June 4, 2017
I used to think student attendance meant success. I measured my success in numbers and bodies in a room. This measurement didn’t allow for me to impact my students or create opportunities for empowering them or helping them get to know themselves a bit better - both super important outcomes for me as an instructor. I also realized that when I made the yoga class about me and my success I wasn’t focused on my students (duh!) and actually felt less successful as an instructor. When I began to make my classes about the practice of yoga, the benefits and my students and their needs I noticed a slight shift in the energy of my classes and also how I felt about them.
During a class it is important for me to share the bigger aspects of yoga and the benefits of the practice for body, mind & spirit. The postures are such a big part of the practice, but yoga is more than asana - it’s about self-discovery and empowerment. My purpose as a yoga instructor for children and adults is to be an advocate, to be a cheerleader and coach, to be a guide and role model, to show them they are worthy, but most importantly to help them uncover the self-compassion and courage that resides within them already.
As a yoga teacher I hope to impart the knowledge of control over emotions and breath through simple meditation practices and nurture the belief of self-love.
Let me know in the comments how you measure YOUR success - in whatever capacity - as a yoga teacher, parent, friend, boss, sibling, colleague, caregiver, etc.
While I would not consider this a traditional "storybook" with a beginning, middle and end it is a perfect yoga or SEL (Social Emotional Learning) resource for families or teachers with a desire to introduce their children to "feelings" or "feeling" words. So often big emotions or feellings can be confusing to a little body. The Grateful Giraffe gives parents and children the vocabulary to be able to identify and name the feeling that they may be experiencing in their body. Being able to name an emotion or feeling is such an important part of early-child development and will allow a child, and their parent, to find a bit of calm in the storm of a tantrum or frustrating experience.
As an added bonus there are several different resources in the back of the book for parents or teachers: including a pose guide, feelings list, pose directions & tips for practicing yoga and yogic principals with children.
You can purchase a copy of the book HERE or download a PDF version.
Let me know what you think! Cheers Meghan
Can yoga grow a better brain? Studies show that, yes, children who exercise may grow a better brain! How is this possible? Researchers point to movement activities (including yoga!) as an effective cognitive strategy to (1) strengthen learning, (2) improve memory and retrieval, and (3) enhance your child's motivation & morale! Woo-hoo!!
The benefits of movement and play go beyond cognitive gains. With a national obesity epidemic, and more and more schools cutting physical activity from their daily schedule, it is imperative that parents and care-givers find engaging and fun ways to incorporate movement and play in to the daily routine of their child. Yoga is a fun, non-competitive activity that the whole family can enjoy together.
Looking for a place to start? Try my 3 Easy Family Yoga Poses or check out Bari Koral's new yoga/music album "Little Box of Happy". The album contains 16 yoga tracks for kids (and adults!) to enjoy including 3 relaxation tracks and a full color poster of all the poses on the album (for our visual learners). Available at Amazon & ITunes.
Grab your copy today and get moving & grooving while learning with your child.
Cheers, Meghan Jane
February is the month of love and partner yoga poses are a fun way to spend some quality time with your child. Toss on some comfy clothes & play your favorite tunes as you give these poses a try with your child this month. Don't worry so much about alignment or if you or your child are doing the poses "correctly". Spend your time having fun, laughing and enjoy exploring these poses together and getting in a good stretch! FYI: these poses can be quite energetic - try these during the day rather than before bedtime :)
1. Sit facing your partner and stretch your legs out into a V-shape.
2. Both partners bend their right-knee and bring the sole of their right foot to the inside of their left thigh.
3. Scoot towards each other so your left foot touches your partner's right-knee.
4. Lift your arms up over your head and then bend from your waist to reach towards your own left toes.
5. Hold for a few breaths (count with you child) and then do the other side.