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    Kids Yoga

    The benefits of yoga in general are well known.   These same benefits are available to kids to learn and develop as they grow.   These same characteristics, benefits and skills can grow with them as they age.   Unlike learning yoga as an adult,  the challenges for kids often involve retaining their interest.   Using a Milkshake balance board adds an extra challenge to performing the poses that have a way of keeping the youth engaged with Yoga and their practice.  Kids remain focused due to the extra mental effort needed to keep their balance.

    Here are some common examples of kids yoga poses performed on Milkshake balance boards:

    Here is another set: 

    What you should find is that if you have your child follow along an adult while they do a yoga routine,  with them on their milkshake board,  they will be equally challenged and will remain engaged.  

    Partner Poses: Balance and Stability

    Partner poses are great for bonding, making new friends, reconnecting, or just having some fun.  Here are 5 poses to get the giggles going with a friend.  Try each one, taking turns and making sure that both partners get the chance to lead.  Then, make up your own poses!


    Buddha Jumps over the wall:  This made up pose requires focus and determination.  It will help build confidence and creativity.


    Rooftops:  Don't forget to look into each other's eyes when getting into this pose. See who can gaze the longest before blinking or looking away. Start with hands pressed together, standing only one foot apart.  Then, step away from each other and slowly push hands up into the air.  Smile, laugh, and have fun.


     Warrior Friends:  Face each other.  Have each partner put one foot forward.  Then, place the other foot back, bending the knee of the leg that's forward.  Hold hands and stretch.  Try with the opposite leg and experiment with different stretches.  Stay strong and work together. 


    Double Dog Variation:  The first partner should get into "downward dog" position, making a triangle with their body.  The second partner will then rest their legs onto the first partner's bottom.  In this double dog variation, both partners can look at each other. See if you can howl or bark like a dog five times. Just make sure not to kick your partner!



    Forest of Trees:  We love doing this pose on the balance board because it really requires a lot of balance, stability, and communication.  Try balancing on each leg and take turns describing what kind of tree you would like to be. Or talk about how trees are important to us here on Earth. 




    Remember to always breathe and work together when doing partner poses.  Listen to each other's ideas and come up with variations to each pose. Namaste.

    Why Men Should Do Yoga


    Ok all men out there....here's why you need to start doing yoga now.  Whether you are 15 or 85, yoga is hot!  Here are another 5 reasons to get your yogi on.


    1)  Yoga strengthens your body and gives you a whole body workout without injury.  So many sports cause injury to the body, which can do everything from stunt growth to causing debilitation. Yoga is safe, effective, and produces results. It also complements other sports and activities, causing greater flexibility and strength. It can help with muscle soreness and recovery, as well as pain relief. Want to sculpt your muscles?  Go Yoga.

    2) Yoga helps you focus and gives you energy.  No matter what you do in life, these two attributes are essential.  Yoga will provide you with this and more.  Trying to study for a test?  Need to impress that new boss?  Want to climb that mountain?  Yoga will be your best buddy.

    3) Yoga will improve your balance and coordination.  Perhaps you like to snowboard or surf...or maybe you play golf or ride a bike.  No matter what it is that you do, balance and coordination are important.  The older we get, the more we need to focus on these vital concepts. Balance and coordination are the key to independence.  Yoga will keep you in check.

    4) Yoga relieves stress.  Here's something that you can do anywhere at almost anytime.  Yoga will teach you many techniques of stress-relief.  Even a 10 minute yoga break can do wonders on the body and the mind.  Who likes to hang out with stressful people?  Do your body a favor as well as make those around you happy-yoga is the key.

    5) Yoga is hot! I can't say this enough.  Everyone knows that women and kids love yoga, but did you know that women and kids love it when men do yoga?  That's right! Not only will you reap the benefits of the above and more, but your kids, wife, girlfriend....you get the point....will think you are Sizzling!  Not to mention dads doing yoga sets a great model example for the kids. Don't believe me?  Give it a try and see for yourself.  Huzzzzu.


    Asthma and Yoga




    Abra cadabra alla cabon, yoga makes asthma be gone!  It’s hard to believe that asthma effects over 22 million Americans.  It’s also considered the most common chronic illness in children and can start when children are born or even later in life.  It’s been around for over 2,500 years, yet there’s no cure.

    However, the good news is that yoga can help.  There are many benefits in yoga for people with asthma or other breathing disorders.  For one, yoga incorporates a lot of breathing techniques to help people gain a bit more control of their asthma.  Meditation helps in relaxation, and certain poses open up the airways and help strengthen the lungs.

    Here are 8 poses which help open up the airways and are great for helping stave off asthma attacks. 

    Easy Pose:  Start by sitting “criss-cross apple sauce” or in Easy Pose.  Breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth, pressing lips close together as if you are going to whistle or give a kiss.  Inhale for the count of 5 and exhale for the count of 6.  Remember to sit up straight while breathing.

    Cat/Cow Pose:  Start by getting on your hands and knees.  Inhale as you drop your belly towards the floor. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling (Cow Pose).   As you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back (Cat Pose).  Your head should be down, almost between your arms.  Inhale again, coming back into Cow Pose.  Do this 5-10 times (inhale cow, exhale cat)

    Downward Dog: While on hands and knees, lift your booty up as if you are going to stand up, keeping your hands and feet on the floor.  Create a triangle with your body, where your arms and back are one side of the triangle, your booty be an angle at top, and your legs be another side of the triangle, feet an angle, and floor the third side of the triangle.  Make sure the palms of your hands are shoulder width apart and flat on the floor.  Your toes should be curled under facing your arms. 

    Upward Dog:  While in Downward Dog, drop your belly to the ground and stick your head out from your neck. Your arms should be straight, legs straight, and belly arched and hanging.  Take some deep doggie breaths as if you are sniffing the air for some clues on where a hidden bone may be. 

    Fish Pose: Lie down on your back, feet straight and legs straight out in front of you on the floor.  Keep your heels together and “fan” out your toes and feet like a fish tail.  Now slide your elbows back towards your shoulders, keeping your lower arm and hands touching the ground and your upper arms lifting off the floor.  Then, lift your chest up off the ground like a puffer fish and drop your head back.  Spread your chest out as much as you can to feel a good stretch.  This stretch opens up the air passageways.

    Forward Bend/Fold Pose:  After Downward Dog, walk feet towards hands and lift hands/arms off the floor.  Your legs should be straight and your torso should be hanging from your hips.  Let your arms and head sway and just relax.  If possible, with every inhale, lift the body a bit up and then with an exhale, extend your arms and hands closer to the floor.  Stretch as much as you can without it hurting.  This stretch should also be done very slowly.    When finished, slowly come up, stacking the vertebrae one at a time until you are standing tall in mountain pose. 

    Eagle Pose:  From a standing position, cross one ankle over the other.  Extend your arms out in front of you and cross them over your wrists.  Turn your thumbs down to the floor, so your palms are facing each other and interlace your fingers.  Bring your clasped hands toward your body, resting them on your sternum.  Breath deeply.  For an added challenge, try crossing your front leg over and wrapping it around the calf of your other leg. You should be balancing on one leg.  Also, bend forward and try to touch your legs with your arms.

    Other poses to try are bridge pose, snake pose, camel pose, plank pose, butterfly pose, and triangle pose.  Add a few yoga minutes to your daily routine and enjoy your life to its fullest!

    Yoga for Back aches

    Have a backache?  Let yoga do it's magic.

    This morning I woke up with a backache.  I immediately got on the floor and started to do the following series of yoga moves and no doubt within 5 minutes I was fine and dandy sugar candy.  I'm not a yoga guru, but I can tell you that yoga helps with all sorts of aches and pains.  And personally, I'd rather bend over backwards than take medication any day for a backache.  Naturally, doing yoga on a daily basis will help prevent most aches and pains, but for those of us who skip a day or two (or just don't have a yoga routine going), will strongly benefit from these poses.

     Remember, when doing any yoga pose, for best results take deep breaths and hold each pose for a breath or two.  

    Cat/Cow Pose:  To start with, get down on  your hands and knees.Your hands and knees should be spread apart a bit.  Then, arch your back like a cat on Halloween, making it round at the top.  Make sure to put your head down and exhale. With your head down, you should be looking under your belly.   Now, slowly arch your belly, so that your back drops down and forms a "U".  Lift your head and shake your "tail" like a cow would when swatting flies.  Inhale cow, exhale cat.  Do these poses a few times for best results.  

    Snake/Mouse Pose: This is another counter stretch to help your back and belly.  From cat/cow pose, move slowly into snake pose.  Lie on your stomach, stretching your legs out behind you.  Make sure that your legs and feet are together, like a strong snake tail.  Your hands should be next to your shoulders.  Get ready to push your chest up with your hands, keeping your legs and seat firm to the ground.  You should feel like a cobra rising up, just until it's comfortable.  Lift your head up out of your shoulders and breath.  Do you feel the stretch in your shoulders, back, belly, and legs?  Now lower your chest down to the ground and curl up into a ball or mouse pose, where your seat is resting on your feet and your legs/knees should be under your belly.  Rest your head on your hands or the floor.  Take some nice deep breaths and feel your belly rising and falling on your legs. Try to do the snake/mouse pose a few times for a good stretch. 

    Boat Pose: While seated, lift your legs up in front of you.  They should be together and either bent or straight, and your body should be forming a "V" shape.   When you are ready, lift your hands up off the floor and hold your knees or keep them straight out in front of you on each side of your leg.  You can also pretend to row your boat backwards and forwards. 

    Superman/Superwoman Pose: Lie on your belly with your arms and hands straight out in front of you and your legs straight behind you, as if you are superman flying through the air.  Lift your arms and legs off of the floor and "fly."  Then, bring your arms and legs down and rest.  Now try alternating and lifting your left arm and right leg simultaneously.  Then rest and lift the other sides (right arm and left leg).  

    Remember that the back is connected to the abs.  When we have back problems, it is sometimes due to a weak belly.  This is why it's important to stretch and strengthen our whole core or all the muscles surrounding and including your back and abs.  My mom has back problems from a car accident that she was in, as well as all the strain that she's done in the past on your back.  She's now a swimmer, which helps keep her strong and healthy and she also includes the above poses in her morning workout routine.