Blog Updates

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illustration by the amazing julia drachman for yoga u

Hi all! Long time no blogging – trust me, I know! In the past month or so since I last posted (sorry about that!), I’ve started up the new school year – both in graduate school and as a third grade teacher again. I also went back to blogging school; I took advantage of a massive Gala Darling sale and purchased The Blogcademy Online. My intention in taking this fabulous course is to be able to serve my readers even more. Not only that, I want to expand Growing Up on OM in all sorts of ways; I believe that growing up with mindfulness is more than a blog, more than these posts, and most of all, something that 20-somethings deserve to have reach them from multiple channels.

The blogging landscape looks totally different than it did a few years ago, and that’s great, but it’s also tricky. This is the crux of the online word: you gotta adapt, you have to keep evolving. For me, that constant sensation of transformation is what keeps things interesting. – Gala Darling

header.pngI spent a lot of time this weekend taking the online course, and I’m not even halfway through. I realized that not only does this blog need to be more than a blog – I wanted to make it easier to access. So, I took some time and created a few new social media accounts. Here’s how to get connected:

Facebook Page

Instagram: @GrowingUpOnOM

Twitter: @GrowingUpOnOM

Pinterest

I also majorly updated the About Page on this blog.

What are your waiting for?! Follow for some extra mindful inspiration!

Namaste,
Shira

P.S. I’m working to post more frequently so hopefully, I won’t go this long without posting in the foreseeable future – expect another later this week!

Top 5 Tips for Taking Your Practice Off the Mat

The following post is part of a countdown series leading up to the release of my first e-course (!!!), which comes out on Friday, July 15th. You can pre-register here with a special discount rate using the code LIVELEARNER for taking the course LIVE. These 5 tips come from the final lesson: Off the Mat.

  1. Meditate. Allow the physical practice to fulfill its initial intention: to prepare for a seated meditation. Choose whatever format you’d like. Sit down. Set a timer for 5 minutes to start out with. Close your eyes and let the fluctuations of the mind pass.
  2. One of the best motivators for a yoga practice is to involve other people in it. A practice is often fueled by specific forms of service to others. Try volunteering for a yoga service organization such as Off the Mat, Bent on Learning, Lineage Project, SONIMA Foundation (there are so many!).
  3. Breathe. Practice taking deep breaths throughout the day. Set a reminder on your phone if you need to at the points of the day when you’d need it the most!
  4. Talk about your practice with your friends. Don’t proselytize it; simply tell them that you’re doing it. You never know when the ripple effect will take place.
  5. Intention. Let your intention fuel all that you do, off the mat as well. Practice recalling it throughout your day and check in rigorously throughout the day to see what tweaks you’d need to make to fuel it better.

Register for the e-course here. The discount code for registering by July 15th is LIVELEARNER.

Last-Minute Gift Ideas

It’s Christmas Eve. You got gifts for almost everyone on your list, but there are those lingering few that just got lost in the buzz of this glorious holiday season. December has a way, after all, of catching us off-guard. I’m here to help! Over my five-plus years of teaching yoga, I’ve developed some offerings that make excellent last-minute gifts (i.e. they can be purchased with a maximum of 3 clicks or 1 email and arrive immediately). Here ya go:

Last-Minute Gift Idea #1

Yoga U: The College Student’s Tools for Balanced Living

5070474-1.pngPurchase the e-book Yoga U: The College Student’s Tools for Balanced Living from YogaU.weebly.com. Purchase instructions are on the website and the book is available for download. Or, shoot me an email, we’ll figure out the PayPal, and I’ll personally email the pdf of the book to a loved one with a holiday note that you can personalize! Want a taste of the book before you purchase? Download the introduction FREE by scrolling to the end of the homepage. The book itself costs $9.99.

Last-Minute Gift Idea #2: YOGA PRIVATESScreen Shot 2015-12-24 at 11.40.56 AM.png

On my website, ShiraEngel.com, I have three very different, equally educational, and variably-priced private yoga offerings. They range in price from $35 to $75. But for the holidays, I am offering a bonus offering: a personalized yoga class for a group of people. I began offering this a few years ago and what I learned from that experience is that it made a great gift for roommates! I would come over to your apartment, bring some extra props and voila, a yoga class brought to your home. The cost of that offering is $75 for up to six people to join in on the fun (less than your average yoga class / person in NYC). If you want in on any of these offerings, email me at shira.b.engel@gmail.com.

Alright, the selling is done. Have a very, very merry Christmas, celebrating or not, eating Chinese food and going to see the new Tina Fey and Amy Poehler movie or just chilling out and reading a novel. Bottom line: do something relaxing today. December leading up to this point is crazy enough. Now, it’s time to CTFO.

Namaste,
Shira

Inaugural Happy College Girl Podcast

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College life presents a lot of challenges – maintaining good grades while managing your social life and taking time for self-care doesn’t always feel possible. The demands can feel endless!

Yet it is possible to be successful in school and in life without loosing your sanity – and I share that as someone who did just that!

That’s why I am so excited to extend a special invitation to hear a story of how yoga helped me to keep my sanity, and even to find peace and productivity in college. My hope is that it will help you, or anyone you know who is in college, to do the same. 

Join me on the inaugural episode of The Happy College Girl Podcast!

Sarah Greenberg is a coach for college women to support them as they navigate the demands of college – and life – with ease.

Sarah started The Happy College Girl Podcast to provide college women with practical tools and inspiring wisdom so that you can have peace while accomplishing their goals in school and in life. 

Tune in for my episode, where I talk about my college experience, how yoga helped me deal with the stress and chaos of college, and how college students can incorporate yoga into their own lives.

If you want to be peaceful AND productive in college, then sign up right here to get access to my episode of The Happy College Girl Podcast. Here’s the link again. 

Peace and productivity await you, college girls!

Love + Light,

Shira

PS – Sarah Greenberg was one of the yogis featured in Yoga U’s Yogi Valedictorians sections! I love it when these things come full circle!

Reigniting the Mini Practice

The starting position is your home base and you are setting out to see how far you can travel from home. … You’re following your impulses, letting your mind and body provide you with the answers. – Twyla Tharpe, The Creative Habit

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We have all heard the old adage “big things come in small packages” (says the 5’2″ girl). Yet when we approach yoga, we don’t always see the big gains in the small actions at first. Many of us begin by taking 90-minute-long classes. It is only when the practice gets more subtle, when we take time to integrate it into our daily lives, that less becomes more. The physical practice has the capacity to shrink and simultaneously grow in strength to make room for the other benefits of yoga.

Not to sound like a broken record but…I have a broken leg. Throughout the healing process, I have, bit by bit, come back to the physical asana practice. There is nothing like certain poses – be it downward facing dog or extended side angle – to allow the body the spaciousness to feel Breath in the joints. And, as a yoga teacher, one of my arts is that of sequencing. My body – in whatever state it is in in the present mOMent – is my muse. I wholeheartedly agree with Twyla Tharpe – limitations are our friends. Especially when it comes to creativity. My mini practices give me long-lasting fuel. They are a testament to the piece of advice that all yoga teachers – in my humble opinion – should give to beginners: it is not frequency or length, but consistency that matters. Why? We want our practice – our fuel for the rest of life – to be sustainable, achievable. As a yoga teacher friend of mine says, we want to set ourselves up to win.

Here are some steps you can take to cultivate a mini practice.

1. Find a space where you can spread out undisturbed.

2. Don’t plan.

3. Breathe.

4. Target a body part you would like to open.

5. Begin the practice like one would a freewrite: don’t pick up the pen, let each word flow into the other; let each pose lead beautifully, unexpectedly, into the next.

Namaste.

Want more mini practices from yours truly? Check out the Yoga U E-Book!