I have two little boys 7 and 3.
Our house is the anthesis of Zen.
We totally meditate, in time out. We recite mantras like, ‘he hit me’ or simply, ‘no’. Partner yoga is something we practice on the back lawn. It looks remarkably like wrestling or strangling. Compassion flows through the halls in bucketfuls – of teary apologies and recriminations.
The light in me sees the light in you people.
I am pulling back the curtain not only in the spirit of empathy but also to say, doing yoga with your kid a couple times isn’t going to reinvent childhood or your family. I’ve scoured blogs, websites and books. Almost all predict world peace and quiet bedtimes by page two. Three downdogs in and your previously self-involved 6 year old wants to join the peace corp and hug his brother until the end of time. Downward dog won’t trump Minecraft let alone typical (and imperative) childhood egotism and savasana isn’t going to replace nerf guns. It certainly hasn’t over here at this madhouse. But I’m not giving up, and it isn’t out of fear of hypocrisy.
It’s because sometimes my beasts respond …
Many kids (most definitely mine) have trouble coping with the busy environment they find themselves in today. Their brains are being asked to evolve with the speed of technology. Their emotional responses have to address the instantaneous and pervasive world of Facebook and texting. Access to physical education, art and music is limited as class sizes grow and funding shrinks. Bullying is a buzzword and video games are king.
I have trouble processing it all. Their potential stress stresses me out. It’s parental stress irony. I feel like I need some yoga …
For kids that are sensitive to these environmental strains, yoga can provide them with tools to accept and express emotion. There are techniques we use to promote relaxation, self-awareness and therefore improve their response to stress. We can build their physical strength and flexibility which can improve their self-esteem. Yoga can provide COPING STRATEGIES. And check the internet … we parents love strategies.
And if your kid isn’t stressed? Copes beautifully?
I think the one thing we overlook in our worries about screen time and over-scheduling as parents is perhaps the thing that is most lacking and most important – CONNECTION – to one another, to our environment and to ourselves. That connection is the precursor to empathy. And that bucket is never full enough.
I hope your local yoga studio has a program for kids. And I hope that the program isn’t a dumbed down asana practice. I hope it offers a safe place for kids to express themselves, get to know themselves and to CONNECT. Through games, crafts, stories and yes, asana, we can offer kids a non-judgmental opportunity to become aware of the world and their place in it.
We don’t have toddler mats laid out in a home studio in front of a Buddha in our madhouse. There are no chimes and we don’t chant. But we do talk about our feelings before bed. We take deep breaths and count to ten. We take walks.
That’s also yoga.
From our madhouse to yours.
Melissa Enfield is running our kids program as well as teaching yoga and pilates. For more information on Melissa
Whether you have an established practice or not, come join us for this weekly drop-in meditation group.
We’ll cover the basic postures and various techniques, with the aim of supporting you in developing a helpful practice that fits your life. Each evening will consist of a meditation, followed by tea and a discussion of things meditative.
Pressure-free and no dogma, guaranteed.
This morning I returned from a week retreat with my teacher Todd Norian. I never really know what to except when I am in his presence. Todd is one of those teachers that has a large bags of tricks and is not afraid to share them. Working with both the light and the dark he is leading the way on teaching us how to embrace both sides. Through these techniques there is a large group of us healing ourselves. We can only begin to heal the world after we allow ourselves the opportunity to heal. Each one of us has a story and each of our stories brings pain and joy, laughter and tears and experiences that have broken us completely open and have left us exposed and vulnerable. Tantra teaches us that each of these experience is opportunity for growth and you really never know happiness until you experience sadness. It’s the contrasts in our lives that allow for this. Until you sit deep in the muck change will never happen. You got to be willing to shed some of your amor that protects the dark sad side of you.
This week I decided to keep my armor off, I decided not to put it back on, what happened was truly magical. I sat in the muck and allowed the rest of this extremely special community to shower me with light, to support and love me unconditional and to help heal the broken parts just a little deeper. What happened next you ask? I gave myself permission to be there. I became worthy of love and allowed the light to shine in. I realized in order to support my community back home, I needed the help of the bigger community.
I am home now. It’s been 24 hours since a left my kula (community). I have made a promise to myself to keep a few layers of my armor off, just enough to continue to let the light shine in. Just enough to show some vulnerability and just enough to build greater and closer intimacy with my family and friends. I mean after all, isn’t that was it is all about? People want to feel like they belong to something bigger? People want to feel happy and free? I know I do..
So today I invite you, get a little mucky, allow yourself to be seen in a different light. Love whole heartedly. Share a little piece of yourself.
With a humble heart,
Dive deep into yourself. Join Shirlee for a full day workshop.
What’s in your “tool belt”? Come spend the day with Shirlee and gather new and effective tools to help you survive and flourish in this ever-changing world. Discover strategies that will help you overcome obstacles while remaining true to your Self. Through outdoor play, asana, breathing, coaching, journaling and meditation, you will uncover techniques that will turn adversity into opportunies for growth.
Date: Wednesday July 15, 2015
Investment: $110.00 +hst (includes lunch)
This class is an ideal way to rebalance your body and rejuvenate your energy. Paying special attention to all the right places. Enhance your sense of body awareness and positive body image, improve balance, strengthen muscles and reduce stress and fatigue.
This class is open to babies who are not actively crawling. Nursing, feeding, walking, bouncing and crying are normal activities here! Please bring a sling or baby carrier, a receiving blanket and your baby’s favourite toy!
Date: May 25-June 29
Day: Monday and Wednesdays @ 10:45 am – 11:45 am.
Investment: $75 +hst (6 weeks)
Drop in: $15.00 +hst (if there is space)
Almost every week my husband reminds me of just how much I complain. This statement upset me everytime, I guess the truth hurts. This week I took a better look at just how much complaining I do. Life is not perfect, once we come to terms with that, we can start to embrace the reality of life it’s self. In the meantime, I took stock of all the things I complain about; my body parts that hurt, the weather, the kids, the laundry, the mess, my friends, my husband, the studio, the list goes on. I was shocked and exhausted just thinking about it.
So here I am thinking this really can’t be good for our over all well being. It fosters a negative attitude and attracts negativity in our lives. People don’t want to spend time with others who complain. So here I am writing a small blog and making a commitment to STOP COMPLAINING. I am sharing it with all of you so that I am being held accountable for my words. I am asking my students, friends and family to keep an ear open and call me on my complaints. I am asking others to come forward to join me in bringing awareness to just how much complaining we do as a society. I know I am not the only one. So who’s in? Who would like to join me for 7 days? Pay attention to your words. Consider the alternatives to the negativity and choose happiness. GO!
So I have finally changed my perspective on the winter months here in Ontario. For many years I have been dreaming of winters away. Some might say I hate winter, I would say that is an understatement. Most winters are spent crying and complaining about the cold. I usually end up in a tanning bed getting my glow on. Don’t judge me… I know a bad habit to have! However extreme times come extreme measures. This year is somehow different, I have actually decided it’s time to embrace the cold. With a few extra layers and some support from my good friend Jenn, I think I have finally come to terms that “I am Canadian.” On days when I feel like staying in are the important days to suck it up and head outside. My whole mood shifts after that. It’s taken me a long time to learn this very valuable lesson, but changing your perspective when circumstances can not be changed is crucial for our survival. Shirlee’s 1.1 Sutra- You must adapt or you’re fucked!
Calling all men! Can’t touch your toes? Not interested in chanting? Just want a good stretch? Then this class is for you. No previous yoga experience needed. Just a good attitude.
This is a 4 week series that will run for the month of March. Date: March 4, 11, 18 and 25 Time: 4:30-5:45 Investment $60.00 +hst
Join Darren Austin Hall for an evening of mystical music and sound healing as he performs songs, shares poetry and stories devoted to the sacredness of the heart.
Darren will perform a dynamic variety of salving instrumentation, from guitar, to Indian tanpura, lyre-harp and the crystal singing bowls with his unique and powerful shamanic singing. He will guide a group healing chant to close.
Darren Austin Hall is a renowned sacred musician, sound healer and spiritual teacher. Darren is also trained formerly in Chinese Medicine and shamanic healing and has learned from indigenous elders and wisdom keepers from all around the world. His acclaimed new album, The Tantra of Truth, is a collection of ecstatic songs inspiring the continuing evolution of consciousness and deep, transformation. His debut album of meditational and healing music, Crystal Hymns, showcases his gifted work with the crystal singing bowls. He’s performances are revered and he was the headlining musician for last year’s Yoga Conferences in Toronto and will be again this year.
For more info on Darren, please go to www.darrenaustinhall.com Date: Sunday March 29th Time: 7:30-9:30 PM Investment: $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door Location: Buddha Rider Yoga and Cycle Studio. www.buddharider.com
Looking to make changes? Want to cleanse but not sure where to start? Start here! http://www.phporder.com/ProductOverview.aspx?ID=buddharider. Purium has some amazing options to get you started. We run seasonal group cleasnes or you can order on your own. If you require more info email email@example.com