Friday-ING: Week of February 21

df81660a9d208d880973616da07027d0.jpgAbout a year ago, I attempted to do a monthly “Link Love” column on the blog. It worked for a while until it got a bit too daunting. Instead, I am moving to a weekly format at Growing Up On OM to share all that I am readING, writING, listenING to, watchING, and teachING. It is my hope that this will help me document these things not only for my own reference, but as a source for constant entertainment and inspiration for all the readers of the blog. So here goes: my first FridayING post. Enjoy!

readING

  • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
    • This is my “after-work” read. In the morning, when I’m motivated, I devour my graduate school textbooks. But, after a long day of work, I need something a bit more mindless and this book is exactly that: a novel on New York City love and scandal.
  • Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg
    • I started this gem this morning after a challenging day not feeling my best at work yesterday. And here’s a nice takeaway gem for some Friday inspiration:

We can reignite the revolution by internalizing the revolution.

listenING

With the 1 Train going out of order over the weekend, I’ve been devouring podcasts like it’s nobody’s business.

watchING

This week, I really developed a much greater understanding of how television and popular culture have a magical way of strengthening interpersonal relationships through providing common ground and fodder for thoughtful conversation. I spent a lot of the week having incredibly conversations about Downton and Transparent. So highly recommended!

teachING

  • Josie and the Fourth Grade Bike Brigade by A.B.K Bruno
    • I’ve written about this book before and I am overjoyed that I have the opportunity to teach this book again as part of my main curriculum, and to include within it a project on what my third graders can do to help with climate change!
  • Rosa Parks and Black History Month
  • Confessions of Former Bully
  • The Secret School by AVI
    • The highlight of teaching this book has been having the students teach their own lessons to figure out what it would be like for them to be the teacher, even if just for ten minutes.
  • Bhakti (at my other job over at Harlem Yoga Studio): the yoga of devotion!

Summer Online Yoga School: A Preview

In the midst of the sheer bummer of a month that is February (i.e. the ultimate threshold between a post-holidays winter and the newness of spring), I cannot help but feel extremely excited for summer. Recently, I decided to do something I’ve never done before (at least in recent memory). I decided to forgo overworking myself this summer. At least, I decided to not overwork myself for anyone but myself. So, I am blissfully anticipating a summer of travel, yoga, yoga teaching, graduate school, and adorable cafes.

Summer for a school teacher + yoga teacher feels like the perfect time to pursue my own projects…musings that come to me on the 1 train first thing in the morning that I jot down in a journal but forget as soon as the work day begins. There are two offerings that have been a long time brewing that I am very excited to bring to the interwebs world this summer: one for educators, and one for anyone. They both have one thing in common: YOGA.

Here are some quick elevator-pitch previews of these two courses. And that’s exactly what they are: elevator pitches. These courses haven’t been even close to finalized yet so if there’s anything YOU would like to see in either of them, please say so by commenting on this post.

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 E-Course Offering #1: Yoga U Summer School DIY Home Practice

Have you ever wanted to lead your own yoga practice…from the comfort of your own home…but just didn’t feel knowledgeable enough? Are you a bit mystified by all the knowledge your yoga teacher seems to know about how to sequence a practice that feels complete? Over 8 weeks, this course will explore through video, audio, writing, journaling, and outside resources, what your ideal and – more importantly – sustainable home practice looks like. We’ll break down the fundamentals of sequencing, anatomy, music choice, and inspiration. You’ll leave this course with oodles of resources to use over and over again, as well as with a full set of knowledge to feel comfortable practicing yoga on your own…wherever in the world you are!

 E-Course Offering #2: Yoga for Educators

Do you want to use mindfulness to create a more present classroom for you and for your students? Are you interested in learning manageable techniques for practicing self-care to help you better serve others? The Yoga for Educator e-course introduces the wide-reaching practices of yoga in ways that make sense for educators: society’s day-to-day warriors. This e-course is designed to empower educators with self-care tools for themselves and professional development tools on mindfulness in the classroom.

Like I said, I’m extremely excited for summer. These two offerings have been a long time coming, and they are still in the works. I look forward to hearing your feedback!

On Bhakti and Valentine’s

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At both Harlem Yoga Studio and Laughing Lotus (my two main yoga homes these days), we have a tradition of choosing a theme / dharma of the month. All classes are framed around that theme and the asanas all have something to do with them as well. This month, the theme at both these studios is Bhakti, or the yoga of Devotion (cue a ton of humble / devotional warriors in each class). I took a moment last week to journal about what comes to mind when I think of Bhakti and here’s what came up:

I am reminded, again and again, how vital touchstone practices are for human growth. I heard one dharma talk, years ago, from a favorite teacher at Laughing Lotus (Sheri), which particularly blew me away. The lesson was on leading from the heart, but mindfully and with integrity. This means that we let our hearts guide us, but we don’t let them flail around and guide us carelessly.

That dharma talk was given at a FLY workshop two years ago. Sheri stood in the middle of the room essentially showing with her body why all parts are necessary for well-being. She thrust her chest out and her a$$ back and said, “We don’t want to lead only with those two, do we?”

That is the beauty of the practice and why Bhakti is such a good theme for Valentine’s Day and February – a month that brings cognizance of the role of the heart out into the world. I find myself profoundly grateful to understand that dharma talk now, when I am in a romantic relationship and learning and learning to prioritize emotional self-regulation on and off the mat. 

So this Valentine’s Day, whether you are single or not, take a moment to place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel the expansion, the regulation, and the feeling that accompanies love led with integrity: Everything is going to be okay.