Saturday, December 22, 2012

Family Yoga after Dark - Special Havdalah Event 1/26/13

Oh please do come!!! Only $5 per family. A short end-of-Sabbath Havdalah service (10 minutes at most) followed by 45 wonderful minutes of Family Yoga with special guided meditation/story for the younger ibes during savasana. Hot cocoa and snacks provided. Bring your mat and prepare to have fun. No prior yoga experience needed, nor is being Jewish a requirement -open to all!!

Register here :


There is nothing like illness to make you appreciate wellness. Back pain or not when this flu bug passes I will be embracing the ability to practice with renewed (mindful) vigor.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mommy and Me Yoga at Jungle Gym and Cafe

I am pleased and grateful to let you know that I am officially on the schedule at the Jungle Gym and Cafe in El Cajon, teaching Mommy and Me Yoga every other Wednesday morning at 10:15 AM starting January 2, 2013. Classes are free with admission (awesome!) and welcome moms with any age children - infants to elementary school. I welcome prenatal and recent postnatal moms as well (provided your doctor is ok with you doing a gentle practice and you are not experiencing any complications from pregnancy/birth). Contact me with any questions. Mats will be provided if you don't have your own - come move, groove and soothe with your little ones and me!

Teaching at HAPA Yoga Friday 12/21/12 - Yoga Basics


Check out this great new studio in Mission Valley - they run some fantastic multi-class passes, have great drop-in rate discounts for teachers/military, AND CHILD CARE!!!

And, tomorrow morning at 9AM yours truly will be subbing the Yoga Basics class. Come with your beginners mind no matter what your level of experience!

P.S. E-mail me for information about getting a free first class

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mindfulness is the Heart of Yoga -

Thoughtful article on listening to your body, removing ego, being mindful, and above all safe in your practice:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Yoga Wish Clouds - great inexpensive calming tool

I can thank my son for inspiring this texture based experiment - and resurrecting sweet memories of rubbing the fur of a stuffed animal to help sooth me as a child

My usual cuddle animals were on hiatus for preschool yoga this week (had to restuff a handful that I never finished) and so in order to create calming sensory attention focus, I came up with the idea of lavender scented cotton balls. A few drops of organic lavender essential oil into the bag and Voila - a "gift" for the little ones to keep.

During savasana with lullaby music playing, I placed into each child's hand one small "cloud."

I had them lay on their backs, sides or tummies (whatever was comfortable) and in a whispering voice I asked to just pay attention to the cloud, and see how it felt to hold it, maybe rub it on the face or belly, or even hold it to the nose to see what it smelled like.

I then went around and softly gave each child either a foot press, noodle leg treatment or back rub and relished their reactions.

I kid you not this was the quietest quiet time to date with all the children, ages two to five, in classes of seven to fourteen kids.

Once I had touched each child I talked them through a big body stretch and a slow recovery to sitting, still being veeeerrrry quiet.

Then I asked them to place the puff on their forehead and think a happy thought or wish or secret. After that, we placed the puff between our hands in cupped Anjali mudra (palms together) and presented our wishes to out hearts and wished one another namaste.

Final instruction was to take the wish cloud and place it in a pocket to keep and remember whenever they felt sad or mad-to use the soft puff on a hand or cheek to help be calm, or if it was hard to sleep at night.

This can be used as a go-to calming technique in any home at minimal expense - a parent can use a tiny drop of vanilla extract if lavender isn't available.

Note: I would avoid alcohol based perfumes - unless they are singular scents and used in minis Ike quantities. Scent should be very subtle. Also note that some people do not like the texture of "cotton wool" so gauge reactions and use a small piece of velour remnant or other lightweight dry soft fabric.

Experiment and enjoy!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Free Kids Yoga Information - poses and more!

Yoga Kids is a great outfit started by Marsha Wenig and then offer a number of great workshops, seminars, training materials and full kids yoga certifications. I have attended a few of their programs including Tools for School, a Taste of Yoga Kids and Yoga for Teens, plus had two seminars with Ms. Wenig herself at the Midwest YJ Conference in 2010.

If a seminar/conference isn't available in your area (or even if it is), they have a great free service accessible only via e-mail signup, called Pose of the Week.

If you're curious about how to break down yoga for kids, or just want to work with your little one on some poses and come from a place of child-centered understanding, this little e-mail list is more than worth the time to sign up (and would be worth money but they graciously offer it for free!)

New Studio In Town - HAPA Yoga

In the spirit of supporting local business, women-owned business, and YOGA businesses, I wanted to let you all know about a lovely new studio in east Mission Valley called HAPA Yoga. One of the best parts of this new studio is that they offer child care all day. HAPA stands in part for HAPPY PARENT and I am part of that group now!

They are running a few specials but the best for trying them out is their(wait for it...wait for it...) FIRST CLASS FREE!!!! If your offspring is with you, pay just $6 to have them entertained by some very sweet staff members that will even change a diaper for you.

Classes offered include warm and hot yoga, vinyasa, pilates, TRX, Yin, prenatal and more - their schedule is FULL and they have two class rooms for practice meaning there is always something good going on. They even have KIDS yoga classes! They have a complete locker room with showers so you don't have to go back to work (or home, or out) sweaty.

I took the TRX training class with the straps and was deliciously sore for days. Today I dropped in to the 80 degree class and followed it with a hour of Yin inspired practice and felt FABULOUS!

There is also a terrific Groupon out now for them that offers $29 for 10 classes, $39 for 10 classes with childcare, or 20 classes for just $52 (new students only). If the Groupon expired before you can grab one, they do have a $20 first week special.

Then, after your first package, you can pick up their awesome unlimited monthly deal for $125 ($145 with childcare) or just a single, five or 10-class pass. They even have a student discount.

Location is in the same strip mall as Tuesday Morning just a few doors down from the new Karma Boutique, and a ubiquitous (but convenient) Starbucks.

Check them out here - their website is fresh, upbeat, and easy to navigate, and they even have a mobile compatible format (bonus!).

Hand Stuffed Kids Eye Pillow Pets just $15 each

These "pets" are great calm creators at the end just about every kids yoga class. These cuddly animals with chenille are made of cotton and have been (unstuffed with their original cotton batting and then) hand stuffed with a personal blend of rice, flax seed, chamomile and lavender flowers and some essential oils.

Place them over the eyes, on the belly or even just lovingly hugged while soft music plays, I find no child can resist the tactile joy of a warm furry friend.

Instead of just keeping them in my secret suitcase of tricks for just MY yoga classes, I decided to start crafting on a larger scale. I'd love to create one of these precious items for your favorite little (or not so little) one for just $15 each; leave me a comment or email jackie(dot)gadd(at)gmail(dot)com I'll contact you with ordering information.

Please note that some do have plastic eyes or buttons, so if these are for someone three or younger, let me know and I'll source one that just has fabric features. Also, though originally a stuffed plush, once they are stuffed with yummy eye pillow innards they are no longer machine washable (spot clean only). The scent from the organic herbs and oils is very mild, but if it dissipates too much over time, you can always refresh with a drop or two of your favorite scent.

Those without plastic parts can be placed in the microwave for a few seconds to warm up for any tummy aches or sore muscles, and all can be placed in the freezer as a super forehead cooler for a fever, or relief on a warm day!

Styles and colors vary but they are all about 10 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches, and weigh between 8 and 10 ounces. They are designed floppy for maximum comfort and "flexibility."