Tuesday, August 28, 2018

So Yoga Group Class Schedule

Check out my new group class Schedule on my website.. and try my new Thursday Beach Yoga All Levels class, or Monday Restorative class at Kate Porter Yoga!

#classschedule #nomorexcuses#seeyouonyourmat #groupclasses#adultsyoga #kidsyoga #hathayoga#breatheandsmile #soyoga


Sunday, August 26, 2018

8 Quick Mindfulness Exercises To Help Kids Ease Back Into The School Year

Back to School... with mindfulness!

Going back to school can be a real stress trigger for kids. The average middle school- and high school-age teen stresses about everything from bullying and social expectations to academic pressure. And studies show that this chronic stress can have major impacts on the development of kids' brains and might put them at greater risk of developing mental health and mood disorders.
Having a summer break can give students a welcome vacation from some of these stressors—which is why they can suffer from anticipatory anxiety when back-to-school preparations begin. Teaching teens and preteens how to manage stress while approaching new beginnings and transitions mindfully can help. Below are the types of tips I offer in my new book Zen Teen, all of which should make this fall more meaningful, more enjoyable, and less stressful for the kids in your life:

1. Encourage them to set intentions for the new school year. 
This reminds your children that, while there will be some unknowns and variables coming up, there will also be aspects of the experience they can control and co-create. Intentions help them get clear on what they want: better grades, new friends, a fun hobby, or experiencing less stress and anxiety. Assist the kids in your life—whether they are your children, your students, your nieces and nephews, or your younger siblings—with picking a few intentions. Then, if they're up for it, build a ritual around setting these intentions with the new moon, a candle ceremony, sage, or creating a nature altar.

2. Talk through their fears and concerns ahead of time. 
I once volunteered to read for NYC schoolkids on their lunch breaks, and one sweet, funny girl getting ready to enter middle school was terrified of bullies. She had never been bullied before but had heard she would encounter some in middle school. We talked in very practical terms about what to do and not do if she found herself being bullied, and she felt more relieved, empowered, and prepared afterward.

3. Find a way to boost their confidence. 
Get two pieces of paper and sit down for a journaling exercise. Tell your child to write down their favorite things about themselves while you also jot down your favorite things about them. When you are both finished, read your lists to each other...and be sure to laugh when appropriate! Humor is a great stress reliever.
4. Reflect on what they liked most about their summers. 
If your child says they loved the freedom of summer, or the extra downtime, or getting to hang more with their families on vacations or staycations, brainstorm ways that teens can still enjoy some of these things associated with summer throughout the year. This teaches them to periodically reflect and take an inventory of their life.

5. Ask them how they want to feel this year.
It can be powerful to get clear on what emotions we most want to experience. Then you can reverse engineer things and discover what activities, attitudes, or people typically inspire these feelings. This will make kids more aware of their feelings so they can better manage and navigate them. Teens might decide that they want to feel more happy, inspired, silly, motivated, excited, or calm this school year.

6. Discover what about the last school year they do not want to repeat. 
Reflect on the last school year. If grades were slipping, fighting broke out among siblings, someone was talking too much during class, your child felt lost, or they were suffering from depression, help them get clear on what they don't want for this new school year. Brainstorm some solutions or find the deeper reason behind self-sabotaging patterns. This teaches them to look closely at things that are not working in their lives in order to improve those areas, as opposed to ignoring what's wrong or escaping into wishful thinking.
7. Remind them of the power of a fresh start. 
Starting a new school year is a chance to push the reset button. Taking a break from anything means you naturally cleanse your palate and gain perspective on a situation. Explain that fresh starts have a magical energy that really gives them a chance to do things differently, think about things differently, and even be viewed differently by their peers.

8. Let them know you are there to listen and support them, no matter what. 
Remind teens and preteens that you are an authority figure—but also a friend. Assure them that when a challenge arises during the school year—whether it's a teacher they don't get along with or a good friend giving them the cold shoulder or a physical illness or injury they suffer—you will have their back, even when they make a mistake or poor choice. This will help them feel safer and more grounded going into a new school year.
These parenting timesavers will give you some peace of mind for the back-to-school season, too.

Monday, August 20, 2018

No Straws Please

No straws... not even for breathing games at kids yoga!

"Typically when you mention yoga, people picture someone bending and stretching into shapes that compare to a pretzel. Stretching and bending is a fun part of a children’s class, however, from the time your child takes their first yoga class you will learn that yoga is about so much more than physical postures. 
They may not understand the 8 limbs of yoga or the Yamas and Niyamas, but they will learn to live them. As children’s yoga teachers, we are honored to play a small part in teaching your kids how to live these principles. Your children will learn they can make a difference in the world. 
One of those important principles is ahimsa, non-harming of self, others or our planet. Your kids learn to work together, be kind to others, and to themselves. It’s time to start taking it up a notch in practicing this principle. 
Kidding Around Yoga teachers are stepping up and joining cities and businesses across the country and the world in a practice of ahimsa, by working toward the elimination of plastic straws. Straws have played a part in the fun and games when learning breath work and doing craft projects. Lucky for us, there are now alternatives to plastic. The change is on!! 
 Straws are making headlines in cities across the U.S. To be more specific, plastic straws. According to Eco-Cycle, Americans use over 500 million plastic straws each day.  Most are made of flimsy, non-recyclable, single use plastic. That means those billions of straws are ending up in landfills and oceans. 
You don’t need to look far to find a story on the harm plastic is causing to our planet. Groups like Lonely WhaleStraw Free, and The Last Plastic Straw are working to eliminate plastic straws worldwide.

Are you looking for alternatives to plastic straws? Are you a teacher looking for a way to practice breath work with your students? 

Stainless steel straws come in all shapes and sizes and can be easily cleaned and disinfected. There is even a travel version that collapses and fits in a case that can be clipped to your bag (finalstraw.com).
Silicone straws can be used with both hot and cold drinks, can be easily cleaned and disinfected, and will make less noise if they hit the floor during yoga class. 
 Bamboo straws are strong, durable, and fun. I can picture the kids using these like drum sticks to pound out a beat. 
 Paper straws are biodegradable and can easily be cut to size and used for crafting projects as well as breath work. 
 Teachers, do we need straws for breath work? There are alternatives. No straw, just breathe. Raw, hollow pasta makes an inexpensive straw. Using the hands to funnel the breath teaches kids to use what they have on “hand”. 
 Join us in the “No Plastic Straw” pledge. Together we can teach children that it is the little things they do that matter. And ahimsa applies to more than people – the earth needs our kindness, too."

Also follow www.soyoga.com.sg

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Yoga for Kids: Take Time to Feel the Joy

The trend is clear.. and the benefits are even more established!
"Kids’ yoga classes are popping up all over, and for good reason. Kids have fewer opportunities for exercise or rest during their day and face increasing academic and social pressures at school. Many after school programs, designed to help kids achieve more and more, add to their stress.
Yoga offers kids a chance to slow down and connect with their breath, providing tools to combat the chronic stress and busy-ness that can lead to poor health and emotional challenges.
Want more specifics? Here are Benefits:
  • ADHD Reduced.
  • Studies of children with attention disorders indicate that when kids are taught meditation, their hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention decrease.
  • Build Balance.
  • Poses that require standing on one leg build core strength and concentration.
  • Cooperation.
  • Yoga for kids can include games and partner poses that build interpersonal skills.
  • Decrease Stress.
  • Through both movement and mindfulness, yoga helps minimize the strain from academic pressures, media saturation and the fast pace of modern life that can keep kids in a chronic state of high alert.
  • Empowerment.
  • Yoga poses are tough! A good kids’ yoga class is a safe and nurturing space for kids to try new things.
  • Fun!
  • If it’s not a part of a kids’ yoga class, you’re in the wrong place. Silly songs, games and an opportunity for laughter should be part of every class.
  • Gross-Motor Skills.
  • Bend, reach, stretch, lunge, roll. Yoga gets kids moving.
  • Healthy Choices.
  • Learning to tune into their body and breath helps kids pause before making decisions.
  • Imagination.
  • Hop like a frog. Fly like a bird. Can you make your body look or feel like a boat?
  • Joy.
  • Moving, laughing, breathing and working together all increase a child’s happiness.
  • Kinesthetic Awareness.
  • Partner poses in yoga increase kids’ understanding of where they are in space.
  • Language Enrichment.
  • Yoga classes expand a child’s vocabulary through stories and by incorporating the names of body parts, animals and more.
  • Minimize Medication.
  • Practicing yoga, with an emphasis on meditation skills, has allowed some children to reduce or eliminate their need for attention-deficit drugs.
  • Non-competitive.
  • Yoga invites children to listen to their own needs and to move in ways that are safe and enjoyable, without comparing themselves to others.
  • Organs.
  • Exercise and the upright posture emphasized in yoga combat slouching and give your child’s internal organs room to function optimally.
  • Proprioceptive Awareness.
  • Practicing yoga poses improves nervous system function and enhances children’s felt sense of how their body is connected.
  • Quality Time.
  • Chances are your yogini will want to share yoga and mindfulness practices with you at home, giving you a new way to connect.
  • Reading Skills.
  • Yoga incorporates rhythm, songs or chanting and movement, all of which build the pathways young children need for future reading success.
  • Self-esteem.
  • Learning new skills and meeting challenges increase confidence.
  • Time-Out to Tune-In.
  • Savasana, lying still with eyes closed at the end of class, is often the kids’ favorite part of yoga.
  • Uplifting.
  • Increased heart rate and respiration have been shown to improve mood.
  • Visualizations.
  • Yoga exercises the imagination while teaching kids to release negative emotions and cultivate a more positive emotional state.
  • Wisdom.
  •  Even the littlest yogis can begin to develop a connection to their intuition – their wise self that will guide them as they grow.
  • RelaX and Have Fun.
  • What more do you need, really?
  • Young and Old.
  • Seek out a family yoga class, where toddlers, older kids, parents and even grandparents are welcome to share in the yoga fun, creating connections and boosting everyone’s health and well-being.
  • Zzzz …
  • A gentle yoga routine before bed, combined with slow, relaxed breathing helps kids, and their parents, fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly."

Source: https://www.washingtonparent.com/articles/1608/1608-yoga-for-kids.php

Also www.soyoga.com.sg

Monday, August 13, 2018

New Website!

Back to School, Back to Yoga!
So Yoga has a fresh, revamped, new website.. have a look! www.soyoga.com.sg
As I’m adding new classes, my schedule will be uploaded within the next 2 weeks. 
For East Coasters, see you on your mat on Wed 6.30am and/ or Friday 9.15am! Kids yoga on Thursday 6pm too.
Breathe & Smile :-)
#newwebsite #backtoschool#backtoyoga #2018 #yogasg#areyouready #iamready #yogalove#breatheandsmile #soyoga