Happy Mother’s Day! To be celebrated for one day is remarkable given everything moms do EVERYDAY! This video is my All. Time. Favorite!

How do you enjoy Mother’s Day? There are several ways to appreciate and be appreciated. In my extended family, one mother likes to do her own thing - be alone with a spa day or hike in peace. Another wants to be surrounded by family with kids making breakfast in bed and receiving kid-made love notes. Some want lavish gifts and others want to have a moms-only champagne brunch or dinner date.

I’ve found I like a combination. Each year is a bit different. No breakfast in bed for me. I learned that well-intended meal required a lot of clean up! I enjoy teaching the Mother’s Day yoga class for littles and for big kids. When the toddlers love and appreciate mom, it’s super sweet! When the teens attend yoga FOR mom, they end up enjoying the experience more than they expected. That’s a treat!

Appreciation is the center; when we express that regularly, everyday feels like Mother’s Day to me. I’ve learned that what I model is what gets reflected back to me so I make an effort to share what I’m grateful for including the mothers in my family - and everywhere. Working mothers have been hit especially hard lately. Eliminating in person school instruction and requiring distance learning with limited child care options has caused a mass exodus of women from the workforce. Women also do a majority of the household and caregiving work. A new study shows that when fathers or partners do even just 40% of the caregiving work at home, women left the workforce at much lower rates. 

President Biden has big plans for child care, family care, and health care. Case in point: his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan. It includes a proposal for universal preschool and tuition-free community college. Biden's also pushing for paid family and medical leave, an extension of the child tax credit, and investment in historically Black colleges. The job that no one can imagine taking without pay. And this video was pre-Covid! Let’s offer support to all mothers and celebrate one another. Big love all around for all they do!

Yoga at Home

Guest post by Gabriel Patel

In one way or another, COVID-19 has affected everyone’s lives, and if you were usually up bright and early to hit the gym or yoga studio before work, you might be worried that your fitness journey has been derailed, even as some places have reopened. But it’s possible to recreate your family’s workout routines and yoga classes in your own home. Check out these resources for helpful advice on choosing the right gear, challenging home workouts, and taking time for self-care.

Home Gym Setup

Once you choose the right spot in your home for your gym, you can purchase all the gear you need to get started working out.

Workout Plans

Whether you’re interested in cardio, strength training, or yoga, you’ll need to put a fitness plan together.

Body and Mind

Exercise is an effective stress reliever, but there are other ways to reduce anxiety.

Nourish Your Body

You’ll get a lot more out of your fitness routine if you pair it with healthy eating.

With your social calendar cleared and many businesses still closed, you’re probably spending more time at home than ever before, so it’s the perfect opportunity to set up a home gym, commit to a yoga routine, and put your own self-care first. With these resources, you’ll have no problem staying in great shape as we ride out the pandemic.

Photo Source: Pexels

Where is the ideal space for yoga? There are some very practical pointers to create a physical space for the physical practice of yoga by our friends at Porch. Another place altogether is to create space for yoga in your mind and in your everyday life.

Yoga is more that what we do on a mat. It’s how we think and breathe and relate to ourselves and others. These guiding principles of yoga off the mat are called the Yoga Sutras - Yamas and Niyamas. The ancient text is translated and interpreted a few ways and it’s sometimes difficult because it’s framed in the negative.

I’ve been struck by the word hate lately. Always really, but especially lately. Yes, we must #StopAsianHate Actually, we need to stop ALL hate. I wish there were another way to say that more more positively. Some say, Love Thy Neighbor. Yoga teaches us to be mindful of the words we use and what words we give power to. The brain pays attention carefully. What we hear over an over again is what gets wired.

For example, when you say, “Don’t run!” kids only hear RUN! If you want them to walk, you need to say, “Walk, please!” The same is true for “don’t forget” vs. “remember”. Does the word, remember, feel better than the word, forget? It does for me. It may be a small thing, but it matters. One of The Four Agreements is to be impeccable with your word. Choose carefully!

In yoga, the first guiding principle is called Ahimsa. It translates as non-violence or Do. No. Harm. In our work with kids, I’ve translated it further to the affirmative: Be Kind. I’d like to see that trending #BeKindtoAsians or even better #AlwaysBeKind. It hurts my heart to see violence against any one or group. We are all human and worthy. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. That’s it! There is no place for a superior race.

Learn to treat ourselves and others with the kindness and respect we all deserve. We can open our hearts on and off the mat and create a Positive Force in our world. Yes, please!

Yoga for Families during the Pandemic

The pandemic has created the most difficult conditions for kids and families. I’ve done a ton research and taught yoga to kids at every age for over 15 years. Luckily, I’ve found that Yoga provides solutions to some very difficult problems.

Synthesizing information from the top experts in the field of kids’ wellness from SATs to sex education, I stay up-to-date on new data, and the numbers are difficult. One government survey in December 2020 found that over 42% of people felt symptoms of anxiety or depression – an increase from 11% the previous year. It didn’t specify kids, but if parents are feeling it, so are kids! No one is immune. Study after study has found that working moms are suffering from disproportionate levels of burnout and stress.

Researchers are great at collecting data and outlining their findings, and the exceptional ones offer solutions to the all-too-often startling findings that leave parents wondering, “Is my kid, okay? and “Am I a good enough parent?” In nearly every situation, I’ve discovered that Yoga would mitigate or even prevent many of the conditions presented - typically resulting from chronic stress of parenting and growing up in today’s competitive climate.

How can kids and parents be the best version of themselves? How do they become aware and practice new skills? Could it be both functional and fun? Can everyone benefit? YES! Yoga is a universal platform for kids and families to learn to breathe, move and rest together. These practices are linked to the evidence-based research of mindfulness, exercise and meditation - all elements of Yoga along with some special mindset methods and a bit of magic!

Now is the time to begin or to begin again. More than ever, kids need physical, mental and emotional agility! We’ve made it easier than ever with our IYK® Yoga Club - unlimited classes for the whole family both outdoors and online. Start now. With help, your family can feel more happy and free.

Yoga and Social Media

When Kate was 3 years old she became afraid of monsters in her room. A popular problem for this age, we reassured her. We did regular checks at bedtime investigating potential monster hiding places. Her space was always clear, but her mind was in fear! Looking for ways to keep the monsters away, we adorned her wrists with monster repellent bracelets. It worked! She wore them all the time and it re-framed her mindset. She was safe!

Recently, I found myself fearing monsters - Social Media monsters! I’ve spent the last decade plus trying to get kids and parents off their devices, now Covid has made that impossible. Prior to the pandemic, we had three major problems posting about It’s Yoga Kids.

  1. Yoga is not the place for your phone. It’s a time to unplug and BE with your child. This was so challenging because what happens in every class is Beyond Cute and so worthy of capturing and celebrating publicly.
  2. Privacy. We can’t be posting all the Yoga cuteness without parent permission so we needed to rely on parents tagging @itsyogakids in posts that were relevant to us.
  3. My resistance! This was the biggest obstacle. I don’t know how to self-promote. I’ve never had to. As an elite performer with large audiences and as a top sales professional, my output was always recognized. I couldn’t escape it! Now, I have to toot our own horn? Uncomfortable!

We’ve never spent a dollar on advertising. Our community always shared their experience with great reviews organically and that’s the way I liked it. But that’s not enough. In order to fulfill our mission of access to Yoga for Every Child we need a bigger megaphone and social media provides that. So instead of monster repellent bracelets, I’m hugging this technology monster and reframing the fear of putting myself out there as a way to elevate our important work.

More than ever, kids need physical, mental and emotional Agility. Facing fears including anxiety which can range from mild nerves to debilitating is critical as we enter a whole new world post Covid. Yoga can help! We find our edge, stop and breathe into it and transform it. We learn this skill on the mat and then we apply it to everyday life. It takes practice!

What are your monsters? Tell us all about it!

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