Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hi Youthful Yogis!
Last week I introduced everyone to"Youthful Yogis Q & A", otherwise known as "I'm going crazy trying to figure something out and can't I please just get my question answered so I can get back to other important stuff, like convincing my dad I need new soccer cleats and maybe even a spiffy pair of new sunglasses while we're at it...?!"  

"If I miss this goal it might be cuz I need new cleats!"
"I'm spiffy and I know it...!"

That's right, getting your questions answered is important...and come to think of it, so are sun glasses. Remember to ask your mom or dad for protective eye wear if you're going to be out in the sun a lot this fall. And once that's taken care of, why not show them the Youthful Yogis Blog?... they'll probably end up learning a lot!
"We never knew a blog could be so informative...and fun!"

All right, it's time to get serious. I'd like to share the latest Q & A entries with you now... question # 1 addresses something the whole world's been wondering about for a while: "who puts the youth in Youthful Yogis?"  Question # 2 reminds us that Gummy Bears are just the most fantastic treat ever...but there's a time and place for everything!

Question # 1: My best friend is about to turn sixteen...can she still be a Youthful Yogis even though she'll be getting her driver's license soon? While we're on the subject, my mom loves your blog too; I forget how old she is, but I know she had a Partridge Family lunchbox in grade school so she's pretty ancient. Any thoughts?

Answer: Thank you for that most excellent question! In our culture the word "youth" tends to relate to the number of years a person has been alive. But Youthful Yogis know that age is not important. In fact, being youthful is not about how old we are... it's about how we feel inside; it's the way we approach life and the joy we get from connecting with others. You heard it here first Youthful Yogis: a person can be youthful at any age!

"What keeps me youthful?, yoga and this hairstyle that I love!"
Thanks again for the great question. Tell your mom I say hi, and if she still has that Partridge Family lunchbox, you're in luck...I hear they're collector's items these days!

Question # 2:  Is it Ok for me to eat Gummy Bears during yoga class?

Answer: Wow, I think we need to break this one down a little: yoga is a physical activity which means your body needs nourishment both before and after practicing poses. In general, eating a meal less than an hour before you do yoga is not a good idea because you'll feel queasy if you're still digesting your food. A light snack that is easy to digest can be a good thing, though...and while Gummy Bears aren't exactly a nutritious choice, eating a few before you hop onto your mat isn't the worst thing in the world.

As for eating Gummy Bears during yoga class?...I really do not recommend it!

Here are a few things that will probably happen if you chow down on Gummies in class:

1) Your teacher will go into shock... plus, he or she will probably feel a little insulted.

2) Your fellow students will pretend they don't notice you're eating dessert in yoga class; but of course they will notice and it will make them hungry, and a roomful of hungry yogis is just a little bit scary.

3) Your teacher may instruct you to hold your breath in for a few seconds and then to exhale out of the mouth while sticking out your tongue (people do this in yoga class sometimes, really!)...where exactly are those ten Gummy Bears you popped into your mouth going to end up if you stick out your tongue while exhaling vigorously? Yuck, I honestly don't want to think about that scenario.

This is called Lion's Breath, please do not do it with food in your mouth!

As you can tell, it's best to enjoy your snacks either before or after yoga. While we're on the are a few other things it's best not to do in yoga class:

1) talk or text on cell phones

2) sing your favorite Justin Bieber song out loud while everyone else is chanting OM

4) run around in in those new platform shoes that you just bought at Macy's...most people practice yoga barefoot, anyway.

Yes, they're great...just not during yoga!

You get the gist: yoga is about quieting the mind and stilling the senses: talking, eating, singing and wobbling around in shoes that are uncomfortable do not really encourage a safe and reflective practice. Enjoy your time on the mat, and know that the Gummy Bears-- and the platform shoes--will be there for you when you're done!

That's all the time we have today, Youthful Yogis. I hope you've enjoyed our Q & A session, and remember that today's questions can also be found on the "Youthful Yogis Q & A page" to the left side of this blog, just below the Listening Activities.

If you have questions that you would like to ask, please email them to me at:  I can't guarantee I'll answer every question, especially if it has to do with what brand of soccer cleats is hottest at the moment or what style of platform shoes is most fact, let's just say those sporty/fashion questions are out of my comfort zone. Please tell your mom and dad I recommend whatever is least I know they'll love this blog! 

"Best blog ever, seriously!"

See you again soon!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hi Everyone!
Well, it's that time of year again...Youthful Yogis are dusting off their pencil cases, picking out new fall fashions and madly texting friends to see who is sitting where at lunchtime on the first day of school.

It's true, there's a lot going on and the last thing anybody needs in their head right now is....lingering questions about yoga! 

"I'd love to get organized for school but I still have a question about yoga!"

Please, Youthful Yogis, do not be late for the first day of school simply because you can't remember the name of that balancing pose you and your friend did on the lawn last week! Do not space out and leave your lunchbox on the kitchen table because you're busy figuring out if it's OK to teach grandpa how to do headstands after his chair yoga class (it's not)... give your brain a rest!

In fact, in order to keep our brains from overloading, I've decided to add a new section to the Youthful Yogis Blog: it's called "Youthful Yogis Q & A" and it's a way for you to ask lots of yoga-related questions so you can make space in your brain for other wonderful figuring out how in the world X relates to Y, maybe?

Seriously, math is so much fun!

A "Q & A Session", as you probably know, is a chance for folks to ask questions about specific topics. Sometimes the person asking the question shares their name, sometimes they stay anonymous. Either way, it's good to remember that if one person is wondering about something, then usually other people are wondering about it as well.

"I just know I'm not the only one who wants to know the Sanskrit name for Downward Facing Dog!"

                  So here it is, our very first session of "Youthful Yogis Q & A"......!!

Question: "My problem is with my mom...she likes to spend "quality time" with me on the weekends, which is cool. But, honestly? by the time mom's done with her Saturday morning yoga class, my friends have usually made plans and I really want to hang out with them.  I don't want to hurt mom's feelings...any suggestions?"

Answer: I would first like to compliment you for remembering that moms have feelings too, way to go! Now, about that "quality time"...why not suggest that you and your mom do yoga together? If you can stop scrunching up your face and looking like you might fly through the roof, I'll explain....

Many yoga studios offer yoga classes for kids and yoga classes for adults. If you are lucky, you might find a studio that offers classes for kids and adults together! It's really a lot of fun, honest.

"Family yoga is a blast!"

I happen to teach Family Yoga on Saturdays at a wonderful studio called The Yoga Tree. If you're ever in Tucson, AZ you should come check it out! See a schedule and find out about other great classes at the Yoga Tree on their website:

Doing yoga with your mom, grandma, or other favorite grown-up-type person is a perfect way to experience yoga while enjoying the company of someone you love. I hope you'll give Family Yoga a try, and tell me what you think!

Um, I'm not sure the Simpsons are actually doing yoga here, but...whatever!

That's all the time we have for now, Youthful Yogis. I hope you've enjoyed the very first "Youthful Yogis Q & A". You can re-visit this Q & A session and read more on the new page of this blog, just below the Youthful Yogis Listening Activities. Please feel free to submit questions for Q & A to: ....I'll try to get your questions answered, as long as they don't have to do with X relating to Y and all of that!


Take care and I'll see you again soon!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hi Youthful Yogis!
A lot of people ask me..."where is the best place to practice yoga?" My answer is: wherever you feel comfortable! Some folks like to do yoga in the privacy of their home, others love taking classes at a yoga studio. Many Youthful Yogis enjoy being out in nature, but grandpa's rec. room is also a popular choice: there may not be any windows there but the sound system is usually awesome!

"I'm gonna do yoga but first I have to finish listening to Stairway to Heaven"

Once, in New York City, a zillion yogis practiced poses together on the the street (well, OK, maybe not a zillion yogis, but definitely a whole bunch...) Here is a picture of that gathering, do you see anyone you know?!

It's true that you can do yoga almost anytime and anywhere. You'll remember that Chair Yoga allows you to do poses without even sitting down on the don't let being in an airport or hanging out in your mom's office stop you from striking a pose!

I'm not sure who this guy is...but he sure has the chair yoga thing figured out!

Here are a few yoga poses that you might like to try.  I'll show pictures of the poses and then offer a "pop quiz" at the end so you can learn more about the benefits of each posture.  Please don't feel intimidated....everyone gets an A+ on  Youthful Yogis pop quizzes!

Warrior Two

Dancer Pose

                                                         Youthful Yogis "Pop" Quiz:

1) Warrior Two is:  A) a resting pose   B) a pose that strengthens the body and encourages mental clarity  C) something you do in the breakfast cereal aisle of the grocery store when you want to get your mom's attention away from Whole Wheat Flax Flakes and onto Sugar-Coated Chocolate Crispy Puffs

2) Cobra Pose is:  A) a back bend  B) a balancing pose C) something you probably do not want to do right after eating Chocolate Crispy Puffs  D) all of the above E) A and C only

3) Dancer Pose is: A) one of the funnest yoga poses ever  B) a balancing pose   C) a pose that stretches the chest, shoulders, tummy and arms  D) everything I just said

1) B  Warrior Two strengthens the body while encouraging a quiet mind. You can do the pose at the grocery store if you really want to...I just can't guarantee it'll change your mom's mind about those Whole Wheat Flax Flakes!  

2) E Cobra Pose is a back bend: it opens the heart and lungs and strengthens the spine. It is important not to do this pose if you have any kind of back injury. Also, since the pose stimulates the internal organs, it feels pretty yucky if you try it on a full stomach....please eat breakfast after you practice cobra!

3) D Dancer Pose is a challenging pose that works our balance while stretching and toning many areas of the body. It's not everyone's funnest pose, but since another name for it is "Lord of  the Dance",  it's hard not to love it a lot. Dancer Pose is named after Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva whose cosmic dance performed in a circle of flames represents the eternal rhythms of the universe....pretty cool!

Nataraja: "Lord of  Dance"

How'd you do on the Pop Quiz, Youthful Yogis? I hope it inspires you to try out some new poses! As always, have fun, be safe, and don't forget to turn the lights out in grandpa's rec. room when you're done...!!!

See you again soon,


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hi Youthful Yogis,  
I went to a yoga class yesterday and, guess what? I got to sit in a chair! It was really a lot of fun and I want to thank my Youthful Yogis friend, Duncan, for taking me to the class. 

Youthful Yogis know that Chair Yoga is a super popular activity: you can do it almost anywhere, and you never even have to sit on the floor!

"I can't talk now...I'm practicing yoga!"

Let's take a look at some familiar yoga poses and then figure out how we can do them in a chair:

         Traditional Style:                                                                  Chair Yoga Style:

Forward Fold 
Forward Fold

Triangle Pose 

Triangle Pose

Seated Twist

Seated Twist

Side Stretch

Side Stretch


Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog


As you can see, the possibilities are endless. No wonder so many people love doing Chair Yoga!

"Chair Yoga rocks!!"

I hope you'll have fun trying some chair yoga poses on your own, Youthful Yogis. Remember you can do these poses in a lot of different places: at home, in an airport, on a park bench, or even sitting in the dentist's office waiting to see how those X-rays turned out.  Have fun, and think about sharing what you learn with friends and relatives. FYI...a lot of grandparents go nuts for Chair Yoga!!

"All I can think about is Chair Yoga!"

That's all for now, Youthful Yogis. See you again soon!