My new favorite yoga video

I am really picky about yoga videos. I have tried for years now to establish a home-based yoga practice, so I didn’t have to shell out $14 a class to go to a yoga studio. I tried leading my own little sequence, but ended up just staring straight ahead and doing forward folds on repeat. I also tried the yoga app for Mac computers, free YouTube videos, and Rodney Yee’s yoga DVDs (which I didn’t hate).

But for the most part, I’ve decided I’m a yoga studio kind of girl. I love being in a beautiful space, with incense burning, Buddhas on the wall, and meditative music playing (or in the case of my new favorite instructor at my studio – Grateful Dead jams playing). Something about being in this atmosphere, surrounded by other yogis, gives me better focus and helps me be more intentional about my yoga experience.

But sometimes you’re just stuck in a situation where you can’t run out to the nearest yoga studio. I get that. This week I was visiting my parents in the suburbs of Chicago, where yoga costs at least $17 per class, and I couldn’t justify going to a studio. It was pouring rain, so I couldn’t go for a run outside. Feeling restless, I finally searched and found a free class online that I liked! The instructor’s sequence reminded me a lot of the Grateful Dead guy’s class, and her music was appropriately meditative (Zero 7 is always a good choice). Plus, it was 45 minutes long and left me feeling pretty tired, which Rodney Yee’s class never seemed to.

So without further ado, here is my new favorite free yoga class from Fightmaster Yoga:

Inspiration for the weekend

peace-through-yoga from Teach Run Eat

Well it’s official! My students and I survived the first week of school! It was four intense (but fun) days that didn’t leave a lot of time for self-care. This year I’m making it a goal to bring some of that summer calm into the school year. I want to find ways to maintain a healthy life, while still keeping my passion for teaching high. So here are some links for just that:

For maintaining the calm:

7 things I’m grateful for right now.

6 health lessons everyone can learn from introverts.

The unexpected benefit of being bad at yoga Being perfect at yoga, even being good at yoga, was simply not a goal of mine anymore. Instead, I started focusing on how my body felt, on what it was telling me. And, once I listened to it, I could begin giving myself what I needed.

For staying healthy:

Easy refrigerator pickles.

Food that magically regrows itself.

Scrambled tofu dish, for using up any vegetables you have.

For keeping the passion for teaching:

Guiding guided play in New York City’s prekindergarten.
This speaks to me, as a kindergarten teacher who can barely find time for free choice, let alone guided exploration time. Apparently NYC’s school chancellor has a commitment to “joyful learning” (so cool!) and wants to make sure “poor children will theoretically be taught as the city’s affluent are, which is to say according to the principles of immersive, play-based, often self-directed and project-driven learning.”

A very cool research project: Calling all parents who are parenting outside the gender box.

I love these ideas for weekly nature walks with your kids.

“Attention is the beginning of devotion.” – Mary Oliver always gets it right

Inspiration for the weekend.

Go running

I have the picture above as my computer desktop. It’s so hard to get motivated to run when it’s this freaking cold. So I’m doing all I can to inspire myself. Here’s some more inspiration that I’ve found lately:

The winter abundance bowl from My New Roots. Beautiful recipe that I make so frequently.

Advice to us all: Stop reading this blog post and go do stuff.

The truth is that everyone can do yoga.

The banjo player I am currently obsessed with.

A new favorite recipe blog (aka food porn).

Countdown until spring.

Teacher books I want:

And last but not least, my newest resource for teaching inspiration. This book seriously got me motivated to change how I structure my classroom to make it more full of wonder and curiosity. And it’s free to download! Cultivating Joy & Wonder: Educating for Sustainability in Early Childhood through Nature, Food and Community

“Yoga is for self-obsessed control freaks”

Just discovered Marika Richoz’s food/health/life blog. First post I read, “Yoga is for self-obsessed control freaks,” made me laugh out loud. It basically captures exactly how I feel about yoga. My favorite part:

Focus on my breath? Boring.
And I go to the gym everyday, why am I not as flexible as this guy in his 50s who is 20 pounds overweight?
I bet I could get a better work out doing Pilates.
I hate camel pose. I feel like I am being strangled.
When is this class over? 
There are some of us who go through life with self-confidence and a good grasp on who we are, what makes us tick and how to get there.  
Then there are some of us who are constantly looking for answers. Answers to why the hell we are so sensitive and how we can fix all our perceived character flaws. We are usually eccentric perfectionists .We play amateur psychologist to ourselves and everyone around us.
And then we get into yoga. 
It offers up the prescription we have been looking for.