Self Care Tip: Schedule Yourself A Break

schedule a break

This time of year is busy, busy, busy. Report cards, field trips, high stakes state testing wrap up, finals, marathon grading sessions, end-of-the-year celebration planning and all those hormonal students with spring fever… it is enough to make anyone want to schedule a mental health holiday.

The end of the school year always reminds me of a championship baseball game that has just gone into extra innings. Everything feels completely necessary and like every second counts.

My friend and author, Rosie Molinary used to think, “Maybe something mildly bad will happen, like a really bad flu or a minor car accident, so that I can take a little bit of time off.”

Sound like something you might say to yourself? Me too.

Let’s face it, even if you don’t work in a school, spring is an extra busy time. Even nature is going a million miles a minute: the birds, the bees, the pollen and the trees.

Stress city!

So rather than trying to keep going and going and going until you completely burn out, why not schedule yourself a break?

Start with an hour for yourself in the next couple of weeks: a restorative yoga class, a nap,  a massage, a manicure or pedicure, a run outside without any distraction.

Then why not schedule a half day? A hike at a nearby river or lake, a picnic by a stream, a good book under a tree, a yoga workshop with your favorite teacher, an afternoon taking pictures of signs of spring, writing in your journal in a café.

Then try a whole day and schedule absolutely nothing and see how the day unfolds. Maybe try a pajama day and see how you feel.

The idea behind these breaks is to give yourself a bit of space and breathing room. You may find you are happier and even more productive than you would have been without the break.

Does the idea of scheduling a break freak you out or are you already grabbing your planner?  Please share in the comments.

Post inspired by Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary. Specifically Day 306: Take a Personal Health Day and Day 57 Schedule Breaks.

Image Source: Serenity Retreat – Early Fall by FreeWine on Flickr (cc)

That Time I Knew I Was Going To The Nervous Hospital: AKA My First Restorative Yoga Class

A person who recently took a restorative yoga class with me told the owner of the studio where I work that my class was hard.

Like, really hard.

Surprisingly hard.

When she asked why, the response she got may surprise you.

It was the quiet.

The quiet was the hard part.

The doing nothing while laying down with nothing to do was the hard part.

I was taken aback for a minute when she told me and then I remembered my first restorative yoga class.

Picture this: My body was supported in legs up the wall (just like the picture above), I was carefully covered with a soft, clean smelling blanket, my eye pillow rested over my eyes and then BAM!

No joke, within five minutes I truly believed I was going to have to live in the nervous hospital. I was clearly insane. The voices in my head got louder and louder the longer I stayed still.  I kept wondering when the men in the padded van were going to come wrap my clearly crazy self up in a straight jacket and take me out of there.

My mind wouldn’t quit.

The deep dark hidden secrets I successfully avoided by staying busy had finally caught up to me when my body got quiet.

Basically, my mind kicked my ass for an hour and a half while I laid there in the quiet waiting for the padded room dudes to come get me.

Needless to say,  It was quite a workout.

So I get it.

The quiet IS the hard part.

Sometimes I forget that laying down quietly with your body fully supported can be difficult.

I get it.

It clearly happens to us all.

I also get that sometimes we need to challenge ourselves to do hard things that are good for us.

Recently the New York Times published an article about how if you Relax! You’ll Be More Productive that has been widely across social media. I share it here with you because it perfectly illustrates my point about how lying down often, taking naps, taking vacations and breaks from your online world are hard, but totally worthwhile.

This gist of the article is exactly what I’ve said in my classes for years:

The less you do sometimes directly relates to how much more you can do other times.

So this, friends, is my invitation to you. Tuesday nights (and the first Sunday of each month) I teach how to live in the quiet. A nice supportive place to make friends with your inner critics.

Join me? It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, CA. Public and classes are available.


Have you ever tried restorative yoga? Do you have a regular practice? What’s your experience?

Taking It Easy

I am taking it easy today. Between massive seasonal allergies, a sick kiddo and the promise of rain, I’m calling in the self-care.

How are you taking care of you today?

Image Source: Pinterest

Taking Nonviolence One Step Further

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence, but also internal violence of spirit.  You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

We have been exploring the concept of self-acceptance all month in class and last week I reminded students of the first yama (rule) of yoga- ahimsa or non violence.

When most people think of violence, images of war or fist fighting come to mind, but when it comes down to it listening to your inner critic can also be considered a form of violence.

Wouldn’t life be so much happier if we all stopped hating ourselves and other people and started accepting ourselves and others for who we are?


Want some tips to get you started on your self-acceptance journey?

Image source: Wikipedia

Inspiration for Self Acceptance Self-Study

definition of self acceptance

This month in class, I’ve been asking students to explore the concept of self-acceptance and have been met with nervous giggles,  sighs of knowing recognition and blank stares. I’m pretty sure most people starting or returning to yoga in January thought we’d be talking about “real” resolutions like losing weight or starting a fitness program and finally sticking to it.

Instead I’ve been asking people (myself included) to practice being ok with what is, right now. Seems simple. Until you try it and are met with various layers of distraction or resistance.

I know these intimately because I’m practicing this too! So today I’ve decided to share my resources for self-study on self-acceptance for this month.

Podcast:     I love a good dharma talk. Recently I’ve discovered Tara Brach, an American Buddhist teacher/author of Radical Self-Acceptance, and I’m inspired. Finding True Refuge is definitely worth a listen.

Do you have any dharma talks that you love? Please let a comment so I can listen too.

Book:    Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary.

Friends, I have been “trying” to read this book for years. Fact: It’s been sitting on my to-read self for years. Basically, I’ve read every other book on every other shelf and avoided this book.

What’s been the resistance? The daily practice part – I’m only now learning to love that learning is a process rather than something you either do or are.

The self-acceptance part. Truth: I felt I didn’t need it. I believed I loved myself. Or at least that’s what I defensively told myself, dammit. And then I got quiet and realized I struggle with feeling good enough. It’s a very quiet, but extremely pervasive voice.

Adding to this crazy is how I absolutely devour all of Rosie’s blog posts and our adoptive mama correspondence. I love her. She has so much wisdom and I have learned so much from her.

So I’ve been soaking up all the daily lessons. This time just reading, but I think this will turn into a journaling practice. Or maybe a series of posts and reader challenges.  There is some damn good stuff in here.

As it turns out, self-acceptance – at least how Rosie defines it – isn’t so scary after all!

Favorite exercises so far include:

Name Your Inner Critic – I’m thinking Blanche.  As in, “For god’s sake Blanche, just shut it all ready.” We’ll see.

Realize That Your Dissatisfaction Is Not About Your Body

Banish “Have You Lost Weight?” From Your Vocabulary — my friend Rebekah wrote about this here.

Have A Comeback

Consider the Time You Have Lost

Quiet Your Critic

Go To Bed Earlier

Schedule Breaks

Are you intrigued? Want to have a book club with Beautiful You? We totally could do one online. Leave me a comment if you are interested.

Blog:     Curvy Yoga is always on my must read list. I love Anna’s list of 15 Books that Shaped My Body Lovin’ Journey.

I highly recommend reading:

Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (really all her books).

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott (really all of her books)

A Path With A Heart by Jack Kornfield (my favorite is The Beginner’s Guide to Forgiveness)

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

I want to read:

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

Mega Yoga by Megan Garcia

Yoga From the Inside Out by Christina Sell

Do you have any acceptance or yoga books to recommend?

Tell me – how is your resolve to be with what is going?

Image source: Pinterest

A Resolution for Self-Acceptance


In preparation for planning my yoga classes for the month of January, I settled in on the notion of resolutions or the need for change. I, myself, have made countless promises to myself to finally get it right this year.

Each New Year, I promise myself and set out to to become the new and improved version of me, one with no more of those pesky flaws I tend to worry about when no one else is paying attention. I suspect they may be too busy running themselves into the ground to worry about me.

As most of us have made resolutions each year and wholeheartedly and with great enthusiasm pursued our freshly flossed teeth, countless miles on the running trail and ingesting everything green in the grocery store, only to burn ourselves out by February and return to our previous state of unflossed teeth, couch/channel surfing and emotionally eating comfort foods because we have once again failed to change ourselves for the “better”.

What if we decided to do it differently this year?

What if we resolved to spend all our enthusiastic January energy into accepting ourselves for how we are, flaws and all?

What would life feel like in February?

In Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance, author Rosie Molinary, challenges readers to Accept Your Imperfections  and to “give up the perfection facade and just be who you are.”

This, my friends, is my challenge to you this month. And by you, I mean me.

Can we just practice letting things be as they are and learn to finally accept who we really are?

What are your thoughts or resolutions and self-acceptance? I would love to connect, so please let me a comment.

Also, if you’d like to practice letting things be, I am teaching restorative yoga at It’s All Yoga on Sunday afternoons from 4:30-5:45.

Image source: pinterest

All Together Now….A Long, Steady Exhale


Michelle wrote an excellent piece about breathing called Epidemic Inhale. Please go read it.

No, really.




Ok, while you were there did you follow her directions for a long, slow, steady exhale?

Feels good, doesn’t it?


This is what yoga is for me now: one giant exhale.

A time and a place to just LET.IT.BE.

Reminders to pause, yawn, and be conscious of my breathing and how my body feels.


It hasn’t always been this way.

I’m pretty sure most people are thinking I’m making funny shapes with my body when I’m “at yoga” and for a long time that is exactly what I did. The more difficult the class, the better.

I was ‘doing’ yoga, damnit.

But now, I’m focusing on the not doing. Letting things go. Asking myself what my body really needs in this moment.

More often than not, my body is craving rest.

And exhaling.

As a culture we spend so much going, going, going. Always pushing forward and racing from one project, meeting, soccer game to the next.  I am totally do this too. Even as I sit here with seven open tabs on my computer – including three email accounts, Twitter and Facebook.

So I rest.

You can too.


All together now:

A long, steady exhale.

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 39

{photo credit: Etsy – click image for source – PS I would not be sad to have this in my classroom if anyone is feeling gifty}

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


My Best Of…

Can You Coccoon? The Challenge and Power of Taking a Rest from Amy Kessel. Gaining strength and inspiration from taking time away from the busyness of life to recharge your batteries.


Want to change a habit and aren’t sure where to start? Leo Babauta gives four steps here in Where In The World Do I Start?  


For some, summer break is starting to wind down and teachers are starting to think about the return to work. While I am not joining them this year because of my extended parental leave, I’ve still got teaching on the brain this time of year.

Lisa Dabbs from Teaching With Soul and the founder of the New Teacher Chat on Twitter has published an amazing list of teacher resources titled: Mentoring Monday An Article A Day…Might Just Save Your Teaching Life.

I can’t wait to dig into this list. Please check it out and leave me a comment on your favorite.


Are you or someone you know going through a break up? Not sure what to do or say? Divorce Field Guide: Best Advice from Mighty Girl has some gems. My favorite is number 3. So, so, so true.


Curvy Yoga’s Guide To Creating A Home Studio – a step-by-step guide for setting up a space and practice at home. A short, ridiculously helpful guide for getting on the mat at home.

Did you all know Anna is coming to Sacramento and specifically It’s All Yoga? I’m so excited!

CurveFest 2012 – October 13th – 1-6:30 pm


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

Self Acceptance Through Yoga: aka Back Off Beeotch

image: WeHeartIt

Today you’ll find me guest posting on Rosie Molinary’s blog. Please check it out and be sure to leave a comment to let me know you stopped by. Yes, it’s a reprint…one worth repeating if you ask me.

While you’re there please be sure to poke around in Rosie’s archives. She’s got a bunch of excellent work on self-worth, beauty, self-acceptance and adoption.

Attitude of Gratitude Re-Cap

Day 1 – thankful for Ruby and adoption for making us a family.

Day 2 – thankful for Jed – best husband and father.

Day 3 – thankful for sometimes waking up before the baby.

Day 4 – thankful for books. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read and watching Ruby play with hers is the best gift.

Day 5 – thankful for healthcare coverage for my entire family and a clean bill of health for all.

Day 6 – thankful for sweater dresses and boot socks.

Day 7 – so thankful for my It’s All Yoga family.

Day 8 – thankful for generous friends.

Day 9 – thankful for a union job and parental leave so we can be at home to bond with our baby without worrying about our jobs.

Day 10 – thankful for massage.

Day 11 – thankful for the people in the armed services and their dedicated service to this country.

Day 12 – thankful for social media because it keeps me in touch with the outside world.

Day 13 – thankful for year round farmer’s markets.

Day 14 – thankful for long, hot baths after the baby goes to sleep.

Day 15 – thankful for music that inspires me to sing out loud.

Day 16 – thankful for the restorative powers of showers.

Day 17 – thankful for uninterrupted sleep in a way I never dreamed possible.

Day 18 – thankful for daily account summaries from my bank which remind me I’m not completely broke.

Day 19 –  thankful for warm cozy blankets for naps on cool days.

Day 20 – thankful for central heat (and air).

Day 21 – thankful for early morning walks with lovely friends.

Day 22 – thankful for all the blogs I read and the Google Reader to keep them organized.

Day 23 – thankful for my yoga props: bolster, eye bag, strap, blankets, mat.

Day 24 – thankful for Ruby’s birth family. Our family wouldn’t be complete without their generosity.

Day 25 – thankful for the middle path.

Day 26 – thankful for whole days with nothing planned.

Day 27 – thankful for free shipping.

Day 28 – thankful for our house cleaning fairies.

Day 29 – thankful for YOU, my readers.

Day 30 – thankful for It’s All Yoga for the Attitude of Gratitude inspiration.


A special thank you to Amy Shearn over at The Oprah Life Life blog for the Attitude of Gratitude post.

Want to see where it all started?

What are you thankful for?

At Home Yoga Retreat {and Mini Restorative Yoga Class}

This coming Sunday, November 6th, instead of teaching my regular Sunday Snooze restorative class at It’s All Yoga, I am lucky enough to be able to participate in the Emotional Rescue Retreat with Michelle from Love Wasting Time. {Don’t worry regular Snoozers, I’ll be back in the first Sunday of December}.

Check this out.

The purpose of the retreat is to:

• restore
• be pampered
• be in silence
• slow down, tune in, and align with your higher purpose
• reflect on the upcoming holiday season
• give yourself permission to take a day, just for you

A day of restorative postures, journaling, breath-work, discussion, meditation, an organic lunch and the support of a circle of women. Held in the sanctuary of the It’s All Yoga studio.

Sounds good, huh?

Want to join me in this day of retreating in the comfort of your own home?

What you’ll need:

45 to 90 minutes {or whatever you can do}

a quiet spot where you can be alone or with other retreaters

comfy, warm yoga clothes

yoga mat



eye pillow or dark scarf

ear plugs

blocks, bolster and straps if you have them {no biggie if you don’t}

quiet alarm

Or if you find this list to be too much, just yourself and a way to keep time.

To begin:

Turn off your phone, unplug your computer and shut off the TV.

Bring mat and all your props with you – including your quiet alarm.

Lie down in Constructive rest – flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip distance. Knees can be hip width or rest toward each other – whatever feels comfortable for your body. Hands can rest where they are comfortable.

Stay here and breathe normally 10 minutes.

When your alarm sounds, bring your knees to chest and gently rock side to side.

Find your favorite savasana (corpse) position using all the props you’d like. Some suggestions: knees over a bolster or pillow and covered up with a blanket, legs up the wall, a bolster running the length of your spine and soles of feet together with pillows/rolled blankets under the knees for support.

The idea is to make yourself as comfortable as possible so you can just relax. {For more information on restorative yoga}

Stay here and breathe normally for 30 minutes.

Yep, 30 minutes.

What if you fall asleep? You are probably tired.

What if your to-do list is suddenly in the fore front of your mind and you feel as if you must get up NOW? Let it go and know it will wait for you.

What if your mind jumps from topic to topic to topic? Just notice the breath coming in and out of your body and try to watch your mind instead of hanging on to each story.

When will the 30 minutes be over? In 30 minutes.

When your alarm sounds, gently awaken your body. Wiggle fingers and toes, slowly roll ankles and wrists, stretch arms over head and catch a deeper breath and maybe a yawn.

Wake yourself as if you’re sleeping in a really nice hotel and you have absolutely nothing to do.

Roll to the side – and rest – before you use your arms to push yourself to a comfortable seat on the floor.

Write about your experience while drinking a warm cup of your favorite tea and enjoying a healthy lunch.


Have you ever taken a day for restoration? How did it go? Please share your tips, fears and thoughts.


If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

This Is My Happiness: On the Yoga Mat – My Interview with Jenna Francisco Part 2


Don’t you just love them?

I know I do.

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my new series of interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!


Have you met Jenna yet? She’s May’s Featured Teacher, professor, blogger and momma.

In case you missed it, here’s PART 1.


When did you start practicing yoga?

In 1999 or 2000.

Why did you start?

I was curious.  I also had loved ballet as a child and took dance classes in college, and I wanted to get back in touch with something similar, something body-related and calming.

Where did you practice?

I enrolled in an 8-week series at an Iyengar studio in Iowa City,Iowa.  Then I enrolled in another and another.  I moved to Ohio shortly after that and continued with another Iyengar instructor.  Both of them were amazing, strong women in their fifties who could do crazy stuff with their bodies.  They inspired me to get more active and take care of myself.  At the time I had no idea I was learning a particular style of yoga, but I loved the Iyengar focus on body alignment and progression of poses, and I think it gave me a great foundation.

How has your practice evolved over time?

After I moved to Sacramento in 2002, I obviously was exposed to a lot more than just the Iyengar classes I’d been in.  I tried other styles and started practicing a lot at home.  My practice went through phases—sometimes very physical and other times less, depending on how I was feeling or who was teaching my regular classes.

In the 3+ years since I became a mom, it’s been all about enjoying myself and being in the moment.  During my last pregnancy, I had to honor the space I needed to deal with some challenges, so I haven’t been practicing much for the past year but will be reuniting with yoga soon.

Do you have a home practice? What is it like? How often? Where? How’d you start and how do you keep at it?

Before I had kids, I had a pretty regular home practice, sometimes all from me, sometimes from books, and sometimes from videos.  A home practice had 2 big advantages for me: it was free and I could do whatever I wanted.

After It’s All Yoga opened, I started going there for the Saturday and Sunday classes and fell in love with the studio.  The focus of my home practice shifted to restorative and regular meditation, but that has been very up and down.  I include yoga readings and related stuff, which have actually made me a much calmer and more focused person the last few years.  For example, Judith Lasater’s Living Your Yoga changed my outlook and made me happier.  Really.

I hope to get some of that back but will have to redefine it since I have no time to myself in my house now.

What’s your favorite pose? Why?

I have a few.  Triangle and Half-Moon are my favorite standing poses.  I practiced Half-Moon all through my other pregnancy despite the constant changes in the front of my body, so I associate that pose with strength and balance.  I love Pigeon and the feeling of backbends and forward bends.  Yummy.

What’s your least favorite pose?

Anything that requires arm or upper-body strength since I don’t have much.  Say Crow or Headstand, and I get nervous!  That has always been my weakness, so I used to work on it and made good progress, but that has all been lost the last few years.  I’d love to get it back someday soon.

What other blogs do your read? Why?

I mix friends’ blogs and other blogs that I feel pulled to.  For instance, I read yours—we have so much in common, so it’s really fun for me, and I love your recipes.  I read Michelle’s (Blogasana) because I love the way she writes and am inspired by her messages.

As far as other blogs, I read regularly because he is a genuine, beautiful, special person on a real journey.  He always inspires me and makes me want to be a better human.

For fun, I love this San Francisco photographer’s sites: and

And for food, which is a passion of mine, I read and  He’s a food genius.

My favorite travel blog is, written by an inspiring, witty, intelligent couple.  I am constantly wowed by their writing and photography.

Who or what inspires you?

That’s a really hard question!  People who are kind, simple, and interested in the betterment of all humans.  People, especially quirky or creative ones, who are 100% comfortable being themselves.  Societies that value slowness, simplicity, and equality.

I’m inspired to be in the moment every day, whether it’s just relaxing, spending time with my sons, or even going to work.  I’m inspired by history and art, and I won’t lie—I love to travel and want to live overseas, (both very outside-of-the-moment!), so I’m inspired to see as much of this world as I can in my short life.


If you’d like to learn more about Jenna and her travels check out her blog, This Is My Happiness.


Please leave any questions or comment love below – we’d love to hear from you.



April 2010 Amy Estes, Just A Titch

March 2010 Anna Guest-Jelley, Founder Curvy Yoga

February 2011: Jed Brewer, Public School Teacher/Music Executive

December 2010: Madeleine Lohman, Yoga Teacher/Massage Therapist

November 2010: Alicia Herrera – 4th grade teacher/Textile Artist – Spirit House Designs.

October 2010: Ryan Fong – Teaching Assistant/PhD Candidate in English at UC Davis.

September 2010: Michelle Marlahan– Proprietress/Fairy Queen of It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, California.

Celebrate National Library Week! Books I Love: Tales from the Yoga Studio {A Giveaway!}

It’s National Library Week and as part of that I’ve committed to sharing my favorite book, album and movie titles with my readers this week.

What a better way to start off the week than with a giveaway?

{Now you will have a chance to WIN THIS BOOK!}

{click the book to read about the book and more importantly to learn more about the author}

Title:  Tales from the Yoga Studio

Author: Rain Mitchell

Genre: Novel

Synopsis: A low-key local yoga teacher with a special gift for reaching people is targeted as the “Next Big Thing” by a high-powered company.

My thoughts: I made a connection right away. It reminded me of some of my gifted yoga teacher friends and what might happen if suddenly someone wanted to pay them a lot of money and make them famous. Would they sell out and become part of the yoga machine or would they stay true to themselves?

Being a part of a small studio that flies under the radar for most people, but totally changes lives, I identified with this story. How would I react if suddenly our studio became overrun with the rich and famous?  Or worse, if the teachers suddenly became like unattainable rock stars?

So are you ready to read this book yet?

A super quick read with some very likeable characters that clearly struck a nerve for me. I recommend reading it especially if you have a beloved teacher who (you hope) isn’t ever going to be on the cover of a yoga magazine.

Want to win my (advanced readers) copy of this book ?

Mandatory Entry is:

1. Leave a comment and tell me what you think makes a great yoga teacher.
Options for Extra Entries:
  • Subscribe to My Blog Via Email & Confirm Subscription (upper right hand corner)
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  • In order to ensure I see all your entries – please leave a separate comment for each entry.
Am I eligible to win?
Anyone with a valid e-mail and a U.S. mailing address is eligible.

When do I find out if I am the winner?

Contest is open from Sunday, April 1o, 2011 – noon (PST), Sunday, April 17th.

The winner will be chosen the old-fashioned way: names in a hat.

The winner will be announced on Monday, April 18th. You will have 1 week to e-mail us back with your home address so we can mail the prize.


This giveaway is now CLOSED.

And the winner is… Elizabeth!

MadYoga Goes Online! Part 2 – Madeleine Lohman Interview


Don’t you just love them?

I know I do.

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my new series of interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!

Have you met Madeleine Lohman yet? Click here for Part 1.

When did you start blogging? Why?

I started blogging really recently, and I did it because you told me to.

This is only a slight exaggeration.

I have lots of these smart friends who write consistently amazing and inspiring blogs and I have been incredibly reluctant to get on board.

Even though I have a lot of extrovert skills, I am at heart an introvert, and had a complex network of reasons why blogging would Not Be A Good Idea. But, through the gentle, persistent reassurance of people like you who insisted they would like to hear what I had to say, I got it over with, and I now love it.

In fact, I’ve signed on for #reverb10, pledging to write every day in December based on prompts regarding the year past and the year to come. Baptism with fire.

What is your blog about?

I call it the yoga of the day-to-day. Making a habit of taking the lessons from your mat and bringing them regularly into your daily life. And not just into the quiet moments of your life, but the hard and loud and uncomfortable ones. What Pema Chodron refers to as the “squeeze” – when you’re least likely to think of yoga, that’s when you need it.

Didn’t you recently guest post over at Bows and Sparrows?

I did.

Here’s the link to the Holiday Gift Guide for the Yogi.

What blogs do you read?

Well, besides yours, duh…

Kim at – yoga!

Havi at – mindful biggification!

Michelle at – although I hear this is changing…

Who and what inspires you?

People who handle adversity with grace.

My incredible students.

The change of the seasons.

My dog when he realizes we are, in fact, going for a walk.


If you’d like to learn more about Madeleine check out her new website and blog!

Please leave any questions or comment love below – we’d love to hear from you.


November 2010: Alicia Herrera – 4th grade teacher/Textile Artist – Spirit House Designs.

October 2010: Ryan Fong – Teaching Assistant/PhD Candidate in English at UC Davis.

September 2010: Michelle Marlahan– Proprietress/Fairy Queen of It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, California.

Trying Technology

December 18 – Try

What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?



I want to try to use technology better next year. I’ve already committed to learning to use Skype over my winter break and have already lined up some people to help me figure it out.

What is your favorite can’t-live-without-it technology? What makes your life easier/more fun/productive?

Please note: NOTHING is too obvious. I practically have a stone tablet on my lap for getting these posts out. {Just sayin’ – I may be one of the models in the photo}.

Please share what you love and why you love it. Maybe you’ll convince me to try your favorite.



This year I wanted to try teaching yoga.

What happened?

At first, I totally freaked out.

Then I got a grip and I loved it.

I am so grateful for Michelle’s February Recess and her faith in my teaching.

I’m also glad I didn’t quit because I was afraid.

Teaching yoga has taught me things I wouldn’t have ever known otherwise.

So grateful.


What did you try this year? How did it turn out?

(Author: Kaileen Elise)

MadYoga Debuts: An Interview with Madeleine Lohman


Don’t you just love them?

I know I do.

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my new series of interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!


I’m so excited for this month’s interview!

Have you met Madeleine yet?

Love her.

Madeleine Lohman is December’s Featured Teacher. She teaches Yoga Basics, Gentle and Level 1-2 yoga at It’s All Yoga and she is also part of the IAY Teacher Training faculty. Plus she does massage and private yoga sessions/parties.

Did I mention she also totally rocks?

When did you start practicing yoga? Why?

Sometime in the late-mid nineties, I returned to Seattle after going to school in Montreal. I had my degree in English Literature which naturally led me to work at a toy store. (The coolest toy store ever, Archie Mcphee, but that’s another story…)

I had free time and brain space on my hands, and needed something new to think about. My friend was taking classes at a community center, so I went along.

It was a beginner’s class, but an accelerated one intended for folks who were already “in shape.” I don’t know what led me to believe that described me. I’ll never forget the teacher kneeling beside me trying to encourage me to roll back into plough pose. All my efforts produced almost no movement, only grunting.

I do remember that I did my first handstand in that class. I actually cried out: “Jeezus!!!”

The teacher didn’t find it funny.

How has your yoga practice evolved over time?

It has definitely moved out of the realm of competition and into the realm of kindness. It took a long time. It’s still happening.

I mean, I was never going to be a super-power-vinyasa yogi, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t mistake yoga as just another way to “improve” my body.

Old habits die hard.

When you spend your teen years dieting and exercising in a punishing way, yoga can quite neatly fit into that regimen. Yoga can either change your bad habits or just give you another tool to cement them with.

Now, the asanas (poses) are a way to lavish attention on this body just as it is. And to make meditation, breathing, and just generally living a little easier.

How long have you been a yoga teacher?

Since 2003 or so. My first certification, ironically enough, was through “YogaFit.” They do trainings which take place over one weekend, which certainly opens them up to a lot of criticism in the yoga community.

And no, you can’t learn to be a yoga teacher in a weekend.

But it’s a very useful starting point for students like me, who were being nudged in the direction of teaching by a lot of sources, but were afraid of the full, Yoga Alliance approved, hundreds of hours type of commitment. It lets you know if you’re moving in the right direction.

And then I felt ready to jump in to the hundreds of hours of training I’ve done since then, knowing I liked what I was experiencing.

Truly, though, the only thing that prepares you for teaching is teaching.

Lots of it. As much as you can. Especially, when you’re starting out, offering your teaching freely to groups that might not ordinarily have access to the practice.

Do you have a home practice? What’s it like?

I believe if you don’t have a consistent home practice, you got nothing to teach.

My home practice finally started because it had to, it was a requirement of my second teacher training. There’s nothing like having to turn in a report that makes you get your practice in gear.

Since then, it’s faltered now and then, but for the most part, that’s how I teach, by making sure I practice and then teaching what I’ve found.

After confidently telling students for years that it’s more beneficial to have a shorter home practice that’s more frequent, I’ve completely changed my mind.

I do practice every morning, but by that I mean a sitting meditation and some very simple stretching.

In terms of the whiz-bang, full-on, get-down-on-it asana practice, I do that Monday/Wednesday/Friday, because I’m regimented like that. I discovered that shorter asana practices every day made me feel like I was reading a bunch of short stories, when what I wanted was to read a novel.

For me, taking a class definitely does not take the place of a home practice. Home practice is the work, class is the vacation. And as anyone who’s read my blog knows, I have a little trouble taking enough vacations.

Favorite pose?

Everyone gets a free pass or two in yoga, the poses and body parts that generally give you no complaints and are a lot of fun to wallow in. For me, that’s hips and hamstrings. So, give me a forward fold or a pigeon and I’m happy. The one pose I do every day, though, is downward dog.

Least favorite pose?

I’m not sure what you would call the opposite of your “free pass” – but for me it’s anything that requires upper body flexibility or strength. Chaturanga is the first that comes to mind, but any pose where you bind your arms (clasping hands together in a complicated way behind your torso) will find me cursing and looking for a strap.


If you’d like to learn more about Madeleine check out her new website and blog!

Stay tuned for Part 2 – MadYoga Goes Online!

Please leave any questions or comment love below – we’d love to hear from you.


November 2010: Alicia Herrera – 4th grade teacher/Textile Artist – Spirit House Designs.

October 2010: Ryan Fong – Teaching Assistant/PhD Candidate in English at UC Davis.

September 2010: Michelle Marlahan– Proprietress/Fairy Queen of It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, California.

Mrs. PartyPants

December 9th’s Prompt:

Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.


In March, I turned 40.

To celebrate some of my yoga teacher training buddies and I went on a yoga workshop weekend in Ukiah to study Balance with Mary Paffard.

I know. We know how to party!

A must stop if you are ever in Clear Lake

Once we were primed and ready (ie totally full of fried goodies) we off to Vichy Springs Resort for some soaking in the mineral pools.

An excellent way to spend an afternoon

Post soak, we hopped on down the road to meet the other YTTs for dinner at Oco Time.

Look at those lovely faces.

We chatted, we laughed, we snapped photos and drank a beer (or two).

More lovely faces.

We told jokes and talked about birthdays, age and yoga.

And then it was over.


It’s funny what a difference a decade makes.

My 30th birthday was a huge drunken bash.

I’m glad that nonsense is over now.


What’s your most memorable party this year?

(Author: Shauna Reid)

Community – A Twitter Love Letter

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?




Dear Twitter, 

I know we met in 2009, but it wasn’t really until 2010 that we solidified our relationship. I used to be a little embarrassed how much I loved reading tweets and finding out how people spend their time. I think it is because I was still trying to figure you out. 

I just didn’t get how useful people on Twitter can be. Questions about WordPress, online polls, browsers or blogging with kids? Ask and multiple answers come quickly. 

Need help planning a yoga class? All you have to do is ask. 

Want to trade stories about rock shows and cute rock stars? Twitter is the place to do it. 

Thanks for the great year! 


PS – In 2011, I’d like to meet more teachers committed to self-care and time-wasting practices like yoga, reading for pleasure and goofing off on social media.
Do you know any? 


Where are your people? Who do you want to connect with next year?

Author: Cali Harris

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 6

Each week I’ll give you links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


My Best Of…

In honor of November being National Adoption Month –

10 Misconceptions About Adoption – a must read

Thanksgiving is coming! Marissa Bracke is showing her gratitude all month with the 30 Thanks Gratitude Adventure

Ever wonder what to wear to work or how to throw an office party or organize your ever-expanding must read list? Sacramento’s The New Professional Angeline shows you how.

Is all this talk of the holidays starting to stress you out?

Yoga For Holiday Stress with Madeleine is the best yoga workshop I went to last year. I’m going again. It’s going to sell out (there are only a couple spots left even though it is still weeks away), so sign up today if you want to come.

Have you heard of Postcards from Heaven? Every month I receive a postcard with a message I need to hear. I keep these personalized messages on my desk at work to remind me what is important to me. Elizabeth is doing a December special and if you need a little pick-me-up during the busiest time of year order a set for yourself.

Brene Brown’s TEDx courtesy of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project (a goldmine!) – take the 20 minutes and watch it. She’s funny and I think she may have some of the secrets of life. Seriously.

That is the In Case You Missed It Edition for this week folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives: Volume 5Volume 4Volume 3Volume 2Volume 1

Teacher Tips: From the Yoga Mat to the Classroom


Tip #1  – Yoga Can Help Teach You Patience

School teachers need an abundance of patience. Dealing with classroom disruptions, endless meetings, the bureaucratic nature of our jobs. And let’s not forget the endless repetition of hearing your own name thousands of times a day.

Since most of us need much more patience than we naturally have, I would venture to say one would make an absolute fortune should one find a way to bottle and sell patience.

Yoga can teach you patience.

Let me rephrase that: yoga has taught me to have much more patience and I think it can help you too.

Here’s an example of how yoga has let me practice learning patience:  learning a new yoga pose gives me lots of opportunities to practice patience.

First, I have to come to grips with the physical and mental limitations of my body at the time.

My arms seem to suddenly be shorter than necessary.

My legs seem impossibly long (not in the good way).

My wrists are delicate little things when what is required is strength and flexibility.

My personal favorite: I’m tired.

Face it, some poses are just out of my reach right now.

I could get all caught up in the striving – – or I can relax and understand with practice and yes, patience, I may find that pose becomes easier over time.

Tip #2 – Yoga Can Heighten Your Sense of Patterns and Deepen Your Awareness

In my first few years of teaching, I pretty much abandoned all activities that weren’t directly related to school.

Big mistake.

I thought by creating a laser-like focus on my job, I’d somehow skip over the learning process of becoming a teacher. Mostly, I just burnt myself out.

Since I started practicing yoga on a regular basis, my teaching has dramatically improved.

By stepping away from the classroom, I’ve been able to notice patterns of behavior – mine and theirs.

The time away has given me insights into how my mood, stress level and attitude is reflected in my students. I was able to see that I get back what I put out there.

Time on the mat has also freed up space in my brain to see behavior triggers and stop them before they become an issue.

It’s not that I’m spending all this time on my mat thinking about work either.

It’s like when you are working, working, working on a problem and then you get up to take a walk. You clear your mind and suddenly the answer comes to you while you’re walking. That happens all the time on my mat.

One last lesson I’ve learned from yoga about patterns:

Everything changes.

The good things are temporary.

The impossible-to-stand-for-even-a-second-longers are also temporary.

Tip #3 – Breathing Is A Good Thing

One of the many things I’ve been reminded of over and over during my Fred Jones Classroom Management training this year is the importance of two relaxing breaths.

Pausing to take two relaxing breaths before you take on any teaching situation can help everything (including you!) stay calmer.

According to Fred Jones, “Calm is strength.”

How has yoga or another activity helped you at work?


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Yoga Goes to University – Part 2 – Ryan Fong, Yogi


Don’t you just love them?   

I know I do.   

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.   

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.   

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my new series of interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.   

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!   

In case you missed PART ONE with Ryan Fong.

When did you start practicing yoga?

My first yoga class was probably 8-10 years ago now, when I took an intro series at the now-closed Free Spirit Studio.  In the years since, I have wandered on and off the mat at various points.  But in this last round, I’ve been practicing at It’s All Yoga since June of 2009.

Why did you start practicing yoga?

I initially started coming to yoga in search of an exercise program that would work for me.  I wanted something that would help cultivate both flexibility and strength, and I was also looking for a form of exercise that didn’t feel like punishment. 

As a very overweight person, traditional gyms have been an incredibly toxic environment for me because I find their overall philosophy to be about beating your body in to submission in order to achieve a supposed physical ideal.  Whenever I walked into one, I always felt incredibly self-conscious about my body and weight, and always felt like I didn’t belong. 

As I became more familiar with yoga, I was intrigued by the way that it encouraged you to inhabit and honor your body–and the importance of attending to your mind and spirit as a crucial part of self-care.

For me, yoga brings the right balance: a strength building discipline that is also about getting your body, mind and soul all in better “shape.”

Where did you practice?

I’ve practiced at Free Spirit Studio and Shanti Studio, both of which are now closed.  My yoga home is now It’s All Yoga.

How has your practice evolved over time?

In reading over my answer to question six, I’m realizing that I probably wouldn’t have even been able to think of yoga in those terms when I first started, or more accurately, to really believe them. 

Throughout my practice, I’ve struggled with feelings of competitiveness and with releasing the negative thoughts of “You need to sweat and work harder and hold this pose because you’re a bad person for eating those cookies and getting so fat.” 

There was a time when I couldn’t practice in the same room as my partner because I would get so steaming mad when he could do a pose that I had mentally deemed “impossible” and “only for the super bendy.” 

Much of shifting away from that mindset has been in learning about the facets of yoga that go beyond the poses.  It has also been about finding a yoga home where I’ve learned how to not necessarily silence the committee of howling negativity monkeys in my head, but at least to not give them so much power.  I’m slowly getting more comfortable in my own skin (which probably has a lot to do with being 30 instead of 20!), and I’ve come to see the place of yoga in my life as less of an activity and more as a way of being.

Do you have a home practice? What is it like? How often? Where? How’d you start and how do you keep at it?

I wish I had a regular home practice.  I’m still struggling with that. 

Right now, I’m focusing on a regular home meditation practice that I do every morning.  I got a Zafu for my birthday, and I think it’s really going to help facilitate that.  Finding a good space has been a bit of a challenge, as the living room is the only place in the house that works but at the same time, it doesn’t feel quite right.  I’m trying to just let it be and not wait for things to be “perfect” to start on it thought. 

My intention right now and for the near future is to just sit my butt on my Zafu and meditate for 10-15 minutes each morning.  That, in and of itself, is a challenging edge for me to work with.

What’s your favorite pose? Why?

Because I’ve really come to see Nataraja as a personal icon and spiritual avatar, I love Lord of the Dance. {You can read more about that on my blog}

I also have really tight hips, so going into Figure 4 at the wall and pigeon are some of the most opening poses for me.  A prop laden Savasana after a more active practice is heaven. 

Pretty much anything involving props is a good thing. {I couldn’t agree more!}

What’s your least favorite pose?

I hate Happy Baby.  In my head, I call it Angry Baby. 

My ample stomach doesn’t allow me to grip my feet or even my shins, and so the howler monkey committee can really get going when everyone else is blissing out.  (Of course, that in itself a big fat story of negative self-talk: thinking I am the only one in the whole room who is experiencing challenge in a pose.) 

Plus, holding my legs up like that just fatigues my ab muscles and puts a lot of tension and strain into my upper shoulders.

How do you bring your yoga practice into your teaching practice?
How does your teaching practice influence your yoga practice?

Both of these questions are a little difficult to answer, because I’ve tended not to think of them together.  I’ve thought a lot about the relationship between my yoga practice and the process of writing my dissertation.  They truly represent the yin and the yang in my life and my quest for balance.  A lot of my stuff shows up when I’m on the mat and when I’m writing at my computer, and so there’s a lot of interplay between both spaces of work. 

In graduate school, we are encouraged to think of teaching a the compartmentalized thing we do to get paid.  It’s the thing that we have to do in order to do the thing that’s actually valuable (meaning, our research, which will allegedly be the thing were most judged on in the academy). 

I’ve tried to cultivate a greater sense of investment in my teaching than that–by teaching things that I’m interested in and pieces of literature I’m passionate about–but it’s hard to think about teaching being as central to my life as either writing or yoga.  That’s more than a little ironic given that I’m in this to eventually get a teaching position at a college or university. 

I hadn’t realized how much I had absorbed the research-centric focus of the university until just now.  It’s a bit embarrassing to be honest.  I can say though that this answer certainly has cultivated a greater awareness of the way I categorize and create boundaries around different parts of my life and work.

Please leave any questions or comment love below:     

If you want to learn more about Ryan Deep Homework and Two of Us Riding Somewhere.



September 2010: Michelle Marlahan– Proprietress/Fairy Queen of It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, California.

Yoga Goes to University – An Interview with Ryan Fong


Don’t you just love them?   

I know I do.   

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.   

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.   

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my new series of interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.   

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!   

Ryan Fong is October’s Featured Teacher. I met Ryan at the studio and we went on a yoga retreat together this summer.

What and where do you teach?

I teach English literature and composition at UC Davis. 

This quarter, though, I’m a teaching assistant for a Women and Gender Studies course, which is a bit of a change.  It’s the introductory level course, so it’s a big 200 person lecture, but I have two 25-student discussion sections were we get to work through the history of feminism and think about the role of gender in our daily lives, especially as it intersects with other facets of our identity.

What is your teaching history?

I still feel relatively new to teaching, even though I’ve been doing it for quite a while now.  My first “official” teaching happened when I was a TA as an undergrad, where I assisted in both English and Sociology classes. 

As a graduate student at UC Davis, they start us out at TAs for literature classes for majors and then let us teach our own courses for the remainder of our time there.  That’s where I’ve taught both Introduction to Literature and freshman writing.

What brought you to teaching?

One of my big mentors growing up was my aunt, who was a high school English teacher and is now the Executive Director of the California Writing Project.  She was the one who would always buy me books for Christmas and birthdays growing up, and she really instilled a love of language and learning in me. 

My family is generally filled with teachers, so when I decided a long time ago in about 7th or 8th grade that I wanted to be a teacher, I got a lot of support.  My parents are both pretty avid readers, and would read to me when I was a kid. 

When I went to college, I decided I wanted to be an English professor, because I loved the freedom and intellectual rigor of the university classroom.  I went to a small liberal arts school where teacher-student interaction was and is really prized, and I decided that creating the kind of rich classroom environments I found there was what I wanted to do. 

Now that I am reaching the end of my graduate student career, I’m facing the realization that being a professor will ultimately not be up to me, based on how the economy is looking and the realities of an incredibly competitive academic job market.  Nevertheless, I know in one way or another, teaching (in the largest sense) is my calling.

Tell us about your blog

I actually have two blogs. 

The first—Two Of Us Riding Somewhere – – is a blog that I started recently to record my 30th birthday roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest with my partner.  It’s been so much fun, and I think it will be a regularly maintained blog that will record our experiences traveling, eating, and seeing natural and urban wonders!

My second blog Deep Homework.  

This is a much more personal blog that is focused on issues of spiritual growth and my quest for balance and well-being.

About a year ago now, I had a tarot reading with my uncle’s partner, Greg — a reading that was prompted by the changing of the seasons and the shift from fall into winter.  It was a cold day out in San Francisco, and I was feeling like I was on the cusp of a big change.  At the same time, I felt like I was incredibly stuck. 

What came out in the reading was that I could either slip into the quietude of sameness and continue to be stuck in my old patterns or I could embrace the process of engaging in what Greg called “deep homework.” 

The result of that homework, the reading portended, was nothing short of a radical rebirth and transformation.  I started the blog as one part of my effort to do that “deep homework.”  

Being a classic extrovert, I need to write and talk to actually know what I’m thinking and to give the endless circles of conversation in my head some direction and shape.  The blog has thus become a place to really work through my stuff in writing, while also exploring my new discoveries in yoga, meditation and Eastern spirituality.  

What other blogs do your read? Why?

I read your blog {awww…} and Michelle’s blog with regularity and occasionally I drift on to other people’s blogs from the studio.  {see the TGBTS Yoga Story links} Since my blog is so yoga based, I like reading other blogs that are using the sphere to explore those particular issues.

As a foodie, I’ll also come in and out of browsing food blogs like Bakerella, Pioneer Woman Cooks and Prudence Pennywise.  My two favorite local food blogs are Sac Food In the Hood and one by my cousin-in-law, Out of the Kitchen.

Who and what inspires you?

I have many people who inspire me. 

  • My partner, Eric, inspires me to see myself in the way that he sees me—with unconditional love and compassion. 
  • My uncle is an inspiration for a life lived well and very mindfully.  He’s a friend, mentor, and model in addition to being my blood relative. 
  • I’m inspired, as I think many of us at IAY are, by the way the community there supports us in experiencing the challenges and joys of really embracing it *all* as yoga. 
  • But mostly, I’m inspired by the universe’s generosity in giving us this present moment to do and be right.  Not right as in correct, but as in right here, right now and just right. 

Please leave any questions or comment love below:     

If you want to learn more about Ryan Deep Homework and Two of Us Riding Somewhere.

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Ryan is  a Yogi!


September 2010: Michelle Marlahan– Proprietress/Fairy Queen of It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, California.

Back to School Is the Perfect Time for Resolutions

It’s that time again… back to school.

Back to school for kids means buying new school supplies, daydreaming about their new teacher and getting up early. For teachers it can be a perfect time to renew and refresh your teacher tool belt.

Every year I make new school year resolutions and this year is no different.

This year I have decided to work on my classroom management.

My goal for this year:

Work from the positive, reinforce appropriate student behavior, and help students struggling with appropriate behavior make better choices.

In other words:

I don’t want to be such a grouch, I want to enjoy my well-behaved kids and stop the knucklehead behaviors in their tracks,  preferably before they start.

Oh and I want to do this without raising my blood pressure.

Tall order I know.

Reflecting on what has worked well in previous years and what needs refinement, I’ve decided to brush up on tried and true methods for classroom management and student discipline.

Today I participated in a brush-up course on the methods taught in Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones. After the training I was inspired to dig out my copy from the bag I’d stashed it in back in June {Apparently, this new-school-year resolution was on my mind when I left my classroom for the summer}.

With chapters like “Being Consistent”, “Staying Calm” and “Keeping It Positive, Keeping It Cheap” this book is a treasure trove of simple to implement lessons to teach and reinforce appropriate classroom behavior.

My favorite parts of the keeping calm are the deep breathing exercises. What a great reminder of how you can incorporate your yoga practice {or start one!} right in your classroom.

If you’ve never read Tools for Teaching, please stop what you are doing {ok, finish this post first} and order yourself a copy or check it out here for free. Be sure to check out the illustration on page 176. I may or may not have been the model.

Do you have any classroom management tips that consistently work with your class? How do you keep your sanity during the school year?


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Please leave me a comment and let me in on your secrets.

The View from My Mat

I returned to my mat today. 

It’s been a month of some stretches here and there and an occasional legs-up-the-wall, but no formal “yoga” and no class. 

We practiced outside this unseasonably cool morning. 

Here’s the view from my mat. 

Ahhh, blue skies.


I spent some time just laying on my back enjoying the story Michelle told about the airplanes, bald eagles and a little green plastic purse. 

Side view - post Savasana 

While I was on my mat this morning, I remembered why I practice: 

-to be in the moment 

– to connect with myself and those around me 

– to quiet my mind. 

I wish I’d remembered all this while I was jet-lagged this week. 

Maybe I’ll remember next time. 

It sure is nice to be home. 

Why do you practice? 

What helps you feel at home?