6 Poses for Mother's Day Yoga with the Kids


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Whether you work outside the home or inside the home, being a mom is priceless. May is for mothers (and mental health). How will you spend Mother’s Day?

  • Some moms like breakfast in bed.
  • Some moms like brunch.
  • Some moms like a weekend away.
  • Some moms like a spa day.
  • Some moms like handmade cards and gifts.
  • Some moms like fancy jewelry.
  • Some moms like yoga with the kids.

Mother’s Day yoga with kids is a fantastic way to breathe, move and celebrate together! Here's a simple and fun yoga sequence tailored for kids to enjoy with their moms:

1. Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana):

  • Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together, knees bent out to the sides.
  • Hold your feet with your hands and gently flap your knees up and down like butterfly wings. What color is your butterfly?

2. Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar):

  • Start standing tall, reach your arms up high to the sky (Mountain Pose).
  • Bend forward and touch your toes (Forward Fold).
  • Step one foot back into a lunge, then the other foot, coming into a plank pose.
  • Lower down onto your belly, then lift your chest up for Cobra Pose.
  • Push back into Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Step or jump your feet forward between your hands, returning to Forward Fold.
  • Reach your arms up high again, then lower them back to your sides (Mountain Pose).

3. Partner Yoga Poses:

  • Sit facing each other with your legs extended. Hold hands and gently lean back, using your partner's support to balance in Boat Pose (Navasana).
  • Alternatively, try Partner Tree Pose: Stand side by side and each place the outside foot against the inside thigh of the other, forming a "double tree.”

4. Heart-Melting Hugs:

  • Stand facing each other and give each other a big hug, squeezing tightly.
  • Feel the love between you and your mom as you hold the hug for a few breaths.

5. Flower Breath:

  • Make a flower with your hands open touching your pinky fingers and thumbs.
  • What kind of flower is it? What color? Smell the flower and blow the petals by wiggling your fingers.

6. Savasana (Cloud Pose):

  • Lie down on your back, close your eyes, and let your body relax completely.
  • Take a few deep breaths together, feeling calm and connected. Keep the energy light and joyful, encouraging laughter and playfulness throughout the practice.

It's never about perfect poses but about enjoying each other's company and celebrating the special bond between moms and kids. Happy Mother's Day!

P.S. We’ll show you all these poses and more. Celebrate mom with us on Sunday, May 12 at 10:15am at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

 

5 Tips for Managing The 100 Days of May


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It’s the final sprint of the academic year. The "100 Days of May" is a term that aptly captures the flurry of activities that occur as schools approach the end of the year. From final projects, exams, recitals, prom and graduation ceremonies to end-of-year parties, the calendar fills up quickly with events both celebratory and stressful. It's a time of transition, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

The Temptation to Rush

It's natural to feel the urge to rush through each day, ticking items off the to-do list and eagerly anticipating the next event. However, in our haste to reach the finish line, we risk missing out on the richness of the present moment. Each day holds its own unique experiences, conversations, and opportunities for growth—if only we take the time to notice them.

The Power of Mindfulness

Mindfulness offers a powerful antidote to the tendency to rush through life. By cultivating awareness of our thoughts, emotions, and surroundings, we can anchor ourselves in the present moment, fully engaging with whatever is happening here and now. Instead of being consumed by worries about the future or regrets about the past, we can appreciate the beauty and significance of now. Here’s how:

  1. Practice Gratitude: Take a moment each day to reflect on the things you're grateful for, whether it's a supportive friend, a beautiful sunset, or a small victory at school or work. Cultivating gratitude helps us to recognize and appreciate the abundance in our lives.
  2. Breathe: When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Focus on the sensation of the breath moving in and out of your body, allowing it to anchor you in the present moment.
  3. Savor Joy: Whether it's sharing a laugh with friends at prom or receiving an award at a graduation ceremony, allow yourself to fully savor moments of joy and accomplishment. Immerse yourself in the experience, letting go of distractions and worries.
  4. Stay Flexible: While it's important to have plans and goals, it's also essential to remain flexible and adaptable as unexpected events arise. Embrace the spontaneity of life, recognizing that sometimes the most memorable moments are the ones we didn't plan.
  5. Connect with Others: Take the time to truly connect with the people around you, whether it's classmates, teachers, or family members. Engage in meaningful conversations, listen attentively, and express appreciation for the relationships that enrich your life.

Embracing the Journey

As we navigate the final days of the school year, let's remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. By staying present and mindful, we can fully experience the joys, challenges, and bittersweet moments that make this time of year so special. So, let's embrace the 100 Days of May with open hearts and open minds, savoring each moment as it unfolds. After all, it's not just about reaching the end—it's about making the most of the journey along the way.

For me, these are yoga-off-the-mat moments. What we learn on the mat makes the leap to handling our everyday lives with ease and joy! We’ll show you how.

 

A better coping strategy for teens and alcohol


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April is Alcohol Awareness month. This is very close to my heart because too many families struggle with alcohol abuse and addiction. I have seen its damaging effects especially on children. Worse, many teenagers adopt the use of alcohol as coping mechanism.

First, some facts:

  • 178,000 people in the U.S. alone die of alcohol-related harms a year. It is a causal factor in >200 diseases including seven deadly cancers. 13.5% of total deaths between ages 20-39 are attributable to alcohol.
  • Anheuser-Busch spends ~$7B a year in advertising, heavily targeting youth. Advertising spend is linked to higher consumption rates.
  • U.S. warning labels for alcoholic beverages haven’t been updated for more than thirty years, predating the recognition of alcohol as a group 1 carcinogen.
  • Alcohol tax policies are similarly outdated at the state and federal level. Higher taxes support reduced consumption rates.
  • Like Big Tobacco did for decades, Big Alcohol actively obstructs public awareness, heavily investing in opposing effective alcohol policies at the expense of public health.

Yoga and alcohol are two very different coping mechanisms, each with its own set of effects and implications for mental and physical health. Here's a comparison:

Effects on the Body:

Yoga: Yoga focuses on physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques. It promotes flexibility, strength, balance, and relaxation. It can help reduce physical tension and improve overall physical health.

Alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. While it may initially provide feelings of relaxation and euphoria, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to impaired coordination, slurred speech, and long-term health problems such as liver damage, heart disease, and addiction.

Effects on Mental Health:

Yoga: Yoga has been shown to have numerous mental health benefits, including reducing stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. It promotes mindfulness and self-awareness, helping individuals to better cope with difficult emotions and situations.

Alcohol: While alcohol may temporarily alleviate feelings of stress or anxiety, it is not an effective long-term coping mechanism. In fact, excessive alcohol consumption can exacerbate mental health issues and lead to a cycle of dependence and negative coping strategies.

Long-Term Consequences:

Yoga: Practicing yoga regularly can have long-lasting positive effects on both physical and mental health. It can improve overall well-being and resilience to stress.

Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can have serious long-term consequences for physical and mental health, including addiction, liver disease, cognitive impairment, and increased risk of accidents and injuries.

Community and Support:

Yoga: Yoga can be practiced individually or in a group setting. Many people find a sense of community and support through yoga classes and workshops.

Alcohol: While alcohol is often consumed socially, it can also contribute to social isolation and problems in relationships, especially when dependence or addiction becomes an issue.

Yoga offers numerous physical and mental health benefits and promotes overall well-being, while excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a range of negative health outcomes and is generally not a sustainable or healthy coping strategy.

What’s the USAPA?

The U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization translating alcohol policy research into public health practice. The organization is committed to ensuring that local and statewide organizations engaging in alcohol policy initiatives have access to the science, resources and technical assistance, including support for organizing efforts, required to engage in informed decisions and actions in translating alcohol policy research into public health practice.

Here is a 3 minute video that captures what they’re up to. With this awareness, we hope to see you in yoga class or become a teacher in your area.

 

Kids Yoga on Earth Day


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As Earth Day approaches on April 22, our collective focus turns towards sustainability, conservation, and the protection of our precious planet. It's important to engage our children in understanding and appreciating the significance of Earth Day. One beautiful way to do so is through the practice of kids yoga, blending physical activity with mindfulness and environmental awareness. The symbiotic relationship between kids yoga and Earth Day highlights how this joyful practice can instill a love for both personal care and the planet.

Yoga as a Tool for Connection:

Yoga offers a holistic approach to health and wellness. For children, yoga can be an especially powerful tool for cultivating self-awareness, emotional regulation, and physical fitness. Through playful poses, mindful breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques, kids yoga encourages a deeper connection between mind, body, and spirit. Moreover, yoga fosters a sense of connection to the world around us, emphasizing our interdependence with nature and the importance of living in harmony with all living beings.

Bringing Earth Day into the Yoga Studio:

As we celebrate Earth Day, integrating themes of environmental stewardship into kids yoga classes becomes both meaningful and educational. Yoga instructors can weave elements of nature into their sessions, inviting children to embody various animals, plants, and natural elements through yoga poses and creative movement. By engaging their imagination and creativity, children develop a profound appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Furthermore, yoga classes can incorporate discussions about environmental issues, such as pollution, deforestation, and climate change, in an age-appropriate manner. Through storytelling, games, and art activities, children learn about the importance of conservation and ways they can contribute to a healthier planet, fostering a sense of empowerment and responsibility.

Practicing Mindful Consumption:

In addition to raising awareness about environmental challenges, kids yoga can also promote mindful consumption and sustainable living practices. By encouraging children to reflect on their consumption habits and the impact of their choices on the planet, yoga instructors empower them to make more conscious decisions. Whether it's reducing plastic usage, conserving water, or supporting eco-friendly products, small changes can make a big difference when embraced collectively.

Connecting with the Earth:

As we commemorate Earth Day, let us remember the importance of cultivating a sense of reverence and stewardship for our planet in the hearts of our children. Kids yoga provides a joyful and transformative platform for nurturing this connection, integrating mindfulness, movement, and environmental education in a holistic manner. By embracing the practice of kids yoga for Earth Day and beyond, we empower the next generation to become compassionate caretakers of our planet, ensuring a brighter and more sustainable future for all.underscore our interconnectedness and responsibilities to society, and yoga provides a pathway to inner peace and resilience in the face of life's uncertainties. 

Ground yourself and attend our family Earth Day Event on Sunday, April 21 at 9:30am at Metta Yoga.

 

Death, Taxes & Yoga


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In life, there are few certainties: death and taxes, as the old adage goes. But nestled within these seemingly grim certainties lies an unexpected beacon of hope and serenity: yoga. Let’s explore the interconnectedness of these three pillars of existence and how embracing them can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Death: A Universal Truth

Death is the ultimate equalizer, touching every corner of existence regardless of age, status, or wealth. It's a subject often avoided or feared, yet acknowledging its inevitability can profoundly shift our perspective on life. Rather than dwelling on the unknowns beyond death, we can choose to focus on living each moment to its fullest.

Understanding the impermanence of life can inspire us to cherish each day, to nurture our relationships, and to pursue our passions with vigor and purpose. By accepting death as a natural part of the cycle of life, we can find solace in the present moment and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us.

Taxes: The Price of Civilization

Taxes, while perhaps less existential than death, are nonetheless an inescapable reality of modern society. They fund essential services, support infrastructure, and contribute to the greater good. While the process of paying taxes may be tedious, reframing it as a contribution to the collective well-being can imbue it with a sense of purpose and civic duty.

Moreover, navigating the complexities of taxes can teach us valuable lessons about responsibility, accountability, and financial literacy. By managing our finances wisely and fulfilling our tax obligations, we can secure our future and contribute to the stability and prosperity of society as a whole.

Yoga: A Path to Inner Harmony

In the midst of life's certainties, yoga emerges as a powerful tool for finding balance and inner peace. Rooted in ancient tradition and modern science, yoga encompasses physical postures, breathwork, meditation, and practical teachings aimed at cultivating harmony between body, mind, and heart.

Practicing yoga, and especially with kids, allows us to connect with the present moment, to release tension and stress, and to cultivate a sense of inner strength and resilience. Through regular practice, we learn to embrace change, to let go of attachments, and to surrender to the flow of life with grace and acceptance.

The Interplay of Certainties

At first glance, death, taxes, and yoga may seem disparate, but upon closer examination, they reveal a profound interconnectedness. Death reminds us of the preciousness of life, taxes underscore our interconnectedness and responsibilities to society, and yoga provides a pathway to inner peace and resilience in the face of life's uncertainties.

By embracing these certainties with open hearts and minds, we can navigate the complexities of existence with greater wisdom, grace, and serenity. Whether on the yoga mat, in the tax office, or contemplating the mysteries of mortality, may we find solace in the beauty of the present moment and the interconnectedness of all things.

 

Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!