Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Toddler Yoga June 26, 2014

Filed under: books,yoga,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 9:18 am
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Bagel salutesSomething that happens more and more often lately is the YB (who hasn’t turned two quite yet, so can still be called “Yoga Baby”) will pull out the mats and ask to do yoga. For a long time her favorite part of the process was simply rolling out the mats – and always mats, plural, because she insists on having one of her own instead of just practicing on mine – but now she’s starting to actually do poses with me.

I don’t have any training in children’s yoga beyond a 15-minute presentation one of my YTT buddies gave a few years ago, and it is hard to figure out what asanas to show her! Her favorite is downward dog, of course, because she can do it super-easily (with her head on the floor, but still). But you have to do more than just down dog all day. At first I was doing half sun salutes, because she liked how I would peek at her during the up and down and it mostly kept her attention (at left is YB doing a bagel salute last month). Lately, though, she’s been wanting more.

What’s been surprising me is that she mostly wants poses on the ground. I tried tree pose, and then just “let’s stand on one foot”, and then anything resembling a wide-legged warrior stance, and she just couldn’t figure out what to do with her feet, got frustrated, or did something else entirely. Maybe her coordination just isn’t quite there yet? Instead we’ve been doing some poses on the floor: boat pose (which she can do beautifully if Mommy holds her hands to give her some balance), cobra/sphinx and locust (all of which we’re just calling “snakey pose” for now), happy baby (although I don’t think she believed me that it’s a real yoga pose), and cobbler (“butterfly”). She can’t stand up and step one foot forward and one foot back, but she can sit down and press her little feet together. I’m brainstorming other ideas of floor poses that can have animal names that we can do together. (Happy to take suggestions here too!)Babar's Yoga for Elephants

We’ve also experimented with some partner poses. She loves climbing on my back when I’m in child’s pose (or any pose where I’m low to the ground, really). She also LOVES yoga flying. We’re nowhere near the point of being able to do anything like this, but maybe in a few years!

One thing that has helped more than I expected is Babar’s Yoga for Elephants, which I didn’t think we’d use till she was older. This is the only Babar book we have, a gift that a friend from my old job spotted at a yard sale and scooped up for me. The level of the text is still a little beyond YB for me to read to her, but she loves looking at the pictures of the elephants doing yoga. We flip through it together looking for poses we can do.

I still have some more continuing education to do to keep my Yoga Alliance registration current. At this point it would be more than I could handle to try and do some sort of children’s yoga training, but I am looking at different books to read, and I’m considering downloading a webinar or two from Yoga U Online. (I’ve downloaded some of their free ones, and listened to an interview with a children’s yoga teacher so far, but I’m not yet ready to pay them money for their content just yet). I figure if I need to clock some hours anyway, I might as well do it on activities that will help me share yoga with her. And overall I’m just really enjoying practicing yoga with my little girl.

Double Down Dogs

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Yoga Class Mix #2 June 4, 2014

Filed under: music,yoga — R. H. Ward @ 10:39 am
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I just realized I never posted the second yoga class mix I made (and I posted the first one over two years ago – although I’ve done mixes for my holiday classes, I really have only planned two mixes for regular full-length yoga classes since I finished my teacher training. But you know, it’s been a busy few years!). I really like this mix because I’ve worked in some songs that don’t come from the typical “yoga” milieu. This mix has been working well because it’s a little longer that the other one I made; my class at Wellness on Park was an hour and 15 minutes, so this filled the time nicely.

Yoga Class Mix # 2: twelve songs, 1.3 hours

Track No. Song Title Duration Artist Album Notes
1 Baba Hanuman 13:59 Krishna Das Breath of the Heart Krishna Das, always a favorite. I like this one as a class-starter because it has a nice, easy, regular beat to warm up to.
2 Jahta Dance 4:16 DJ Drez Jahta Beat – The Progression And then with DJ Drez we start kicking into a higher gear.
3 Drop 4:53 Cornelius Point I love this song – it’s basically a remix of water noises you can dance to. So much fun.
4 Three 3:49 Massive Attack Protection A great song to keep the energy moving.
5 Runaway 5:06 Beats Antique Blind Threshold A friend turned me onto Beats Antique. She loves them because she’s a belly dancer, but I think their music works beautifully for a yoga class!
6 Raghupati 5:38 Bhagavan Das Now A good solid beat for standing practice.
7 A Higher Place 4:31 Röyksopp Melody A.M. Röyksopp is an electronic music duo from Norway whom I discovered when I was living in Boston several years ago with much cooler people than I am. I thought the beat of this song and the title/lyrics fit well for a yoga class.
8 Devi ‘Rave’ 4:29 Krishna Das Pilgrim Heart More Krishna Das – this one really gets you moving!
9 Nataraja 15:06 Jai Uttal/Ben Leinbach Music for Yoga and Other Joys And here we start slowing it down. The perfect song for transitioning through the last standing poses, through the balance pose (ideally: dancer pose, natarajasana!) and to the floor.
10 The Greatest Gift of All 4:32 Lotus Lotus This song can work well for seated poses or for savasana if you get there early.
11 Gayatri Mantra 9:49 Deva Premal The Essence I love Deva Premal’s version of the Gayatri Mantra! I think it’s a great savasana song.
12 Bliss 6:59 Yogini Putumayo Presents Yoga  And one last savasana song, just in case. Also a good one for winding down the class if you like to keep the music running while people are rolling up their mats and getting ready to go.