Mental Health Awareness Month

According to reports from UNICEF and the World Health Organization, 1 in 7 children ages 6–18 have a diagnosable mental health condition. And that’s…pretty staggering. Many are now calling the current mental health crisis "the next pandemic.” It's more important than ever to reduce the stigma around talking about mental health, increase efforts to educate people about mental health and mental illness, and connect people with resources to get help if they need it.

How does yoga fit into children’s health? Yoga is preventative care. We see a full range of children from the highest performing student-athletes to the most challenged under-resourced kids. They all have the same things in common: they experience stress.

The pressures are very intense at both ends of the spectrum and in-between. Stress manifests the same way in every body. The Automatic Response System (ARS) most commonly, flight or flight, gets activated repeatedly and the Central Nervous System has to be regulated or health suffers. It’s that simple.

The practice of yoga, and all its elements, including breathing, mindfulness and meditation are proven to reduce stress. Yoga also amplifies confidence, resilience and joy. It’s fun. Kids like it. It reaches all walks of life and models the healthy habits we all need to succeed. Coping skills are rarely taught anywhere else. Some schools are making progress with social-emotional learning (SEL). Yoga nourishes the body, mind and heart of all students regardless of their religious or cultural background. It’s an equalizer and a unifier. What could be healthier than that?

Mother's Day Baby and Family Yoga

It’s the toughest job in the world. No one would take the job in a blind interview.

As I reflect on Mother’s Day, I always think of my mother and my grandmother. When I became a mother, I slowly transitioned to thinking about myself in that role too. I noticed the differences in generational parenting and the similarities between our parenting. This includes every time I acted and sounded just like my mother or my grandmother. How is that possible often when I promised I would never say or do that?!

Patterns are built into our systems through repetition. How do we keep the great ones and transform the not-so-great ones? Here are 5 ways to ace motherhood:

Awareness - Conditioning has us operating on auto-pilot most of the time. The only way out of that mode is to become curious and conscious, otherwise, the subconscious is in control. This is why we do things we never thought we would do. We have to amplify awareness in order to make better decisions.

Acceptance - There is no perfect. Oh, but we try! The faster you accept what is vs. what should be, the easier it is to solve problems. I’ve become convinced the the only real parenting decision is when to push and when to back off…and that decision needs to be made multiple times every day (and night for those who don’t sleep soundly…yet.)

Attitude - Your attitude toward change is essential to feeling healthier and happier. Embracing mistakes vs. striving for perfection is a BIG one for moms. Do your best. There are some big lessons to learn so pay attention to what matters most! Hint: Choose love every time.

Actions - Act from love. That’s it. Fear carries the lowest vibration and Love is the highest. When you become more aware you can overcome your fear (more on this later) and raise your vibe in ANY situation. The simplest way is to start is to place your hand on your heart.

Appreciation - You are doing your best. They are doing their best. Life is happening for you - not to you. Notice and appreciate those around you every day with littles things and big things, because when you do, they want to do more for you, and others too!

Yoga helps with all of this. Building awareness, your approach to mothering changes. You are better able to act from love vs. fear, embrace challenges and balance the demands upon you. At the end of yoga, in total relaxation, appreciation floods in - for your body, your mind, your heart, and your life.

Want to try? We’ve got two events this Mother’s Day. Dailey Baby + IYK® Baby, Wednesday, May 4 at 11am. Space is limited. It’s FREE. IYK® Family Yoga on Sunday, May 8 at 10:30am.

Kids and Family Yoga Earth Day

People ask me why I teach yoga to kids. This is why: what we practice on the mat translates to life off the mat. Skills like acceptance, resilience, presence, endurance, confidence and ultimately attention. What do we pay attention to and for how long?

The current issue is evil: war, violence and atrocities. Why do they exist? How are they different than evil thoughts like, “I hate my brother. I’m gonna kill him!” Simply said, evil thoughts are not the same evil acts. However, all actions are based in a thought, feeling, or impulse.

I believe evil is a learned behavior. No one is born evil. Further, a learned behavior that leads to wrongdoing comes from a child’s upbringing. This includes morality, conditioning, impulse control, anger, inner conflict and fear. Specifically, how a child’s leaders (parents, teachers, coaches) deal with these factors.

How do we overcome evil within and around us? Raise compassion. Raise awareness. Act from that place. That’s it!

No one is immune from inner conflict, fear, and anger. Look inside yourself because external conflicts are the extension of inner conflicts. Develop your own humanity by living from a deeper state of consciousness. With practice, you will become an agent of peace which is the greatest contribution you can make to counter evil.

Kids and Family Yoga Earth Day

Earth Day is coming on April 22. Every day is earth day, but I’m glad a special day exists to bring worldwide awareness to protecting the environment. What is the environment? It’s anyplace you dwell including your body, your home, our communities, our nations, and our planet. Let’s explore how to keep these environments healthy and clean so everyone prospers.

The body. Purify what makes you sick or unwell. This includes stress. Yoga removes toxins from the body and stimulates our organs so all internal systems work better. Further, practicing yoga connects our feet to the earth through mindfulness to help us feel grounded and safe.

The home. Spring cleaning is crucial to making sure your home's air is healthy to breathe. Dust and allergens that build up over the winter need to be removed, especially with the onset of the allergy season. This clearing helps you breathe clean air inside and outside.

The community. Helping our communities elevates the energy all around us. Investing in your community makes us all feel more safe and connected. This is why volunteering and caring for those in need matters.

The nation. This is the moment to change it all: the business and political climates. We are more aware of how our conduct matters, what we stand for, and what we will no longer stand for.

The earth. Take courageous action on the climate. Now is the time to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must invest in Our Planet. A green future is a prosperous future. Our water. Our air. Our soil. There is much we must do!

First held on April 22, 1970, Earth Day now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. Look for local events near you.

Join our IYK® Earth Day Happy Hour event in the Presidio of San Francisco at 4:30pm. Strengthen and stretch your body, mind, and heart with movement, music and a special art project to honor the planet. Have fun, take meaningful action and raise your positive vibes. Register your family here.

Luck and Karma

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I became curious about The Luck of the Irish and how it intersects - or doesn’t with karma. What makes one lucky or not - or to have good karma or not? Is the Luck of the Irish Good Luck or Bad Luck—or Dumb Luck?

The Luck of the Irish is used to describe someone who is extremely lucky and has good fortune. During the California Gold Rush (1848-1855), many of the most successful miners were of Irish descent giving birth to the American phrase the Luck of the Irish. Another theory is the phrase stems from Irish folklore or possibly Celtic mythology which bestowed a special kind of luck on the Irish people.

The phrase itself is used to express good luck and good fortune, but it’s easy to see why one might think it is used ironically to express actual bad luck. The history of the Irish people is anything but lucky. Over the centuries, Ireland has been wrought with famine, civil wars, foreign invasion, and the oppression of its people. Finally, its origins also have a slight connotation of dumb luck, as if to say the only way an Irishman could be successful is due to luck and not through hard work, skills, or intellect.

What about Karma? The Sanskrit word karma means “action,” but the word implies actions that have consequences. That concept is an everyday idea. However, according to Deepak Chopra, there are deeper implications for karma: Every action leads to a result. These results are calculated by a kind of cosmic power than balances everything. The consequences of your actions are not randomly good or bad—they are organized in an evolutionary way to move your forward.

“Good” karma means evolution. “Bad” karma suspends or delays your forward motion. This goes beyond “everything happens for a reason.” The reason is evolution. This is why the doctrine of karma originated, so that despite the ups and downs of everyday life and the random reactions we have to everything that happens to us, there is a larger karmic pattern.

Perhaps it’s true, the harder you work, the luckier you get. And to grow, you must become aware of your experience, interrupt negative patterns and choose positive ones. This is the opportunity. We do yoga to become more aware. Full stop. The power is in the pause to act for the highest outcome in every situation.

Page 8 of 23

Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!