When I was a child, my mother spent a lot of her time trying to prepare me for the times when things would not go the way I expected. To say the least, I was a “plan A” type of person until my 30’s; I would plan, work and prepare for something, and then expect it to work out exactly the way that I had anticipated. Whenever things did not go according to my plan, it was like someone had turned out the lights on my entire being – at least for a short period of time. After all the crying, screaming, stomping and shouting, I’d finally calm down and examine plans “B” & “C” and realize that these, too, were perfectly good options to follow. My mother always had plans “A”, “B” & “C”, even counting sometimes as far as “J”, “K” and sometimes even a plan “Z”, and she very diligently used this language to help me cope with different situations when the outcomes were not what I wanted or expected.
As a mother now to my own daughter, I’m beginning to work with her on the concept of plans “A”, “B” & “C”. I hope that she grows up to be a person who can roll with the punches and not throw a tizzy when things don’t go her way, yet still stand up for what she believes in by using words rather than crying. I also hope that I can be a role model and an inspiration to guide her to become someone who doesn’t get bent out of shape when plans get shifted, and to instead be grateful for an opportunity to welcome change. This is obviously easier said than done when working with an almost 2-year-old (guided by a 30-something-year-old). However, there have been a few ways in which I have had some success in creating a little bit of breathing room for her and me.
The Art of Distraction
There are days when either my daughter or both of us are in meltdown mode because of some silly disagreement; we’ve all been there. Whether it’s over a change in plans, a sought after toy, or having the leave the playground, I offer up a song and we (or usually just me… dancing is optional) will sing a happy tune. Typically, this is in the middle of the street, when all bets are off and I’ve got nothing left but my voice and my best version of “Do Ray Mi”. With a little luck and a cheery change of pace, sometimes we can quell problems by moving through the cycle of crankiness and into a more mellow state of mind. Plus, I always feel a lot better after singing, don’t you?
Likewise, I tend to keep special small plastic smelly candles around for real meltdown crises and present these as options for taking big belly breaths. We chose the smells together, and sometimes (believe me, not all the time) my daughter will run and grab one or both of the candles to breathe into when she feels her “inner monster” emerging. We have watched Sid the Science Kid and Sesame Street, which both put emphasis on the importance of taking deep breaths to relax. Where was this stuff when I was a kid?
Other times we need to just sit, reevaluate and regroup using plans “D”, “E” & “F”. Don’t be scared to improvise, and sometimes this approach also includes a time out for Mommy or Daddy. We’ve begun sitting quietly both in the mornings when she first gets up and after nap-time for a little while, sometimes 5, 10 or even 15 minutes on those amazingly rare days. It’s a nice way to begin the next segment of the day with a few minutes of quiet and ease. Like meditation, it’s an invitation to be quiet and allow space to surround you, noticing how you feel, how your little one feels, and then moving on from there. Getting into the habit and keeping it consistent always lends a helping hand.
When all else fails
And then there are those days when you need to have a little cry and begin again with distraction, breathing & sitting – perhaps by using different words to get our point across. For instance, it took me years to figure out what “lift your inner arches” meant during a yoga class. The direction is simple enough, but I had no idea how I was supposed to accomplish this. I finally had a teacher who described the same action differently and I was able to relate to it – so sometimes it is helpful to re-phrase the same instruction to our little ones. A “sit down” could be instead “bottoms down”, “why don’t you sit and rest your head on my lap” or perhaps give options, such as, “you may sit on the chair or in your stroller”. Sometimes these word phrases become games, the ones where your toddler looks at you with a knowing smirk, but sometimes it actually works.
A lot of students who attend my restorative class on Sundays talk about reducing stress and anxiety, and curbing the adverse effects these things can have on the body & mind when sustained over a long period of time. They also talk about how difficult it is to break the cycle. In my childhood and adolescence, my mother would set me up with Bio-Feedback tapes that she used with her headache patients (she was a headache specialist for a long time) to test out how well they worked. It has taken me most of my adult life to be able to breathe through situations not going the way I want or have anticipated; yoga has helped me become less anxious and able to manage stress more efficiently. I know that I cannot control everything in my life, but that there is a balance that needs to be met between control and acceptance. Growing up an anxious, stress-ridden child and young adult has only left me wondering why I didn’t incorporate yoga into my life sooner, but also reminds me to be grateful that I have found a glimpse at inner peace in my adult life. All of the movement, breathing and sometimes depending on the teacher or song that’s incorporated always leaves me feeling a little bit lighter, a little bit brighter. I can only hope that my daughter can practice these techniques to gain the strength of character and flexibility of mind to make life thoroughly enjoyable not just some of the time, but all of the time.
It all started with a commercial where my daughter pointed to the TV and said “Elmo!” – we were watching Sesame Street and after “The Street” (as it’s referred to in our house) was off, there was a commercial for Sesame Street Live. “We must go”, I thought to myself, “Riley will be so excited, I’ll be mom of the year, it’s going to be awesome, it’s going to be great, I can’t wait!” was all I could think. Tickets were purchased, plans were made – I even deleted old pictures on our camera’s memory card to make room for all the new memories we would share. Everyone who asked what our plans were for the week was told we had a date with Elmo, that I couldn’t wait, that Riley would be beside herself. The night before the show, I broke the news to her, “Riley, tomorrow we’re going to go see Elmo! We’re going to go see all your friends onSesame Street! What would you like to wear? Something red?”, I asked. “ELMO!!!” was all I got as a reply.
When we arrived all she could do was say “Elmo, Elmo, ELMO!” and I thought this is it, this is going to be amazing, it’s going to be the most amazing thing she’s ever seen, she’s going to go bananas – I totally rock as a parent. I couldn’t help but purchase an over priced gizmo at the concession stand and then we headed to our seats. Ten minutes was how long she lasted before starting to wail; thirty minutes was how long it took for me to give up and admit defeat, and only after trying to bribe a balloon guy into giving us a partially deflated Elmo balloon for half price but with no such luck. Running up and down all the stairs on our way out of the theater was when I took the single smiling picture of her pointing to a sign ofSesame Street. When I opened my bag to get out her coat, I saw our over-priced souvenir item was gone. I was on the brink of tears; not only had our adventure turned to disaster, but now the stupid thing I had spent a fortune on was missing. We headed back to re-trace our steps, of course to find no sign of the Big Bird we’d lost. Normally I’d let it go – but after everything else I couldn’t. I had people helping me to search for Big Bird and finally the vendor gave us another one for half price because that was all the cash I had left. I thanked him profusely and said, “I know it will mean more to me than to her, but thank you so much.”
In a city and country that thrives on the acquisition of stuff, it’s hard not to get caught up in it from time to time. We believe that joy is associated with having things, the more we have, the happier we’ll be, the happier we are, the better we can do unto others, et cetera, et cetera. That same fateful morning after my morning meditation practice and while sipping on some coffee, I picked up Pema Chodron’s “The Wisdom of No Escape” while waiting for Riley to wake up and begin our big day. “Joy has to do with seeing how big, how completely unobstructed, and how precious things are”, writes Chodron, “Resenting things about your life is like refusing to smell the wild roses when you go for a morning walk… we can get so caught up in our own personal pain or worries that we don’t notice that the wind has come up or that somebody has put flowers on the dining room table…”.
I’ve found that there’s this sliding balance in parenthood of enjoying each breath and running breathlessly after your little one. We painstakingly plan and create events and memories that we think will bring joy to our little ones at least for a few minutes before the newness has worn off. But can we really see how big and how precious it all is? Even those things we define as good, as bad, as a great success or a complete disaster – can those experiences also bring joy? Why not just “smell the wild roses” on our walks and share those experiences with our children too, even if the smell isn’t what we expect, what we have planned, or what we desire? Who’s to say that the joy my daughter had running up and down the stairs wasn’t true or pure, that it wasn’t well worth the trip even if we had ended up not going inside at all? And isn’t it our role as a parent to give them a safe space in which to explore all the things that life has to offer and not get wound up in our own objectives and itineraries?
A lot of times I find that it’s me who’s not finding the joy in all situations, like when Riley pulls out every last roll of toilet paper and shreds it throughout the apartment; when she won’t take a nap but instead calls out “mama” at the top of her lungs from her bedroom; or when she pulls every book off every book shelf until she finds just the one she was looking for. It was me who’d lost the Big Bird and who’d placed the emphasis on joy being found in a stuffed bird when really joy was just in being together – sharing new experiences together. Life, like parenting, is constant trial and error, but it’s important to remember that joy can be found in all of it – perhaps not in the screams of a wailing child, but maybe as the cries subside, finding the joy in one of the amazing parts of parenthood, as we have the ability to kiss the booboo and make it better, to hold them tight so that they feel secure and loved.
At the end of the chapter on joy, Pema Chodron writes that, “The Navajo teach their children that every morning when the sun comes up, it’s a brand-new sun. It’s born each morning, it lives for the duration of one day, and in the evening it passes on, never to return again… ‘The sun has only one day. You must live this day in a good way, so that the sun won’t have wasted precious time.’ Acknowledging the preciousness of each day is a good way to live, a good way to reconnect with our basic joy.” Traveling home from our adventure in Sesame Street land, a tired and worn-out Riley put her head on my chest and fell asleep as we rumbled on the subway back to Astoria. That’s when I realized it had truly been a joyful day.
I’m sure many of you have seen or remember those silly kids’ games where you can insert any number of nouns, adjectives, or verbs into the blanks and come out with a really funny story? I think it appropriately works here too when I say that often times I’ll find myself on the phone while simultaneously writing an email and trying to watch my daughter; usually it’s a safe assumption that one of those three things gets handled with less than stellar results. Most of us may be able to put any number of different situations into those three blanks and typically come out with something falling through the cracks, so to speak. The art of multi-tasking is a national phenomenon, often seen as something that is desirable in the workplace. It’s almost a given that you’d put on a resume that you’re an “efficient multi-tasker” with “a keen eye for detail”. The problem lies in the duality of the subject; how can you simultaneously multi-task and have your eyes, hands and attention on 3+ different things performing them with grace, efficiency and perfect delivery? I have a hard enough time rubbing my tummy and patting my head at the same time – throw jumping on one leg in there and I think I’d be on the floor.
So if 9 times out of 10, or perhaps 5 times out of 10, even the most efficient multi-tasker will potentially let something slip – why do we put so much emphasis into multi-tasking? As a parent, you have little choice but to live in the world of multi-tasking, especially when you have more than one child and one’s climbing the furniture, while you’re up to your elbows changing a dirty diaper, and then the doorbell rings… It’s impossible not to multi-task as well as become a master of prioritization. Similarly in yoga, while standing in a warrior two pose, a teacher could tell you to engage the inner thigh of the front leg while pressing into the outer edge of the back foot, relaxing the shoulders, drawing the upper arm bones towards the shoulder sockets while also reaching out through the fingertips, and oh yeah, you’re supposed to be breathing through all of this – right? One of my friends and fellow yoga instructors often says it’s when we’re distracted and our mind is somewhere else that we misplace (insert noun) the car keys and find them later in the freezer and laughingly we’ll say to ourselves “how in the world did these get here? I must have lost my mind!”
Through yoga, we seek a certain “one-pointedness”; the ability to rest in the present moment with the particular task at hand. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, this topic is discussed in Book 1, Sutra 32. In Sanskrit (for those interested) it says, “Tat Pratisedhartham Eka Tattva-Bhyasah”, – which in Sri Swami Satchidananda’s translation equates to, “The practice of concentration on a single subject [or the use of one technique] is the best way to prevent the obstacles and their accompaniments.” The obstacles & accompaniments are defined in Sutra 31 as mental distractions including distress, despair, trembling of the body and disturbed breathing, which prevent us from focusing on one thing – the desired one-pointedness. Taking a step back, perhaps it’s good for us to notice when we’re distracted. When we’re thinking about so many things at once, we might end up saying something on a phone call that’s totally non-relevant to the conversation; or, thoughts of what to make for dinner while running morning errands might cause us to drop the dog off at day care and take the baby to the groomer (whoops!). Yet, when we are clear in our minds and practice doing one thing at a time, the more likely outcome is that we’ll be more engaged in our lives, make fewer mistakes, and perhaps end up a little less frustrated (aka, happier). Sri Swami Satchidananda says that, “There’s no value in digging shallow wells in a hundred places. Decide on one place and dig deep.” And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Instead of spreading yourself so thin across so many planes that something has to give, pick one place to start – prioritize – and do it wholeheartedly even if it means changing that diaper better than ever.
In life and parenting, I’ve tried to take the idea of one-pointedness to heart. Now when I am watching my daughter and her friend, I have one of them strapped to me in a sling or securely occupied while tending to the other’s immediate needs. I confine most of my work on the computer to nap-time / bed-time, not only for necessity’s sake but so I can devote the rest of my time to my daughter and not feel guilty about letting time fly by without being an involved parent. In my yoga practice, I focus on one thing at a time so that even if the teacher has 15 different alignment cues, I practice one at a time bringing the pose into a workable sustainable position for that day. Of course there will still be times that I try to be (insert noun/adjective) woman of the year, and undoubtedly I’ll die trying, but the seed of thought has been planted to take things one step at a time. In the game of life, there is no race to the finish line; it’s how you spend your time on the journey that counts.
How often have we all felt the need to just lay down where we are, close our eyes and take a little nap? Sometimes I dream of pulling a “George Costanza” from Seinfeld and creating a crawl space under my desk at home to hide from my toddler and take a short snooze. Of course, this is only a dream I have. But there are some days where I can barely manage to keep my eyes open and for the rest of the day I am at the mercy of my daughter’s never ending supply of energy to explore, climb and get into everything she’s not supposed to get into. I think the Spanish and European cultures have it right by adding in a siesta in the middle of the day – even the Japanese put their heads down on their desk after lunch, and let’s be honest; you know you’ve done it once or twice (or at least wished you could).
But why do Americans (and New Yorkers in particular) fight against rest? Why do we feel that if we’re not moving, talking or doing something, even if it’s surfing the web, that we’re not being productive? Rest, I have found, is one of the most productive things I can do with my time. To just lie down, close my eyes, and breathe; even if it’s for 5, 10 or a blissful 30 minutes a day, I usually feel so much better afterwards.
In the first sentence of the first page of renowned restorative yoga teacher Judith Lasater’s book Relax and Renew, it says, “Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well.” Wow – that’s a pretty serious statement. And I don’t think she’s talking about zoning out in front of your favorite TV show or even reading a book in bed. Rather, she goes on to tell us how to mindfully set ourselves up into a comfortable position allowing the body to be fully supported – a pose like savasana – and then close our eyes though not falling asleep but being still, present and breathing. Sounds easy enough – but sometimes when put into practice, it gets a bit more complicated. We get distracted, we make plans, and we constantly avoid being quiet and allowing time for ourselves to chill out.
So what happens when we wear ourselves out? Besides being grumpy, unfocused and tired, we also may find that we’re easy irritated and frustrated, constantly holding muscle tension, experience recurring headaches, indigestion and poor digestion / elimination, even insomnia. Any of these things when experienced over a long period of time can become chronic and lead to more serious issues and disease. Our bodies are equipped with a heavily detailed nervous system divided into two parts; the somatic nervous system which enables us to take conscious action (like putting on socks), and the autonomic nervous system which is in charge of our involuntary actions (like heartbeat, immune system and digestion). The autonomic nervous system is divided again into two aspects, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The parasympathetic nervous system rules the “rest and digest” functions of our body while the sympathetic nervous system governs the “fight or flight” function of the body.
Throughout every moment of every day our body is always asking “Am I safe?” If the answer is “No”, even subconsciously, the body initiates the stress response to accomplish the following: Release stress hormones into the body, increase heart rate, constrict blood vessels leading to increased blood pressure, increased breathing rate, decreased digestive activity, inhibition of reproductive and growth hormones, initial increase in immune function followed by suppression of immunity and increased muscle tension. All of this happens in a split second. If the body is answering the question of “Am I safe” with a “No” answer constantly, you can see how things in the body can start to fall out of balance. By propping our bodies in supported positions, it allows the body to be able to answer “Yes” to the question of “Am I safe?” As the body sees that it is in no danger, the parasympathetic nervous system is allowed to help balance the body by: Decreasing use of sympathetic nervous system activation, reducing stress hormone levels, decreasing heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, increasing digestive & reproductive function, increasing immune function, and reducing anxiety.
Now Lasater’s earlier statement doesn’t seem so outspoken. I used to be the kid who wholeheartedly objected to naptime, and as an adult I used to be the yogi who, when offered an open-ended savasana, would bolt out of the room practically on the heels of the teacher. Now, I’ve come to appreciate the necessity of rest and even teach its benefits to others (something I never would have guessed in a million years I’d be doing). I also generally feel a lot better, physically, emotionally and mentally, and am more sensitive to when I need to back off, quiet my schedule, and do less plowing forward against the will of my body. I hope that I can teach my daughter this much; that it’s just as important to rest and take a break when you need one, and that way we all can live well as our bodies intended.
I remember watching the older babies in the Mommy & Baby class when Riley was only 8 weeks old, hating tummy time and thinking there was no way she was going to get so big in such a short amount of time. Sure enough, the inevitable happened and soon Riley had the hang of class, still hating the exercises on her belly and back but loving all the songs and movements we did together. Many times, we would go home and I’d find that she’d start doing new things as she immediately began to mimic words, movements and mannerisms. Babies really are little sponges – they collect everything, and I do mean everything!
It was a hard balance to maintain as she eventually became the oldest baby in class, crawling and getting into everything – including everyone else’s toys, food and water bottles. Basically, anything that wasn’t nailed down, she’d pull apart. In some classes, she’d be perched on my hip the entire time even through the “adult” movements (which definitely gave me a workout in my abs and arms). But I was determined we’d stick with classes till the end; that she would learn to be gentle with the new babies, and play nicely with the older ones until she could stand and walk on her own.
Since each child develops differently and their personalities start to emerge at different stages, it was a tricky transition to figure out between baby and toddler – especially when she’d give me looks in baby class as if to say, “Mom, that’s for babies – and I am clearly not a baby”. Yet at the playground, she still couldn’t quite hang out with the bigger kids. We were lost in a kind of limbo of movement. However, the week she turned one year old and started taking her first steps un-coerced, we decided to go for it and try out the toddler class and see where we were. She stood for most of the time just enamored and a bit overwhelmed by all the songs, movements and older kids, but like the trooper she is, she rallied and by the end of class, she was pulling me around the studio smiling and clapping. It was a little over her head, but she did what she could and rested when she needed to, as if listening to her inner wisdom. It was a nice reminder that we all are students in different ways; always watching, learning and listening to ourselves even when we need to take a break from whatever we’re doing.
An important lesson I’ve learned as a parent is that it truly is a relationship between you and your child, where you both need to know there are certain limits, the times to push those boundaries, and when to compromise or back off. I’ve found that making the transition from Baby to Toddler is a lot like moving from a beginner yoga or Pilates class to the open level. You may be a bit overwhelmed at first, but you trust your judgment about when the right time is to move up to the next step. Our children are amazing and do what they can; absorbing all the new information they’re bombarded with daily and learning to have lots of fun in the process. We all can take a lesson from them in that regard.
We all think of Spring as the time to clean up and get organized after a long cold Winter; a time when we can throw open the windows and clear the air in the house. The Fall, however, also has its fair share of gearing up with all of the back to school sales and the cooler weather sending us back indoors. In preparation of the approaching Winter, I like to get myself ready by putting away all of the leftover beach equipment, changing out the Spring and Summer clothes in the closet for those of Fall and Winter and freezing some of the fresh Summer produce to have in the middle of Winter. With having even more stuff to go through with a child on the scene, there’s a lot of things to sort through and decide what’s to be kept, what’s to be packed and what’s to be given away.
My mother literally kept just about everything from my childhood. When I recently went back to search through my old toys to see if there was anything that could be of interest for my daughter Riley, I found a basket filled with my old scrunchies from middle school. You know the big poufy ponytail holders from the early 90’s? Those. But amidst the notes from senior English class and some dry-rotted stuffed animals I found a series of books that I used to love. One of them is called “In Search of the Savapotomous” by Stephen Cosgrove. As a brief summary, the Hordasorous and his friend the Glick decide that it’s too much trouble watching over the mass of things the Hordasorous has horded over the years. They pack up and go looking for the Savapotomous to help. Once they find where the Savapotomous lives, it ends up being over a huge mountain and the Hordasorous is left with the decision of what to do with all of his things. Does he leave them to be possibly stolen, try to lug them up the mountain or give them to other needy dinosaurs? He ends up giving a lot of his cherished things away and keeps only what he needs – then climbs the mountain and leaves it with the Savapotomous.
It’s such a great message not only for kids, but for ourselves as we decide what to do with an extra toy; is it going to be used, or is it just going to sit on the bottom of the over crowded shelf gathering dust? Is it possible to create more space in our postage stamp-sized living quarters in New York City, or do we really need everything that is piling up around us? Figuratively speaking, can we extend the idea of creating space to ourselves? Are there things we have been holding on to that we can finally let go of, can we take time to make it to an extra yoga class, take a few deep breaths and make room to have a really good conversation with a loved one, touch base with friends we’ve not spoken to in a long time, or do anything that’s simply been put off?
This train of thought reminds me of another story that Marko Galjasevic told me one Sunday at the Long Island City Studio. There were two monks walking to a temple to meditate when they came to a river and saw a maiden who needed help across the river. The older monk picked her up and carried her across the river, set her down and the two monks continued on their way. When they arrived at the temple, the younger monk said, “How could you touch a woman! You took a vow; does it not mean anything to you?” The older monk said, “I simply carried a woman across the river and set her down. But you, you’re still carrying her.”
As it is the time when the trees will shed their leaves, and flowers their blossoms, can we shed any of the weight we’ve been carrying in our pack both literally and figuratively – such as the Hordasorous and that of the monk still carrying the woman across the river? Can we make the effort to enter into Winter with more space than that with which we started?
Finding Time for Practice
by Jen Batson
Finding the motivation and the time to take classes during the week is already challenging enough, but adding a husband and a baby into the equation often makes it next to impossible. Getting rid of the baby weight was (and still is) my biggest motivator, but as my daughter grows older, I find myself challenged each morning with an onslaught of cuteness (from baby and husband) and exhausted each afternoon and evening from a day filled with draining activities. It all combines to make me wish for a second me to get it all done!
Despite the challenges, the one thing that I have found in the past year (has a whole year really flown by?) is that my expectation of what a yoga practice should look like doesn’t have to be set in stone. I always seem to come back to the words of my teacher, Al Bingham, who once told me that he tries to bring yoga into all of his daily routines – even something as seemingly basic as washing the dishes. Let the experience of even the most mundane things be your time to practice being present, really present in the moment. Yoga means ‘to yoke’ or to bring things together, to be present with our body, mind, and breath during any given activity – whether moving through a vinyasa practice, sitting in meditation, or simply folding laundry.
As with a meditation practice where we make it a routine to sit on our cushion and be present with our breath, we are essentially training ourselves into a consistent practice so that it becomes an organic process. Similarly, taking the time to get to class takes the same type of dedication – especially on those days when we really don’t feel like going. What I’ve learned is that what my practice looks like is a lot different than I expected, but that that’s okay. It doesn’t need to look like anything other than what it is. I’ve added a Pilates class along with a yoga class to my weekly repertoire, and have managed to carve out a daily 15-minute meditation practice as well. As new parents well know, each week never looks the same as the last one, so there’s always room for variation depending on what’s going on. Through this experience, I have found the strength, stability and clarity I’ve searched for in my daily life – baby and all. The most rewarding part is that I no longer hold a concrete perception of what a yoga practice should look like. Just as every moment blends into the next, so too does life ebb and flow like my new practice – looking just as new as my very first class.
The Yoga Room presents our new Yogi Mamas Blog! A monthly resource for information, tips and mindful thoughts for parents and children who love to practice Yoga and Pilates. This month, we’re proud to introduce our Mommy & Me Yoga team:
As a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, Lauren is committed to a safe, challenging, and loving practice, as her teaching emphasizes the importance of breath, alignment, introspection, and self-acceptance. She received both her 200 and 500 hour certifications from Be Yoga in a style called ISHTA, which stands for the “Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda.” Lauren’s Mommy and Baby classes are the perfect mix of some yoga postures for mom (or dad), some for baby to aid in digestion, and future crawling skills as well as a series that is geared toward both mom and baby. As a mother to an active toddler herself, Lauren is happy to help out any parent during class who needs just a moment to breathe in their busy parenting day.
Jodi Epstein is an actor, musician and yoga teacher for both children and adults. When Jodi first began in the world of education by teaching piano to children, she quickly realized that her acting background aided in her ability to relate to kids, as a playful attitude and accessible imagination helped to keep students engaged. She soon completed trainings in yoga for children with Shari Vilchez-Blatt at Karma Kids Yoga, and yoga for children with special needs with Craig Hanauer of Every Kids Yoga. Jodi also holds a 200 hour adult certification from Sonic Yoga.
Jodi’s mommy and me classes are filled with music, adventures and giggles. Children will slither like snakes, hop like rabbits and shake their downward doggy legs! Classes end with a bit of rest and relaxation as foot rubs are offered during Savasana. Parents are encouraged to join throughout.
Kelly Rector is honored to join the amazing team of teachers at The Yoga Room. After doing TYR’s work-study program 2007, she went on to get her RYT-200hr Teacher certification through Yogaworks in NYC. Her love of children brought her to Karma Kids Yoga where she was certified to teach kids yoga, as well as postnatal through Jyothi Larsen’s Yoga Mom Buddha Baby program. She loves to teach parent and baby classes, giving her the perfect blend of focusing on adults as well as the little natural yogis. Every day is a learning experience. She loves to teach ‘in the moment’, encouraging requests from her students and being sensitive to the babies’ behavior. Drawing from her dance background, Kelly’s classes are focused in core exercises, connecting movement to breath, and having fun doing it. Stretches with songs is a fun way to help babies develop while also working your body to better health. Kelly feels that benefits of yoga for parents and babies are remarkable, and to top it off, you get to spend quality time with your little yogi in a nurturing environment with other babies and parents.