Lessons from an almost 4-year-old

In September last year (2017) a friend from the Bay Area was visiting with his almost 4-year-old (who is now 4!).

Our little friend has been practicing yoga for some time now at her day care. She loves it.

When she comes to visit she gets excited to see my yoga props and asks if she can use them. Of course!

I have a singing bowl that I use and play in my yoga classes. The bowl was sitting on a shelf and she was playing with it.

Think about how an almost 4-year-old would bang (or I mean, play) the singing bowl … She was banging the striker (wooden stick) against it and not holding it in a proper way.

I asked her if she could please play it “this way.” And I showed her how I wanted her to play the bowl.

She responded: Well, my yoga teacher has one of these and this is how she plays it.

I responded: I understand that. But this is my bowl and I am asking … Continue reading

Can the breath cure hiccups?

breathing1I recently got the hiccups. I decided to do some research on why we get them. They are such a nuisance, aren’t they?

Curt recommended me doing research on a yoga pose that helps stop hiccups. Why didn’t I think of that?

First, what is  a hiccup?

According to Medical News Today, a hiccup occurs when the diaphragm suddenly contracts involuntarily, while at the same time the larynx (voice box) contracts too and the glottis closes, effective blocking the flow of air.

Why do we get hiccups?

The Science Museum says that there doesn’t seem to be any known function of hiccups in the body. … Hiccups once served a purpose in the animals we evolved from. … One idea is that the hiccup evolved to help our four-legged ancestors to swallow food that got stuck in their throats. Where we have the luxury of gravity helping food down, quadrupeds (animals that walk on all fours) have to shift their food horizontally to get it from their mouths to their stomachs. This means it’s easier for lumps of … Continue reading

Yoga pose: Child’s Pose

Earlier this week I wrote about dealing with grief and yoga.

One of the poses (Child’s Pose) is part of the mini practice I found and shared on Monday as well.

A few of my co-workers and I did a mini yoga practice yesterday. My friend Maria lead a short little meditative relaxing practice. And I lead the group through breathing; kneeling; Child’s Pose; Cow Pose; Downward Facing Dog; Cow Pose; Child Pose; back to kneeling.

There are so many amazing benefits with Child’s Pose as with all yoga poses.

The Yoga Journal website lists the benefits of this pose.

The anatomical focus according to the site is thighs. But I think it is also a gentle hip opener.

Therapeutic application: stress; overall benefits: Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles and calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue and relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.

This is a great beginner’s tip: We usually don’t breathe consciously and fully into the back of the torso. Balasana provides us with an excellent opportunity to do just that. Imagine that each inhalation is “doming” the back torso toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the … Continue reading