Yoga Secret to Giving and Receiving Best Gifts

Do you agonize over the perfect gift?…There’s a lot to unwrap with our Happiness Lab experts.

First things first, remember why we give gifts: we feel better when we give to others. However, people who get gifts don’t always appreciate the thought that was put into giving them. Seeing the recipient’s response is key because it draws you closer to the receiver which satisfies a relational need.

Here are a few secrets to satisfying gift giving and receiving:

1. Give them what they want! Instead of guessing, and risking getting it wrong, which is extra deflating, get it right by asking them what they want. No surprise here: no one wants to pretend they love a present they don’t need.

2. If you are giving money…have a conversation about how you spent it to get the well-being boost on both sides. Including a card with a personalized note makes it all the more meaningful.

3. The best gifts are shared experiences. Co-experiences like Family Yoga are ideal. Nothing can replace coming together. According to research, gifts of frequency are better than intensity. Spreading gifts out over time creates anticipation and ongoing connection. We need things to look forward to.

Ultimately, gift giving and receiving is about listening. When you take the time to connect, and respect, what your partner, parents and kiddos want, life is better. That’s why Santa’s List is so important and so helpful. Do drop heavy hints and give the gift of health and happiness this year.

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Yoga Celebrate the Season and Stress Less

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and the most stressful. “Growing up means realizing that holiday magic was actually the women in your family working their asses off to make everything perfect.” @theskimm

Like Rudolph, let’s shine a light on it. ‘Tis the season…to have temporary feelings of anxiety and depression. Yep, 38% of people say their stress increases around the holidays.

Here are 3 ways to celebrate more and stress less this holiday season:

1. Decide what you are - and are not - going to do. From holiday cards and decorating, cooking and baking to gift giving and shipping, all by a certain date…it’a A LOT! Ask yourself what matters most and only do that. Drop whatever doesn’t light you up.

2. Delegate anything that’s really important to you, and your family, but doesn’t make you happy. This is what partners and family members are for. Let go of it being done a certain way and just let them do it! They will feel accomplished and you will feel relieved. That’s a win-win!

3. Dedicate some time for yourself everyday. My 10-minute morning meditation makes my day. I also listen to my favorite music which sets a tone. I have a few different playlists depending on my mood. Of course, do yoga! Even 15 minutes of sun salutations can turn you upside down and inside out. What better way to burn some energy, invigorate yourself and gain a new perspective?

While the holidays demand a lot of tasks, they can also bring up a lot of feelings. Pay close attention to how you feel and keep a Miracle Of The Day journal to highlight your wins before your head hits the pillow at night. Celebrating YOU is the right thing to do!

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Family Yoga Thanksgiving Diaper Drive

Research shows giving and a gratitude practice are linked to a greater sense of satisfaction and happiness. Here are 2 simple ways to make appreciation a habit in your family.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Get a notebook and place it by the bedstead to write down 3 things you are grateful for each day. Kids are most grateful for people in their lives, like parents, teachers and friends. They are also thankful for simple pleasures like toys, and even necessities, like food and diapers.

Donate to Those In Need

Giving creates the good vibes! Access to diapers was a huge pandemic problem that has persisted for many. Those who can’t afford diapers find that hardship to be more stressful than food or housing insecurity.

Last year, we donated $5,370 dollars equal to over 420 packs - that's 12,600 diapers to those in need so we are doing it again. We created our second annual Thanksgiving Diaper Drive to benefit Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco with our community partners, Earth Baby REDYPER and Natural Resources. Like traditional diaper services, REDYPER™ Powered by EarthBaby delivers fresh new diapers and wipes right to your doorstep without the waste.

Have fun and help others! Bring a pack of diapers to donate at our IYK® Thanksgiving Family Event on Sunday, November 20 or drop a pack at Natural Resources through December 20.

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Kids Yoga National Stress Awareness Day

Today is National Stress Awareness Day. Yay! I feel like celebrating because bringing attention to how to handle stress is what I do everyday. Nearly 95% of disease is caused by stress so it’s super important to know how to handle it.

Here are 3 strategies for you and the kids:

1. Name it to tame it.

I’ve taught this for years. Knowing your feelings is critical to making sure they don’t go wild! Teach kids and model the four basic feelings: happy, sad, mad and calm.

2. Feel it to free it.

Once you name your feeling, allow yourself to feel it. We often try to resist negative feelings, but this effort only makes them bigger. Instead, embrace the feeling as if it were a loving friend. Listen to it, and ironically, that frees it.

3. Now flip it! Flip it good!

Once a feeling is fully felt, it can be released. This is why we like going upside-down in yoga. We can apply that idea to our thoughts too. The key word is “even though.” Even though I feel sad right now, I know it’s temporary and I will feel glad again. Then, direct your focus to a more positive thought. 

This mindfulness exercise takes practice. Join me for a class or a training and I’ll show you how.

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Teen Yoga Megan Thee Stallion Bad Days

Okay, Megan Thee Stallion, you got me. I love this!

She created a website with mental health resources for fans and it’s really cool. The website called "Bad Bitches Have Bad Days Too" offers links to free therapy organizations, suicide, and substance abuse helpline among other resources.

Way to normalize this and make a positive difference! With World Mental Health Day on October 10 and really everyday here at IYK, here’s what you can do to bounce back from a bad day.

1. Remember, This Too Shall Pass. Everything is temporary. Nothing lasts forever…even a bad day. Don’t let it stick.

2. Reflect. Learn from it. Stop and notice what happened. What was in your control and what was not? Are you a victim or a victor? It is a choice. You always have a choice.

3. Rest or move something. Everything is energy so move your body to release negativity so it doesn’t get stored in your body, mind and heart. If your body needs rest, stop and do that too.

You are your best friend and your best boss. Listen to yourself. When you are not sure, get still before acting. Try 1 to 10 minutes of silence to reset yourself and be your best. Learn at yoga. I’ll show you how.

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Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!