Question: What is the deal with pets and yoga mats, anyway? Every time I decide to practice yoga, my dog Frank wants to get involved!
I love Frank a lot but having him roll all over my mat makes things kind of difficult. Plus, his breath smells!
Answer: First of all, I'm sorry your pooch has stinky breath! Second of all, remember many yoga poses are named after animals...Downward Facing Dog, for example:
|"It makes total sense, right?!"|
Anyway, a cat I know named Ping also likes yoga mats. And I have a friend who says her chicken likes to join her in yoga as well. I really want a picture of that one! I think animals just pick up on good energy and a yoga mat is certainly a spot that feels calm and happy. So enjoy sharing your mat with Frank whenever you can and, if it's really too much, toss him a chew toy and find a private spot for your yoga practice...I'm sure he'll still love you afterwards!!
Question: "I have a lot of stuff going on right now: my toe is sore, my tooth is loose, my mom gave me a bad haircut and I just ate a second helping of chocolate pudding ...do you think I should fill my yoga teacher in on all of this?"
|"This is something I know my yoga teacher wants to see!"|
Answer: Please don't take this personally, Youthful Yogis, but yoga teachers usually do not have time to hear about every little thing that is happening to every single person in their class! If you plan on skipping certain poses due to a minor injury (like the stubbed toe situation mentioned above), it's good to let the teacher know. But honestly...loose teeth, full stomachs and haircuts that make you feel weird may be more information than your teacher can handle!
|"Can I still do yoga with a haircut that looks like this?!"|
Question: "Sometimes I really feel like standing on my head. Is it OK to do this while the teacher is showing the class another pose...like Tree Pose, for example?"
Tree Pose and Headstand are very different poses...take a look:
|"Hello in there...!"|
Question: 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?...music, 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: 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!|
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!
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: www.theyogatreeaz.com
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!|