Resonating Moments: Lessons From the Week
Welcome to "Resonating Moments." Each week I share one lesson from parenting, teaching yoga, practicing on my mat, and simply living life. My intentions for sharing these lessons are twofold: (1) to make a personal effort to record moments that resonate or ring true (Chime) with who I am at my core, and (2) to offer what I have learned in hopes that you can relate and share about your experiences in the comments below.
Here's what I learned this week:
Lesson from parenting: Who says deep breathing is only reserved for when we are on our yoga mats? No one, probably, but I find it is often hard to remember to breath deeply and mindfully unless I am on my mat. This week, my breath saved me a few times from losing my cool in front of my kids. And, interestingly, Demetra and Zoe have used their breath to prevent full on temper tantrums. Thanks to shows like "Sesame Street," "Blues Clues," and "Daniel Tiger," kids are being taught to take a few breaths or do "belly breathing" when they feel frustrated or mad. Peaceful Piggy Meditation is a terrific book that teaches children about breathing to shift them into a more calm space. My husband and I are actively echoing the lessons these shows teach, and low and behold, at times it works! More breathing and less screaming...that's our mantra lately. Please share other similar resources or methods that have worked for you and your family.
Lesson from life: It's embarrassing to admit (and I can barely believe that I am!), but I got pulled over this week on my way to teach a yoga class. Ugh! I was traveling on a road that I drive frequently, but neglected to realize that I was speeding in a school zone. As much as I would like to blame this incident on the fact that it's only the second week of school and I am just not in the swing of things yet, I know that's a lame excuse. For the record, I wasn't distracted by my phone. I was distracted by all the thoughts that were spinning in my head. My mind was not in my body, it was somewhere else, far away. Luckily, the cop did not ticket me, yet, I knew getting pulled over was a gentle signal from the universe and/or my guardian angel that I need to slow down and stop trying to accomplish so many things at one time. I need to be more present to what is happening right in front of me! I am pretty sure you can relate and have a similar story to share. What was the lesson in your story? I invite you to share in the comments.
Lesson from teaching yoga: This week I have been hyper focused on cueing, which in part comes from working on this very topic with my new yoga teacher clients. On my blog I shared a little bit about my process for sharpening cues to keep my students in their breath and out of their heads. A great lesson I learned during a feedback session with another teacher is to consistently cue breath and then movement. So, for example: inhale, reach your arms up, exhale, bend your knees. It makes sense and sounds easy enough, right? In the moment, however, it's not always easy to remember. Not being consistent with that cue order (breath then movement) can pull students out of their breath and ultimately disrupt the mindful rhythm we encourage them to establish and carry through class. Have you had similar observations in your classes about the relationship between cueing breath and movement? What are some of your tricks for maintaining consistency in your cueing? I would love to know your secrets!
Lesson from my mat: I fell out of dancer's pose today at the exact moment my focus left my breath to follow a long trail of thoughts. What's interesting to me about this moment is that the nature of my thoughts were full of self-doubt. Like a magnetic force, negative thinking pulled me off my center. This experience embodied the direct relationship between our minds and bodies, and how our thoughts affect our physical being. Next time you are on your mat, try observing how the quality of your thoughts affect your balance. Notice how positive and negative thoughts manifest in your body.
Perhaps some or all of these lessons resonated with you as well. If so, I’d enjoy learning how! Please share in the comments below.
Other Tidbits of Inspiration and Information
Quote of the week:
"Insight without action is not change. It's just insight."
On Teaching Yoga
Thank you Ché Dyer for your fantastic, humorous, and positively accurate description of what goes on in my head while teaching a yoga class. Whether you are a new or experienced teacher, I promise you will take comfort in Dyer's article, "What It's Really Like to Teach a Yoga Class," as you laugh and relate to every single word! I PROMISE! It's a great reminder that teaching yoga is rarely an easy or truly peaceful experience.
Many of us have stories of how yoga heals, myself included. CNN writer Ashley Strickland shares the story of how yoga helped 16-year-old Maris Degener overcome an eating disorder (a topic near and dear to my heart and own healing). No matter the shape of your pain or if it comes with a diagnosis or not, I believe we can all relate to Maris' words: "Somewhere along the line, you find something, just one little thing, that makes getting back up again feel worth it. For me, it's that little flutter my heart makes when I look around a room, either as a student or a teacher, and just feel like I could float on air from the energy in the room. That moment when you feel like you're dancing on your mat. That moment where everything seems to fall into place." Read about Maris' journey and check out her personal blog for more about her continued healing.