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By Melody Lima


I started writing about yoga several years for a local blog with a Kids Yoga article.

I offered yoga as an essential back to school supply.

My daughter starts sixth grade today. My back to school anxiety is high. We have all the pens, folders, shoes and paper required by our district and she is in a classroom with a teacher we are hopeful will provide academics my daughter does not find boring. We are prepared and as ready as a long, hot summer can prepare us.

The language of school often brings my anxiety on: just right books, core curriculum, inclusive classrooms, standardized tests, data, flash drives, iPhones, fundraising, parent community, updated technology and “Why can’t I wear makeup to school?”

For parents like me, who may be seeking a back to school supply for themselves, I offer these yoga essentials.

It all starts with the breath. Pranayama is a breathing practice, the extension of the life force. Without the breath there is no yoga and there is no life.

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.
Conscious breathing is my anchor.
~Thích Nhất Hạnh

All we need are a few inhales and exhales through the nose to help us stay grounded, anchored and non-reactive to some of the back to school’s details. Try it seated or standing or driving in your car to an after school activity.

One of favorite breathing practices is to count breaths. Count one—inhale, exhale. Count two—inhale, exhale, etc. If you get distracted or forget what number you’re on, start all over again. This is easy, accessible and great for everybody.

Get up and move, move, move in any way that feels good to you. Yes those lying on the beach days are over. Try Sun Salutes, a few standing poses (Warrior 1, 2, 3) add in some twists and Namaste. Just 10-15 minutes of asana does a body, mind and soul good.

Remember to practice some balancing poses. Practice tree poses, side plank or half-moon pose; any practitioner will find them accessible and an easy fit on the mat. If you need some support add the wall, blocks or even a chair. Balancing poses bring our cosmic waddle onto the mat and help us to observe that we are far from perfect. They are great strength builders too.

Then come back down to the mat and sit.

A few stretchy poses: butterfly (Baddah Konasana), seatted staff pose (Dandasana) or a seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana) help to relieve lots of leg and back tension. They are very calming too.

Now for the best part of yoga—rest. There are lots of choices too: meditation, more pranayama, chanting, singing or all out Savasana. Give yourself the self-care you require at the moment, it will come to you without much effort.

I love a little quip, story or quite to finish practice, some words of inspirations I can carry with me throughout the day.

Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.
~Dr. Wayne Dyer

Then honor all those who practice with you, before you and who have yet to practice with you. Because without each other to experience all this back to school stuff with, we are simply counted pencils.

Remember to keep it simple and fun; back to school yoga is not only for the kids.



Photo: (source)

Editor: Dana Gornall