Monday, May 14, 2012

          Welcome to the first-ever Youthful Yogis Fireside Chat!

Fireside Chats, in case you are wondering, were talks given many years ago over the radio. They were broadcast in the evenings when families were gathered around the fire after dinner. Fireside chats began at a time when there was no TV or  Internet--can you even imagine that?! They were a way to help spread information and to answer questions that people might have on various topics.

I know what you are thinking, Youthful Yogis...where is the fireplace? And why a fireside chat when most people have their TVs and computers on 24/7, giving them more information than they will ever need in a lifetime, thank you very much?

Let me explain: it turns out that there are lots of questions people have regarding all the stuff we do in yoga class. is the fireplace; make yourselves comfortable and now we'll get started!

Question: "My teacher begins and ends each yoga class by making a funny noise.Usually all the other students in the class make the funny noise also. Are they trying to tell me something?"

Answer: I am quite sure the "funny noise" you are talking about is the sound of OM, which is pronounced a little like "home" but without the "h". Om is a mantra, which is a word or sound with special meaning. When we chant the mantra OM, we are creating a vibration, or resonance, like when you draw a bow over the string of a cello. Chanting Om helps us to feel connected to all that surrounds us, and that's one reason we use it in yoga classes.

Question: "My teacher keeps saying 'Listen to your breath' she crazy? I can hardly hear my cell phone ringing when I'm with my friends, how am I supposed to hear the sound of my breath?"
Answer: I know, I know...we breathe all day everyday but hardly ever pay close enough attention to our breath to actually hear it! What teachers mean when they say that in the present moment. Your breath is always present, so your mind can't drift to the past or time travel to the future if it is focusing on what is here and now.

Also, if your breath is smooth and deep, your yoga practice is suiting you just fine. If you are gasping for air or--please do not try this at home--not breathing at all, it probably means you need to slow down or take a rest. If you listen to your breath, you will hear what it is telling you! 

Question: How do I rest during a yoga practice, anyway?

Answer: There are quite a few "resting" poses in yoga, but that weird guy to your left is NOT doing one of them!
I'll cover resting poses another time, but for now you can try one  pose that Youthful Yogis like a's called Child's Pose, the Sanskrit name for it is Balasana and here is what it looks like....
 Question:  "Now that you mention it, my teacher does seem to put yoga poses into different categories. Can you explain what some of these categories are and why my teacher bothers talking about them?"

Answer: I've already explained the importance of resting poses...they help us to slow down, catch our breath and check in with how we are feeling. There are also balancing poses, strengthening poses, back bends and twists, just to name a few of those categories you asked about. It is important to know what a pose does so you'll know the right time in your practice to do it. Most of us wouldn't jump right into a balancing pose, for example...we'd want to warm up first.

Question: "My brain is tired and I'm getting hungry. Can we roast marshmallows now?"
Answer: Um, sorry, I don't think my fireplace is hot enough for marshmallows or s'mores...! But we've covered a lot and giving your brain a rest is a good idea. Find a yummy snack, take a break from the computer and go have lots of fun. I'll be hanging around here for a while, trying to figure out how to put out the fire!

Thanks for joining me today for the first-ever Youthful Yogis Fireside Chat.  Stay healthy and I'll see you again soon!




  1. I loved the first-ever fireside chat! Keep them coming (please).

  2. Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the Fireside Chat. I will plan on doing more...if I can get that fire going again!!

  3. Thank you for the fireside chat, it was grrreat!
    Your friend Kyle S. :)

  4. Glad you enjoyed the Fireside Chat, Kyle. Did it make you want to eat marshmallows?! Thanks for checking out the Youthful Yogis Blog!