Yoga Dads

Dads do yoga! This may be a surprise because mostly Moms do yoga. Women account for 72% of yoga practitioners and out number men 3 to 1. What brings Dads to yoga and keeps them coming back?

Moms. Most often, we see Dads because Mom is taking the morning off and she’s scheduled Dad to take the kids to Family Yoga. They arrive and wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into. Most of the time their expectations are low. Then, they’re surprised. Here’s what we’ve noticed when kids come to yoga with Dad.

Dads seem more relaxed about their kids (perceived) performance in yoga. Is it because there is no winner or loser in this activity? Is it because they don’t know what to expect so they just go with the flow? Either way, it works. Kids are free to be and Dad’s are too. The energy is often lighter and that makes it easier to take on challenges.

Dads appreciate yoga more than they expected. They recognize how inflexible they may be in their bodies and maybe in their minds too. For many, it’s their first time trying yoga. Coming with their kids shifts the intention to curiosity. IYK offers a balanced sequence of achievable and reachable postures so the experience is neither too easy nor too hard.

Dads like to play! The light-hearted nature of learning yoga poses from beginner to advanced equalizes the experience and offers an entry point for all levels. Everyone can find their body, mind and heart in yoga which makes it both educational and enjoyable.

Kids are delighted to share yoga with both mom and dad, and often extended family members join too. Teaching Family Yoga is so delightful! It’s a class that offers something for everyone. I’m often moved to laughter - and to tears - at the meaningful moments I’ve witnessed between family members. Happy Father’s Day, Dads!

Oh, and I just saw this: Why Online Yoga is a Must for Dads

Yoga makes the Covid Cut

Lately, I’ve been having this conversation with myself. It starts with the question, “Does this (whatever is in front of me) make The Covid Cut?” While it started simply with items in closets and drawers it has evolved into much more including how I handle situations. As a yogi, I was already living life pretty cleanly, but as the pandemic dredged on, I found this concept moving more and more into various areas of my life.

It showed up with friends. Who was, and was not, showing up during this challenging time? How hard was I willing to work to maintain vintage relationships? What had I, or we, outgrown? What required repair? What required letting go? Like the first layer of items in the house, what no longer fit was becoming clear. Interestingly, the friends who were showing up shared the same experiences within their circles too. It was also widely documented in families - often related to differing political views during the election and with social justice. It was painful and led to a lot of grieving - after the arguing - resulting in more Covid losses.

Instead of resisting it, I began to embrace the idea of, “What makes The Covid Cut?” in everything! Food. Drink. Conversations. Complaints. Ways of being. What is no longer serving me? What do I want to leave behind by choice? This is an ongoing process that I am curious about and it’s improving the way I overcome challenges. It’s the deepest Spring Cleaning I can do - within myself.

Yoga will always make the cut for me. The practice on the mat reveals the physical, mental, and emotional cleaning of my own thoughts, feelings and actions off the mat. For that, I’m forever grateful. This practice makes life better. I’m not always feeling happy and free, but the more I practice, the closer I get. I’d love to hear what does or does not make The Covid Cut in your life.

BE READY TO CHANGE LIVES. Yoga and sports go together.

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Coaching Corps! We are mission aligned. It’s Yoga Kids’ mission is to overcome difficulties and Be a Positive Force. Coaching Corps’ mission is to ensure kids in under-resourced communities can benefit from the positive impact coaches can have on their life through sports.

Yoga helps youth athletes in 3 ways:

Injuries. More than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger get hurt annually playing sports or participating in recreational activities. Recent reports from UCSF show injury rates are up as kids re-engage their bodies after being sedentary during Covid. Yoga helps physically with:

  • Prevent injuries by understanding strength and flexibility ratios
  • Reduce injuries by understanding proper range of motion
  • Recover from injuries understanding how to manage edges in healing

Focus. Sports are a mental game not just a physical one. Getting into the mental zone of performance is what many players know is the key to success. Your attitude determines your altitude. How high can you go depends on your mindset. Yoga helps mentally with:

  • Attention - it's your greatest asset because it improves performance!
  • Awareness of the body / brain connection for protection
  • Knowing your edges and how to manage them

Heart. Playing with heart is why we play! Winning and losing is part of the game. But it’s just a game, it’s not who you are. It’s a way to grow and learn together. What we learn in sports and yoga applies directly to our everyday lives and wellness in the world. Yoga helps emotionally with:

  • Inclusiveness through kindness and teamwork
  • Advocacy through voice and leadership
  • Confidence and resilience to be your best

We’ll see you on the court or on the field. Let’s GO coaches! Learn how to incorporate yoga into your coaching skillset with our upcoming IYK Smart Sports for Peak Performers workshop

Happy Mother’s Day! To be celebrated for one day is remarkable given everything moms do EVERYDAY! This video is my All. Time. Favorite!

How do you enjoy Mother’s Day? There are several ways to appreciate and be appreciated. In my extended family, one mother likes to do her own thing - be alone with a spa day or hike in peace. Another wants to be surrounded by family with kids making breakfast in bed and receiving kid-made love notes. Some want lavish gifts and others want to have a moms-only champagne brunch or dinner date.

I’ve found I like a combination. Each year is a bit different. No breakfast in bed for me. I learned that well-intended meal required a lot of clean up! I enjoy teaching the Mother’s Day yoga class for littles and for big kids. When the toddlers love and appreciate mom, it’s super sweet! When the teens attend yoga FOR mom, they end up enjoying the experience more than they expected. That’s a treat!

Appreciation is the center; when we express that regularly, everyday feels like Mother’s Day to me. I’ve learned that what I model is what gets reflected back to me so I make an effort to share what I’m grateful for including the mothers in my family - and everywhere. Working mothers have been hit especially hard lately. Eliminating in person school instruction and requiring distance learning with limited child care options has caused a mass exodus of women from the workforce. Women also do a majority of the household and caregiving work. A new study shows that when fathers or partners do even just 40% of the caregiving work at home, women left the workforce at much lower rates. 

President Biden has big plans for child care, family care, and health care. Case in point: his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan. It includes a proposal for universal preschool and tuition-free community college. Biden's also pushing for paid family and medical leave, an extension of the child tax credit, and investment in historically Black colleges. The job that no one can imagine taking without pay. And this video was pre-Covid! Let’s offer support to all mothers and celebrate one another. Big love all around for all they do!

Yoga at Home

Guest post by Gabriel Patel

In one way or another, COVID-19 has affected everyone’s lives, and if you were usually up bright and early to hit the gym or yoga studio before work, you might be worried that your fitness journey has been derailed, even as some places have reopened. But it’s possible to recreate your family’s workout routines and yoga classes in your own home. Check out these resources for helpful advice on choosing the right gear, challenging home workouts, and taking time for self-care.

Home Gym Setup

Once you choose the right spot in your home for your gym, you can purchase all the gear you need to get started working out.

Workout Plans

Whether you’re interested in cardio, strength training, or yoga, you’ll need to put a fitness plan together.

Body and Mind

Exercise is an effective stress reliever, but there are other ways to reduce anxiety.

Nourish Your Body

You’ll get a lot more out of your fitness routine if you pair it with healthy eating.

With your social calendar cleared and many businesses still closed, you’re probably spending more time at home than ever before, so it’s the perfect opportunity to set up a home gym, commit to a yoga routine, and put your own self-care first. With these resources, you’ll have no problem staying in great shape as we ride out the pandemic.

Photo Source: Pexels

Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!