013). Causing physical pain can lead to fear and confusion in children who are still learning whatever their adult is trying to convey. Spanking actually backfires as a method of punishment because researchers found a consistent relationship between spanking and aggressive behavior (Gershoff & Grogan-Kaylor, 2016).

The yoga: As a yogi, the rule is: Do No Harm. Ahimsa (non-violence), the first and foremost of the five yamas (restraints) described in the Yoga Sutra. It asks us to live in such a way that we cause no harm in thought, speech, or action to any living being, including ourselves. In its pure form, ahimsa is the expression of the highest form of love—with unwavering positive regard for everyone and everything. This is a very tall order in the world, and one to aspire to. 

From these perspectives, clearly spanking is the least effective toward positive learned behavior. Children learn most effectively with loving adults who can guide them to their personal purpose, peace and power - not over others - but for the greater good.  This is The Practice. Come to yoga to learn how. 

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Kids Yoga How to Never Fail

It’s simple: If you try, you can never fail.

If you don’t get the outcome you want, you learn. We learn by making our own mistakes. No one can do that for us. Even though, as parents, we try. We want our kids to learn from our mistakes. We implore them to take our advice. I’ve learned it’s worth our effort, but kids often need to learn from their own mistakes.

Effort is the key. It requires no skill and you have control over it. You have a choice to put in your full effort, or not. If you don’t try your best, you can’t be your best. I like the 70/30 approach to making decisions.

List your target goals. What do you want? Identify the next best step toward what you want. From there make decisions with 70% assurance, leave 30% uncertainty for learning. Some of us don’t like to make a decision until we are 100% sure, but that’s not ideal - especially for kids.

Making your best guess is sometimes the best. We learn this skill on the mat, through trying new things and stretching ourselves physically and mentally. It comes with facing fears like going upside down, bending backwards or holding a pose to get stronger. It comes with reframing our outcomes whether we get what we want, or not because with effort, you can never fail.

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Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!