Category Archives: Play Time

Unexpected Lovely Things

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Here are some Unexpected Lovely Things I had the pleasure of experiencing this week:

1. Belated Christmas gifts! (Thank you, Larissa.)

2. Free pop and popcorn at the premier of The Loving Story (I used the popcorn as a placeholder in my seat. Hence, it’s not pictured).

3. Homemade soup from my cartwheel buddy!

4. Yogaglo.com!

5.  Running into Brian on his mail route.  He shared with me how much his family and friends enjoyed this post!

6. Yoga poses inspired by children’s toys.

7. Pinterest inspired lunches

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Step Outside the Walls

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Sometimes, it can be easy to get consumed by the activity within four walls. Whether these walls are the structure of my home, my work environment, or perhaps most discourageingly – my head.

My head seems to be the place I am trapped most often.  Especially when I am alone, still or quiet.  My mind is SO good at being the Judge, the Victim, the Prosecutor and the Defendant.  It tells me EXACTLY what is REAL (yeah, right), why I am RIGHT, why others are WRONG, why I am GOOD or why I am AWFUL.  It turns out, my mind is often times my own worst enemy.

When the busy-ness within my physical four walls (home, work) starts to wear me down, tune me out, or cause stress, I simply step outside.  Last weekend, I did the same thing for my brain.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but the long weekend I was able to spend on the shore of Lake Michigan was exactly what my mind needed. I was out of my usual environment for three days. Experiencing new and known people, new and known places, sun, sand, water…

As I allowed myself to enjoy this experience, to enjoy nature, to enjoy life as it was happening (rather than how and what I thought about it), my brain clutter began to dissipate. The reasons why I am not good enough, pretty enough, wealthy enough, smart enough, enough of this and enough of that, yada yada….  quieted.  By stepping outside of the four walls of my head I experienced LIFE. My friends lives. The lives of my son and husband.  As I watched the water roll onto the beach, as the sun shone through cracks of fluttering leaves onto my son’s face while he played in the grass, and while I sat, simply sat, in a rocking chair on the front porch of a home that was not my own  – I allowed myself simply to BE enough. To be a small, but uniquely important piece of this beautiful puzzle the universe has created.

When/If the time comes again where I am bouncing around in my own head for too long, this long weekend will remind me that stepping out (literally) can draw me back to my wholeness.  My perfectly imperfect perfection.  And yours too.

 

 


Yoga. Haiti. Love.

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In January of 2010
My son was just four months old and I was steadily getting my footing as a mother. On January 12th, when news broke of the earthquake that hit Haiti I was devastated. As a new mom, my heart ached for all the children who were injured, traumatized, displaced and worse. As I nursed my son each night in front of the news broadcasts I made a silent vow to somehow help to rebuild, empower and give love to the people of Haiti.

A year and a half later, I now have the tools and awareness of how I can be a part of Haiti’s rebirth – Yoga!

The time has come!
This October, I will be traveling to Haiti with a local non-profit organization, Rays of Hope for Haiti. I will be traveling with a group of young women as part of the Hug A Child program. The sole (soul) purpose of this program is to bring care and love to orphaned children. Not only will my love come in the form of feedings, playing, hugging, and snuggling but I will also be bringing love in the form of Downward Dogs, Eagles and Tree poses. I will be sharing the gift of yoga with the children in and the mamas who operate 6 orphanages in Haiti. The 6 orphanages combined took in more than 100 children impacted by Haiti’s earthquake.  These orphanages continue to receive children on a weekly basis.

Can you help me get there?
Starting today, I begin my fundraising campaign for this trip. The total amount I need to raise is $1,300. For this amount I will receive in-country transportation, 1 meal/day, lodging and airfare. Donations toward this trip are tax deductible with checks made payable to Rays of Hope for Haiti (include my name on the note line). Checks made to me personally will not only go toward the program fee, but also toward meals and incidentals.

Please know that any amount helps and is greatly appreciated. If you can contribute please send your checks to:

Rays of Hope For Haiti
Attn: Amber K
715 Innes ST NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

If a monetary donation is not something you can give right now, I would appreciate your support and positive intentions toward making this trip a reality.

Now, let’s bring the yoga love to Haiti!!!

Anything is possible.  Anything can be,
Amber

 

The Gravity In Parenting

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This past year I have started writing letters to my son.  My son is only 19mo old so It may be 10, 15, or even 20 years before he reads these letters.  I just wanted to create a way for him to be able to have a deeper connection to this time in his life.  A time that he likely will not remember, but a time that is undoubtedly shaping him for the rest of his life. I keep these letters private. Tucked away in a box in our china cabinet.  But the letter I wrote him on mother’s day this year I’ve decided to share.

May 8th 2011

Dearest son,

It’s Mother’s Day.  A day when I should be riding high.  Instead, I’m feeling very  guilty.  I dropped you this morning. You landed flat on your face.  Luckily, the distance wasn’t far enough for serious damage to be done, but your fat lip and bruised cheek are enough to bring tears to my eyes.  I’m so sorry to have dropped you, honey.  Please know that it was not intentional.  You slipped out of my arms as we were playing.  We had been having so much fun!  I hope the fun we were having is your memory of that moment -not the fall.

As I write, I realize it is highly likely I will drop you again someday.  Hopefully not literally, but chances are good I will let you down in some way.  I will never let you down on purpose.  My work is always, always to enhance your life. I accept that there will be situations in my lifetime when you and I will not see eye-to-eye.  This will not be due to my lack of love, respect or faith in you. It will simply be a step in our mother and son process.  You and I coming together to share a lesson.  These lessons will never, ever be about bringing you down.  Rather, they will always be about building you up.  So, whether it’s dropping you on your face as a toddler or any other myriad of situations to come, the only way I could ever fail you is if I don’t offer you a safe place to heal.  I will always offer that to you, sweet boy.  I will always be here for you.

Love,
Mama

 

The Importance of Play

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I love teaching weekend classes.  The students in my Saturday AM classes typically exude a sense of adventure.  Perhaps it has something to do with letting go of the burdens of their work weeks.  Or maybe it is because the weekend classes are packed to the walls and everyone’s  energy is percolating to the ceiling.  Whatever it is, I feel more playful as a teacher and I see more playfulness and curiosity in my students on the weekends.    After teaching last Saturday, I decided I needed a little more playtime. I came back to the studio (the owner of our studio lets teachers practice there if it isn’t being used for another reason), cranked up my Ipod and began to PLAY.  I was inverting, arm balancing and vinyasa-ing like a mad woman!  It was so much fun!  I even built up the courage to do a handstand in the middle of the room.  I went up, I held it, and I began to teeter …I panicked, I yelped and then I went down like a tree in the forest.  I landed flat on my back.  Yowza!
As I lay on the floor, ears ringing from the force of the fall, I began to smile.  I was still alive.  I could wiggle my fingers and toes.  All in all, I was 100% OK.  My playfulness had taken me to my edge and I went over, literally.  And even the aftermath wasn’t so bad.

Later that day, I was invited to take part in a photo shoot for Awear Yoga Clothing.  Awear is owned by my soul sistah, Jill Fox.  She’s amazing and you should buy her clothing.  Nuff said.

Side Plank and Hanumanasana

 

The photo shoot was all about play.  Seeing what we could do (or couldn’t do), holding it, smiling and then starting over. Sounds pretty Zen, huh?  Or a lot like life?  You show up, do what you can, shake it off if you can’t and begin again. Simple I know, and it sounds almost too good to be true, but the beauty is IT IS TRUE!  When we approach our practice and our life with curiosity, with playfulness – we tend to see the big picture.  That big picture being we only have life one moment at a time.  So why not make those moments fun!

Jill, Rachel, Me and Shaina

 

 

Tetris Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoping that you all get to experience a little play today.