Kids Yoga New Year Smart Goals

The last week of the year is a time for rest and reflection. It’s quite an exercise to remember all that happened during the year. I go through each month mentally to remind myself of where I’ve been and where I’m going for the year ahead.

This year started with the significant loss of my beloved 100 year old Granny. I was the privileged one to be there for her last breath in the night. February was a blur, but we celebrated her life in March. The spring ushered in an intern from France who helped me launch the IYK® Sports training program. In summer, my daughter was home from college. We hosted IYK® Camps and traveled to see my parents in SoCal. Fall was a flurry with new school year programs starting, and now, holidays are here. And the birthdays…yes, another year.

It seems, the older I get the faster time goes. Did my wishes for the year come true? This brings me to the idea of intentions and goals. Some things stay the same for me year after year and some things change. Some things are in my control, and some things aren’t. Did I do my best? Yes, I did, with what I had. Do you I have more to do. OH YES, I DO!

In yoga, we often set intentions at the beginning of class. An intention is an inwardly expressed idea of what you want for this experience like to stretch, release tension or feel stronger and calmer. Intentions are open-ended, they include a bit of wishing and wonder.

Goals are often expressed outwardly, they are specific and measurable. They’re also more absolute, you either reach them, or you don’t. How do you make your wishes come true? Through action. It’s not enough to know what you want, you must actively move toward it. Even if you fall short, you are getting closer.

For me, I hold intentions for myself, and my relationships, as well as goals, both short-term and long-term, so I can make my wishes come true. This is the SMART way to achieve and lead like a STAR! How about you?

Get the FREE GUIDE How To Make Your Wishes Come True: 3 strategies to get the confidence and resilience you need to have what you want, everyday.

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Yoga Secret to Giving and Receiving Best Gifts

Do you agonize over the perfect gift?…There’s a lot to unwrap with our Happiness Lab experts.

First things first, remember why we give gifts: we feel better when we give to others. However, people who get gifts don’t always appreciate the thought that was put into giving them. Seeing the recipient’s response is key because it draws you closer to the receiver which satisfies a relational need.

Here are a few secrets to satisfying gift giving and receiving:

1. Give them what they want! Instead of guessing, and risking getting it wrong, which is extra deflating, get it right by asking them what they want. No surprise here: no one wants to pretend they love a present they don’t need.

2. If you are giving money…have a conversation about how you spent it to get the well-being boost on both sides. Including a card with a personalized note makes it all the more meaningful.

3. The best gifts are shared experiences. Co-experiences like Family Yoga are ideal. Nothing can replace coming together. According to research, gifts of frequency are better than intensity. Spreading gifts out over time creates anticipation and ongoing connection. We need things to look forward to.

Ultimately, gift giving and receiving is about listening. When you take the time to connect, and respect, what your partner, parents and kiddos want, life is better. That’s why Santa’s List is so important and so helpful. Do drop heavy hints and give the gift of health and happiness this year.

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Yoga Celebrate the Season and Stress Less

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and the most stressful. “Growing up means realizing that holiday magic was actually the women in your family working their asses off to make everything perfect.” @theskimm

Like Rudolph, let’s shine a light on it. ‘Tis the season…to have temporary feelings of anxiety and depression. Yep, 38% of people say their stress increases around the holidays.

Here are 3 ways to celebrate more and stress less this holiday season:

1. Decide what you are - and are not - going to do. From holiday cards and decorating, cooking and baking to gift giving and shipping, all by a certain date…it’a A LOT! Ask yourself what matters most and only do that. Drop whatever doesn’t light you up.

2. Delegate anything that’s really important to you, and your family, but doesn’t make you happy. This is what partners and family members are for. Let go of it being done a certain way and just let them do it! They will feel accomplished and you will feel relieved. That’s a win-win!

3. Dedicate some time for yourself everyday. My 10-minute morning meditation makes my day. I also listen to my favorite music which sets a tone. I have a few different playlists depending on my mood. Of course, do yoga! Even 15 minutes of sun salutations can turn you upside down and inside out. What better way to burn some energy, invigorate yourself and gain a new perspective?

While the holidays demand a lot of tasks, they can also bring up a lot of feelings. Pay close attention to how you feel and keep a Miracle Of The Day journal to highlight your wins before your head hits the pillow at night. Celebrating YOU is the right thing to do!

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Family Yoga Thanksgiving Diaper Drive

Research shows giving and a gratitude practice are linked to a greater sense of satisfaction and happiness. Here are 2 simple ways to make appreciation a habit in your family.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Get a notebook and place it by the bedstead to write down 3 things you are grateful for each day. Kids are most grateful for people in their lives, like parents, teachers and friends. They are also thankful for simple pleasures like toys, and even necessities, like food and diapers.

Donate to Those In Need

Giving creates the good vibes! Access to diapers was a huge pandemic problem that has persisted for many. Those who can’t afford diapers find that hardship to be more stressful than food or housing insecurity.

Last year, we donated $5,370 dollars equal to over 420 packs - that's 12,600 diapers to those in need so we are doing it again. We created our second annual Thanksgiving Diaper Drive to benefit Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco with our community partners, Earth Baby REDYPER and Natural Resources. Like traditional diaper services, REDYPER™ Powered by EarthBaby delivers fresh new diapers and wipes right to your doorstep without the waste.

Have fun and help others! Bring a pack of diapers to donate at our IYK® Thanksgiving Family Event on Sunday, November 20 or drop a pack at Natural Resources through December 20.

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Kids Yoga National Stress Awareness Day

Today is National Stress Awareness Day. Yay! I feel like celebrating because bringing attention to how to handle stress is what I do everyday. Nearly 95% of disease is caused by stress so it’s super important to know how to handle it.

Here are 3 strategies for you and the kids:

1. Name it to tame it.

I’ve taught this for years. Knowing your feelings is critical to making sure they don’t go wild! Teach kids and model the four basic feelings: happy, sad, mad and calm.

2. Feel it to free it.

Once you name your feeling, allow yourself to feel it. We often try to resist negative feelings, but this effort only makes them bigger. Instead, embrace the feeling as if it were a loving friend. Listen to it, and ironically, that frees it.

3. Now flip it! Flip it good!

Once a feeling is fully felt, it can be released. This is why we like going upside-down in yoga. We can apply that idea to our thoughts too. The key word is “even though.” Even though I feel sad right now, I know it’s temporary and I will feel glad again. Then, direct your focus to a more positive thought. 

This mindfulness exercise takes practice. Join me for a class or a training and I’ll show you how.

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