sunday, may 1st, 2011 – brett teaches a weekly meditation class sunday evenings from 6-7pm at a fishers, indiana yoga studio called: flourish yoga (http://www.flourishyoga.biz).
so, i am flying solo on this first familyoga session. and, i’m excited. i feel like i have been preparing all day(mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually) for the practice this evening.
around 7:00pm, the girls and i gather together to begin our necessary preparations. as they tidy themselves up, i turn the living room into the familyoga studio. each child has her own mat (i would still like to acquire a few more mats because sophia is using one of mine that i use for outdoor yoga practice….and it’s dirty). our small living room is proving to be a challenge – though not an insurmountable one. it would be swell to have more space for our practice; our mats are literally touching side by side, but, we are good at making do.
so,we begin with a few moments of mindfulness. within minutes, sophia farts. all the girls laugh, clutching their bellies, rolling around on the floor laughing. i smile and acknowledge the funniness of the fart – and tell the girls that yes, people often fart in yoga classes. honestly, when i started this blog, i did not know that i would be writing so much about flatulence. such is life.
i want to teach them sun salutation c (surya namaskar). i would eventually like us to be able to do 3 sun salutations in a row. the girls did a great job learning the sequence. they improved more and more each night that we practiced. we haven’t been able to do 3 yet. we’ve stopped after 2 repetitions of the sequence. as you might expect, the girls make minor mistakes that we are trying to correct – half the time, at least one of the girls steps left foot back, instead of right foot (or vice versa). they struggle with the low lunge (someone almost always tips over) and the plank pose, and with lowering their knees, chest, and chin to the mat. i try to respectfully remind isabel to lengthen. she tends to stay twisted and bent, rounded and closed-in. she is not fond of opening; and she is very good at resisting.
after the sun salutations, we moved into conscious breathing or breath control (pranayama). during the mindful breathing portion of our time together – they seemed to try to hard or not try hard enough. the girls who were trying to hard were gasping, sucking in their belly as they inhaled and puffing their bellies out as they exhaled – exactly what i don’t want them to do. the daughter who wasn’t trying, was slouched over and giving me dirty looks. so, we tried “breath of fire” (kapalabhati ). they like this one. sophia is cute doing this – oh boy! she takes this one seriously. she fixes her gaze and pumps her little belly with so much enthusiasm that she actually scoots across her mat. it’s hilarious! the other girls enjoy this pranayama exercise too. we all lift our shirts to show our bellies and watch each other pump, pump, pump our bellies. and, at this point in the practice, our familyoga session began to resemble a game of pick-up basketball, with two teams: the shirts and the skins! amara and sophia decided that their yoga practice is better with their shirts off. 🙂
finally, my intention was to conclude each familyoga session with 10 minutes of meditation. i soon realized that that was not going to work out very well until we are more established in the practice and in our expectations of each other. so, final relaxation (savasana) will be our last offering in our sessions together for the time being. we laid down on our mats. isabel is so bony that her spine hurts when she lays on the mat….so, i provided her with an extra blanket and more cushion for her pose. during savasana, it was relatively peaceful. there was some snickering and giggling. there was some, “mom, she’s touching me, or “mom, she’s kicking me,” or “mom, she’s looking at me.” i tried to keep my voice calm, redirect when necessary, and lead them through a progressive relaxation of their bodies. then, at the perfect moment, brett came home from his class. he quietly walked in the room, set down his stuff, kneeled down next to sasha’s head, and began to massage her temples, forehead and scalp. neither brett or i planned on doing this, but it was such a peaceful and loving gesture, that i followed suit. i knelt down next to isabel’s head and gently massaged her. after a few minutes, brett and i moved on to massage amara and sophia. aaaah – peace and relaxation reign (for the time being).
we ended in a comfortable seated position and singing the closing prayer that i end all of my yoga classes with: “i want everyone, in all the world, to be happy. shanti shanti shanti.” brett and the girls sang with me (except for isabel), but that’s ok. i want her to be happy too.
up next: brett promises that he’s going to write a post (maybe tonight!)