Sunday, October 18, 2020

Be a Yogi

 


As I was teaching last weekend for the Youth Corps Singapore, I was happily surprised to read this slide from them. So true, so yoga!


and

Sunday, October 11, 2020

What's Halloween Yoga for kids?

 As I was preparing the lesson plan for Halloween, I found this perfect plan, by KPY! Thought it would be nice to share it with you, so you can move with your little pumpkins while at home!


It’s a Kidding Around Yoga Halloween this year! To open the class, I have the kids lay face down on their mats in Crocodile pose with their foreheads resting on their hands. When everyone is laying quietly with their eyes closed, I put on a black cape and purple witch’s hat. They are quite surprised when they open their eyes, except of course, the ones who were peeking! I have the pose names written on orange index cards (in order of list below). I show them the card and I/they read the name. Then I demo the pose and they do it with me. Next, they can show their own version of the pose.

I have a small, rubbery, bendy skeleton that I came across a few years ago. He sits in Lotus while we do our poses. I play Monster Mash, the original version from way back, for a few minutes.

While the poses move quickly, you might not get through the entire list, depending on the length of your class, especially if they get really creative with their ideas!

1. OWL – Reach across body to grab the back of shoulder, look at shoulder. Pranayama: Inhale through nose and exhale to make hooting sounds (do the other shoulder).

2. Scaredy Cat / Halloween Cats – Hiss, arch back. Meow when curling back up.

3. Moon – Reverse Warrior and Warrior 2 flow

4. Ghost or Mummy – floating arms – Pranayama: Inhale through nose, exhale ghost sounds! Repeat several times.

5. Wolf / Werewolf – on knees – Pranayama: Inhale through nose and exhale a howl.

6. Goblin – Make up their own pose.

7. Pumpkin Squats – Squat down and make a Jack-o-Lantern face.

8. Zombies or Frankenstein – Walk stiff legged with arms extended out.

9. Haunted Tree Pose – Creaky noises, windy night.

10. Bats – Flap down and back up

11. Wicked Witches – How do witches sound? Pranayama: Inhale through nose and exhale a cackle! Repeat several times.

12. Gate Pose & Reverse Gate – With lots of squeaks and creaks.

13. Vampire Bat – modified Shoulder Stand (Candle) – Bats sleeping upside down.

14. Fish Pose (after shoulder stand) – Stinky fish guts for black cats – ugh!

15. Scarecrow (or Skeleton) – “Mirror” your partner’s movements.

16. Spider – Partner Yoga – Back to back, move arms and legs.

17. Uncarved Pumpkin – In the Pumpkin Patch/farmer’s field (Child’s pose).


Source: https://kiddingaroundyoga.com/blog/halloween-yoga-lesson-plan-4/

Also www.soyoga.com.sg

and

www.miniyogi.com

Sunday, October 4, 2020

6 Mindful Breathing Exercises Never to Ignore

 


Have you felt a little stressed lately? You’re in good company because recent statistics reveal that at least 44 percent of people in this country (i.e. in the USA) feel overwhelmed and stressed. No wonder statistics are also rising for stress-related issues like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer.

It’s no coincidence that when you feel like you’re stressed beyond your limit, you say that you need a “breather.” Taking time to breathe and focus your thoughts are behind the whole concept of mindful breathing. While your body breathes involuntarily, and you usually don’t think about it, conscious breathing makes you aware of each healing breath.

For centuries, many cultures worldwide have included breathing exercises into their sacred teachings, like yoga. Do you feel stressed, exhausted, and want a break from life? You can do some mindful breathing exercises that can help you ease tension and bring peace to your mind.

YOUR BODY UNDER STRESS

Think of the times when you’ve been stressed and how you breathed. When your body goes into survival mode, your diaphragm tightens, and your breaths are shallower as if they were only from your upper chest. Your brain signals your endocrine system to dump stress hormones into your bloodstream to get you ready for the fight, flight, or freeze.

The earliest humans used this primordial instinct to survive in a world filled with unknown dangers. Unfortunately, your brain doesn’t differentiate between big and small stress. When your body is chronically stressed, the surplus of adrenaline and cortisol can cause health issues.

1. COMPASSIONATE BREATHING

Do you consider yourself a compassionate person? When others are hurting, are you one of the first to reach out in a loving, non-judgmental way? This mindful breathing exercise will teach you how to show that same compassion to yourself.

Go to a place where you can sit or lie down comfortably for a few minutes without interruption. Cross your arms gently over your chest as if you’re hugging yourself. Be mindful of your breathing and allow yourself to breathe normally.

Now, try to take deep breaths from your nostrils and slowly exhale through your mouth. As you breathe, fill your mind with loving and gracious thoughts about yourself. Talk to yourself as if you were encouraging your best friend. With each breath, feel grateful for who you’re at this moment. Do this breathing exercise 15-20 minutes each day.

2. WHOLE SELF BREATHING

Remember dancing the Hokey-Pokey as a child and the last part where you put your whole self in? This breathing awareness exercise teaches how to use your whole self to breathe and relaxing. It’s a wonderful way to wake yourself up in the mornings.

Begin by sitting in a cozy place where you won’t be disturbed. You can lie down or sit in a comfortable chair. Breathe normally, but try to inhale through your nose and exhale from your mouth. Allow your thoughts to go by like passing clouds. Acknowledge these thoughts, but you must let them go.

As you inhale, feel the oxygen reach into every organ, bone, and cell in your body. Feel it as it revitalizes and refreshes your spirit. Imagine your body expelling all the negative energy and other disharmonies that may be bottled up inside when you exhale. Try to do this for at least 15 minutes.

3. BELLY BREATHING

One of the hallmarks of panic and stress is rapid, shallow breathing. In survival mode, your body needs a burst of oxygen to power your muscles. When you’re calm and relaxed, you will notice that your breaths are evenly paced, deeper, and more toward your stomach. This belly breathing exercise can bring you the inner peace you need.

Find a comfortable place to lie on your back or lean back in a recliner. Close your eyes and put one hand over your heart and the other on your stomach. As you allow your body to relax, breathe naturally, and notice your breathing’s depth and rhythm. If you’re stressed, you will probably see that your breaths are more in your upper chest.

Allow the muscles in your tummy to soften and relax while your diaphragm moves, and your lungs will expand as you take in more air. Try to breathe more with your stomach and less with your chest. Do these deep belly breaths for 1-2 minutes, then gradually return to your normal breathing rate?

Notice that you will feel more tranquil after this breathing exercise. Practice it once or twice a day, or whenever you feel overwhelmed.

4. THREE BREATHS OF BEING

Sometimes, you have stressful situations and don’t have time to stop for a mindful breathing exercise. However, you can do this quick trick with three simple breaths. Try it the next time you’re on the spot, like getting ready to speak in public.

You can be sitting or standing to do this breathing exercise. First, take a few normal breaths to get your attention and start the calming effect. Now, take a deep breath through your nose and direct it toward your brain, asking it to bring order to your thoughts. Exhale slowly through your mouth and imagine it’s taking away mental stress and toxicity. This breath was for your mind.

The second breath of life is for your body. Again, inhale slowly through your nostrils and direct your breath to touch and nourish every fiber of your body, head to toe. Exhale again through your mouth while you imagine nervousness, sickness, and pain leaving your body.

As you inhale for the third time, you will be touching your spirit. Did you know that the Greek word pneuma means both breath and spirit? Inhale through your nose and imagine that this breath is connecting you to your inner being. Feel that connection with yourself and the divine.

Exhale slowly through your mouth and notice how relaxed you’re. It only takes a couple of minutes or so to do this exercise, but it can make a big difference. When you feel angry, taking three breaths can also calm your agitation so that you can think again.

5. STRESS-FREE BREATHS

Do you feel overcome with stress and anxiety? You can meet stress head-on with this breathing awareness exercise. It can help relieve tension in your muscles so that you can relax.

Take a seat or lie in a comfortable place where nothing can bother you for a few minutes. Close your eyes and breathe normally. Notice anywhere in your body that is tense or hurting because of stress. Now, breathe in deeply through your nostrils and imagine that healing breath touching where you hurt.

As you hold the breath for a couple of seconds, start with your head and imagine your breath is a white light easing any tension or pain. Exhale slowly through your mouth and feel the muscles in your head relax.

Take another deep breath and focus on your neck and shoulders and imagine the white light touching them and making them smooth, calm, and relaxed. Exhale and repeat until you have relaxed your body from top to bottom.

6. THE TREE OF LIFE

If you’ve ever studied yoga, you know that it blends gentle movements with mindful breathing to bring your body, mind, and spirit into focus. When your whole being is centered, it’s easier to eliminate undue stress, anxiety, and depression.

This mindful breathing exercise requires you to stand. If bending your leg into the tree position is too difficult for you, feel free to stand with both feet spread apart a little. To begin, stand up straight and tall, and bring your palms together at your heart as if you’re praying.

Bend your left knee while bringing your left foot gently against the inside of your right knee. You can lower it a bit if it doesn’t feel comfortable. You should now be standing on one leg.

As you take in a deep breath through your nostrils, raise your arms straight above your head with your palms facing each other. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds feeling grounded and centered with the earth. Stretch your arms toward the heavens and receive strength and serenity.

Now, exhale slowly through your mouth, while bringing your hands back into the first position, folded at your chest. Hold this position for another 1-2 seconds and feel any stress or negativity leave your body and earth, where it will be neutralized.

The Tree of Life is a classic yoga pose that can not only help you breathe and relieve stress, but it can also help strengthen and tone your body. Try doing this mindful breathing exercise for 10-15 minutes a day. You can do it at home, at work, or anytime you need a mental break.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON MASTERING THE SKILL OF MINDFUL BREATHING

Do you think that you can include these mindful breathing exercises into your daily routine? They don’t take a lot of time, and you can do them whenever you’re stressed. Remember that peace and stress relief can be just one breath away.

Source: https://www.powerofpositivity.com/mindful-breathing-exercises-never-to-ignore/

https://www.soyoga.com.sg

https://www.miniyogi.com

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Yoga in 2020

 2020 is a crazy, weird year. 

To protected ourselves and our loved ones, we can't kiss, we can't hug. We can't partner in yoga poses and rely on our yoga teacher to adjust us physically.

We have been learning, chatting, teaching, sweating in front of screens, instead of in classrooms, studios.

We have been hiding our breath and suffocating through masks. Even our kids. Especially our kids.

2020 is a crazy, weird year. 

I can't help but projecting myself in 2021. Will things be the same, better, worse?

Well, 2020 may be the year of yoga.

When we practice yoga, we embrace our own body and soul. We send good vibes to ourselves and to our surroundings. It doesn't really matter if we're not perfectly aligned in the asana. Our body is unique, and adjust itself to its very best in every pose.

We have learnt we can practice yoga with peers around the world through a screen. We have found ways to reinvent our jobs, our passions. And we appreciate even more real, open-air classes, whenever it's possible.

We have been strengthening our lungs through yoga. To breathe better, with or without a mask.

Yoga is about being present now. There's no need to project in 2021. Today's today. Every day brings a whole universe of possibilities, challenges but also happiness. 

So let's take one day at a time. 

One breathe at a time.

Breathe. Smile.


www.soyoga.com.sg

www.miniyogi.com



Monday, September 14, 2020

12 Simple Ways To Dedicate More Time To Yourself Everyday

Do you live a busy life? Most people do! With all your responsibilities, commitments, and attempts at juggling work, a social life, and all sorts of other concerns, it’s hard to find time to spend just by yourself. You might not even think that’s something you want or need to do.

However, finding time to just be by yourself, doing something you at least mostly enjoy, can be very important to overall mental health and wellbeing. There’s a reason people preach the importance of “me time”! But if you’re busy all the time, how can you spare or schedule that kind of personal time? Here are 12 simple ways to dedicate more time to yourself every day.



1.    ESTABLISH A ME TIME ROUTINE

With how crammed our schedules are these days, it might be tempting just to grab me-time whenever you’ve got a spare moment. In actuality, however, you’d net more positive benefits if you carefully set aside some moments of me-time into your schedule. It doesn’t have to be much – it can be as simple as:

  • Giving yourself a moment of quiet meditation before starting your day
  • Set aside a few minutes every afternoon to do nothing but simply enjoy a glass of lemon water
  • Dance along to your favorite songs in the evenings

The idea is to have me-time routines well-integrated into your schedule so you’ll carry them out without second thought. That way, you will always have some time for yourself!

2.    MAKE BATHTIME ME TIME

No matter how much you love them, having to share a space with someone can get maddening after a while. So although it may seem selfish or inconsequential, it’s essential to set up some hard boundaries – and the bathroom’s a perfect place to start.

When you’re in the bathroom, it should be your sanctuary, no matter how temporary. Consider:

  • Locking the door when you’re using the bathroom
  • Take time to read something you enjoy
  • Enjoy a warm, soothing bath with various products
  • Make it a luxurious experience
  • Take the time to practice positive thinking directed at yourself
  • Remind yourself that this is an act of science-backed healthcare

3.    PLAN BOTH SHORT AND LONG ME TIME

Vacations aside, what’s so crucial about actually taking the time to plan a little me-time if it’s only for a few minutes?

As it turns out, making sure you get the most out of your me-time takes a little more planning work than you might think. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Science has shown that high-quality me-time has a positive effect on your mental health and working capabilities.
  • Different amounts of me-time will confer different types of benefits for you.
  • Short and long me-time recharges us in different ways.
  • High-quality me-time may take more time, but we still need short me-time sessions to stay charged and balanced in the interim.

Regardless of whether you’re blocking out an entire Sunday for relaxing or setting aside 15 minutes every day for me-time, it’s a good idea to get it all sorted out in advance – so that you can focus on relaxing when the time comes!

4.    GET A MASSAGE

Struggling with your positive thinking exercises? Declaring you could kill for a good back massage? There’s a good reason for that. Studies have shown that massages help with:

  • Relaxing us in the short term
  • Reducing stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine
  • Alleviating long-term chronic pain
  • Lowering anxiety and depression levels
  • Increasing the quality and length of nighttime sleep

In other words, try scheduling a massage session as a monthly me-time ritual. It might just be exactly what your soul needs to recharge back up to full!

5.    MAKING COOKING ME TIME

Cooking is an activity that many find to be something they enjoy. Time pressures and the demand for perfection often mean that we don’t get very ambitious with what we make – which is a shame. After all, food is such a universally bonding experience and one that can be incredibly intimate, given the right circumstances.

  • So instead of just ordering another round of takeout, why not try:
  • Attempt overly-ambitious meal, just for the fun of it.
  • Make a fresh-baked cake or pastry you saw online.
  • Try out a new recipe
  • Cook and experience dishes from other cultures and countries
  • Try replicating a meal you had only experienced once on vacation
  • Experiment and have fun with cooking and baking

Either way, the goal is to have a fun learning experience that you get to enjoy!

6.    MEDITATE

As studies have shown, meditation is something that’s incredibly beneficial for our psychological and physiological health. Meditation sessions, however, don’t always have to be a weekly block on your schedule. It is an activity that you may practice anywhere, anytime. All you have to do is:

  • Consciously focus on inhaling and exhaling through your diaphragm
  • Try mindfulness meditation by observing your thoughts as they drift through your mind
  • Practice shifting into a peaceful state of mind
  • Take a deep breath while waiting for the bus or sitting at your chair for work

This way, you can carve out small oases of calm no matter where and when you are. Additionally, practicing meditation in little moments like these helps you get the most out of your scheduled me-time later too!

7.    INCORPORATE ME TIME INTO CHORES

No one is a fan of chores. They are, after all, necessary tasks that are full of drudgery. However, you can kill two birds with a single stone and turn your tasks into me-time as well! That way, you get to enjoy yourself and do something you might like while getting your house cleaned and in order.

So – just how are you to bring both your to-do list and your me-time together? Here are some things you can do while carrying out some tasks:

  • Listen to a podcast
  • Play your favorite songs
  • Watch your favorite show.
  • Gamify your chores

8.    LEARN TO VALIDATE YOURSELF

Do you crave constant attention, messages, and plans 24/7? Are you the type of person who’s terrified of being on your own? In such a situation, the idea of alone me-time might be terrifying. This, however, may be indicative of a deeper-rooted problem – the inability to give yourself the validation you so crave.

As you can imagine, this isn’t really healthy – especially in the long run. After all, the best kind of validation comes from inside.

If you think this might just be you, you can try combating this by:

  • Disconnecting yourself from all electronic devices
  • Spending some time entirely alone for a while
  • Take this time to tune into yourself, your needs, and wants
  • Meditate, and self reflect on your actions and behavior.
  • Teach yourself to give the validation you desire

9.    TAKE A CLASS

For some people, quiet relaxation isn’t really their idea of a fun time. Instead, they would rather spend their me-time doing something, like picking up a new skill. If you find yourself identifying with that, consider:

  • Checking out online classes
  • Identify your ideal learning format
  • Find an online class
  • Lookup a self-guided class
  • Read some technical and informational books
  • Watch some videos to learn new skills and information

There are more positives associated with this than you’d think, too! Science has shown that learning, in general, is great for your brain’s health. So keep joining new classes if that works for you!

10. CONSIDER WORKOUTS YOUR ME TIME

There’s no denying just how important exercise is for our physical health – and there’s plenty of studies out there to back up this fact. With that in mind, have you ever considered treating your workout time as your me-time as well?

Here are a few methods you can lay down some rules, as such:

  • Inform everyone that you are not to be disturbed during your workout sessions
  • Use it as an opportunity to clear your mind
  • Go for a nice stroll by yourself
  • Set aside a special outfit for workouts
  • Start your workout session from the beginning again if you are interrupted for non-essential reasons

11. HAVE CUT-OFFS FOR RESPONDING TO EMAILS AND FINISHING WORK

In this day and age, there can be a widespread demand and pressure from bosses and colleagues to be available 24/7. This is even more so if you are running your own business and need to create a strong, professional image.

This, of course, is not stress-free or healthy in the slightest. It results in your work bleeding over into your home and gives you no real chance to rest. The biggest way this shows up is often in the form of work correspondences via emails and messages. Just how are you supposed to cope with it all?

  • Set aside a strict, limited amount of time to reply to work emails and the like – and no more
  • Enforce clear limits – if your work ends at 5:30 pm, you will not be answering any more emails after that, no matter how important
  • Filter your correspondences into important and unimportant messages, so you can attend to what’s immediately relevant and deal with the rest later

12. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

With just how busy our schedules are these days, it’s likely that you’ll struggle to find some me-time – much less engage in activities that make you happy. So, just what else can you do?

The answer? Gratitude. Studies have shown that spending two minutes or so to appreciate the blessings you have helps with:

  • Developing social support
  • Centering and grounding one’s mind
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Elevating positive self-esteem feelings
  • Fortifying one’s immune system
  • Reducing stress and depression
  • Sustaining one’s mental and emotional psyche
  • Heightening one’s intelligence

It’s not very hard to practice gratitude. Just spend a few minutes to give thanks for what blessings you have in your life over your coffee or while doing morning yoga, and you’re set for the day!


FINAL THOUGHTS ON SOME SIMPLE WAYS TO DEDICATE MORE TIME TO YOURSELF EVERYDAY

Me time is extremely important for physical and mental wellbeing. It enables you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the world and focus on someone who genuinely really matters – you!

It can sound a little cliche, but taking time for yourself and for self-care can make a huge difference in daily stress levels, anxiety and depression symptoms, and even things like productivity and concentration. As such, make sure you don’t neglect those needs in your everyday life!


Source: https://www.powerofpositivity.com/time-to-yourself-everyday-tips/

Also

www.soyoga.com.sg

and

www.miniyogi.com

 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Top 10 Kids Yoga Classes in Singapore in 2020

Think adults are the only ones getting stressed out from daily tasks and activities? Think again. We often tend to see kids as young and carefree, not fully realizing that the little ones get stressed out too! Whether it’s from school work or their relationship with classmates and friends, this stress can make it difficult for kids to focus, relax, and process and express their emotions. This is where yoga and mindfulness come in. 

While there’s no shortage of yoga studios or meditation centres in Singapore, not all of them offer classes that are designed specifically with the little ones in mind. If you’re looking to guide your kids onto a mindful path, or simply to introduce them to the world of yoga, here are some kids yoga classes and studios to help jumpstart your search. 

For Kids With - and Without! - Special Needs - So Yoga


Founded in 2014 by yoga teacher and kids yoga book author Sophie Spoor, So Yoga is all about bringing fun, happiness, peace, and relaxation to kids and teens, adults, and families through the wonderful practice of yoga.

So Yoga is among the few studios in Singapore that offer classes for kids with ADHD, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and other mild to severe developmental conditions. These classes are taught by Sophie, who is also a Certified Special Needs Kids Yoga instructor. Fun fact: aside from private classes, you can also book So Yoga for a yoga-themed birthday party for your mini yogi as long as they’re aged 3 to 12 (and with maximum 12 kids/students for the party). 

So Yoga
Phone: +65 9632 4032

Source: https://www.doyou.com/top-10-kids-yoga-classes-in-singapore-73887/

Also follow 

www.soyoga.com.sg

and

www.miniyogi.com