Friday, October 30, 2015

Yoga With Children

My husband and I were visiting with our son's family, and as we stood around the kitchen counter with the family, I mentioned that I wanted to do yoga each day during our visit.  I was excited that my granddaughters immediately said they wanted to join me. However, I was surprised the next morning when all the children joined in, even the 2 year! And what surprised me the most was the 5 year old boy, who kept saying throughout the day "I want to do yoga again" or "when can we do yoga again?". It was so much fun!

We did a slow vinyasa flow each morning, plus a few other poses. Here are the things that worked:

1. Keep it short. Aim for 10-15 minutes, but let the children's attention determine the length of practice.

2. Stand in a circle, so they can see each other and have fun.

3. Describe the poses and the transitions between them, with as much detail as possible. Be ready to stop and assist when ever they ask. Encourage them to implement your yoga "suggestions" in what ever way they interpret long as it's safe!

4. Liken the poses and movements to animals, or other creatures. Be ready to explain or laugh at the names of poses! Acknowledge and celebrate the names and comparisons they come up with.

5. Let the children remind you of the joy of being present, fully engaged. Be amazed along with them. One little granddaughter was amazed when she tried clasping her hands together behind her, with the opposite thumb from what she usually uses, on top. "I didn't even know you could do that!"

Lots more great ideas in the BodhiKids portion of Bodhi Teacher Training. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Image from

Early in my mothering years, I became a childbirth educator with the Association for Childbirth at Home International (ACHI). I loved everything to do with childbirth so much, and I thought I wanted to become a midwife. I pursued this course, studying and assisting as a birth attendant at many births. After a couple of years I realized this was not my path and moved on to other pursuits. However, pregnancy and birth have continued to be one of my great passions. The things I learned and taught helped me with bringing my 5 children to light, and have continued to serve as I've assited my daughters and friends as a doula, during their pregnancies and births.

Now with my yoga teacher training, I can bring these two passions of mine to work together. Yoga is a wonderful and safe way to prepare for birth and mothering. It teaches you ways to strengthen and relax your body, and can help relieve some of the discomforts of pregnancy.

I am very excited for Bodhi Yoga's Prenatal program, it will provide great support for mothers and their partners! There is an upcoming workshop, November 7, 14 and 21st, 1-3 PM.

Pregnancy is not just nine months before a woman gives birth, it is a very physical metaphor that is preparing her for the mothering she will be doing for the rest of her life and the relationship she will share with her child.  Bodhi Yoga’s pre-natal workshops and classes hold the space for she and her partner in a way that supports a yogic approach to pregnancy, childbirth and parenting in a uniquely transformative way.
Syl Carson-Bodhi Yoga Founding Director 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bodhi Living Movement

Frances doing Bodhi Living Movement
Living Movement is a very unique practice offered at the Provo Bodhi Center Wednesdays and Fridays 10:15-11 AM. 

On the Bodhi Yoga website it is described this way:

Your morning stretch, combined with meditative, conscious, moving Yoga Nidra.  Spending time dedicated to “snail’s pace” moves is incredibly healing; within primal stretching, sound and stillness.

Wikipedia says "Yoga nidra or "yogic sleep" is a sleep-like state which yogis report to experience during their meditations. Yoga nidra, lucid sleeping is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness... The practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety." 

Bodhi Living Movement is not like a traditional yoga class, where the participants follow  specific movements or poses demonstrated by an instructor. It is rather a gathering. A space and time to give yourself the opportunity to dive deep into a moving meditation that takes you into Yoga Nidra, thus creating amazing relaxation, which will reduce stress and in many cases produce healing. 

It's a new experience to let the body decide how to move, rather than have the mind dictate the movement

I went into Living Movement with an open mind, thinking that even if it was boring, it would only last 45 minutes. The instructor explained the process, taught us techniques and tools to help us let go and allow our bodies to lead the movement, and assisted with bolsters, etc. 

It was definitely not boring. I have to say that I was amazed when the time was up, I thought only 10-15 minutes had passed! Think of a time you woke up on your own, not to an alarm, and stretched luxuriously. You didn't have to think about HOW to move your body, your body knew which way to stretch and for how long. Well, it's a little like that, times 100. 

I felt relaxed, refresed, and renewed. My state of mind  as I completed the experience: "Everything's ok, no matter what happens".  I am looking forward to doing more Living Movement! 

You might or might not end up in a pose like this, your body knows what it needs.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Generosity & Gratitude

This wonderful book was given to me by a lovely yogi named Carol Jo. My husband looked over my shoulder one day as I was reading and asked, "what good is it to highlight, when you are highlighting the whole book?" He was right, I LOVE everyword in this book. 
My granddaughter Brielle and I are playing a game. Each day we text eachother 3 things we are grateful for. This got me thinking about Gratitude, and I realized that Generosity is the other side of the coin of gratitude.                                                                            
Here is a favorite passage from WHEREEVER YOU GO THERE YOU ARE: 

My yoga practice has been teaching me these lessons. I am so grateful for Bodhi Yoga, a place where I can dive deep into mindfulness and cultivate these qualities. The Yoga Teacher Training has been one of the best gifts I have given myself! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Chakra mandalas displayed on the Bodhi Center altar

BodhiSpin™is a "Kundalini style" practice and it looks very different from traditional styles of yoga.

The focus of BodhiSpin™practice is to move Kundalini energy, or life force that sits at the base of the spine, up the body through repetitive physical postures. The energy spirals up from the lower chakras and then out through the heart and other upper chakras. This awakens awareness and cultivates the spirit.

This practice includes use of  bandhas and movements like undulation, churning, and spinning to raise the Kundalini  energy. Kapalabhati or Breath of Fire is one of the breaths used in BodhiSpin™. The practice begins and ends with chanting and includes a seated meditation.

The place to embark on this Chakra awakening adventure is Bodhi Yoga on Tuesdays 8:30 AM.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Restorative Yoga, Ahhhhhh!

I have been studying many different styles of yoga,  and I am prepared to teach several of them. The most rewarding classes I teach are the BodhiYin Restorative at the Bodhi Yoga Center.

People who are injured, ill, elderly or who just need to recharge, will benefit from Restorative yoga. Restorative yoga helps relieve the effects of chronic stress, as it allows the body to relax and recharge with very little physical effort. The more you let go and relax, the more you benefit from a restorative practice.

BodhiYin practice uses bolsters, blankets and other props to support the body in total relaxation. The sequences are designed to move the spine in all directions and the internal organs are stimulated and soothed. Easy inverted poses might be included to reverse the effect of gravity. Restorative yoga strives to balance the upward and downward energy currents, so the body is neither depleted nor overstimulated. Supported poses are held for longer periods of time to allow the body to let go. You breathe and let go and let time and relaxation take you to your own Fountain of Youth to be restored.

If you need your energy reservoirs refilled, want to feel rejuvenated and restored, come to a BodhiYin class! Mondays and Thursdays 8:30-10 AM or Wednesdays 6:30 PM.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

On Meditation

Children at play, mindful and fully present

I recently read a wonderful book, Yoga Beyond Belief, by Ganga White. Here is a segment about Meditation:

As soon as we ask how to meditate, we are thrown into the field of techniques and practices...I would like to point out two greneral approaches to meditation. The first approach defines meditation in terms of specific practices, techniques. Literally thousands of formal meditation practices promise specific results. The majority of these formal practices can be characterized as...learning and developing the ability to control your mind and thoughts, through the practice of a technique....but the deeper meaning of meditation also impolies a state of seeing and being and not merely a controlled doing. 

Fortunately, meditation can also involve spontaneous awakening of perception, artistry, and insight that inspire a very natural flow and state of being that pervades our entire life. It does not necessarily require years of practice effort and mind control. This second broad approach of meditation is more mysterious and indefinable; it sees the essence of meditation to lie beyond form and mechanical practice. This approach to meditation involves a living, evolving energy of perception that has a beginning, but no end, and no specific formal practice. 

This formless form is without limitation and can take place any time, any place and encompasses meditation as a quality of insight and awareness that, when awakened, can move through and integrate all parts of life.....We begin to see all things in life as part of meditation...the meditation that is your life. 

This resonated with me. I have been formally meditating for many years, and I love and look forward to those moments of being still and tapping into the Inefable, but after reading this I have begun to recognize the magic of mindfulness in all situations. Life has become richer as I strive to be awake to it.

Another unexpected gift from my Teacher Training adventure at Bodhi Yoga.