Balancing Flamingos!


Those of you who have been to my classes know that I love balancing and trying to find my edge in my practice. When I first started yoga simply trying to stand on one leg was my edge. Now, I find myself discovering new ways to grow and to expand upon every balance pose to become more stable and balanced.


As a result of the recent COVID shutdown, I have had a lot of time to reflect on our community, my personal yoga practice, and various ways to make wellness accessible to everyone. One question that I find myself keep coming back to is why do we only offer 60 minute classes in the studio? Why don't we offer shorter classes covering a variety of of topics? A lot of things will have to change once we reopen and ideally I will develop a content library that will have lots of options as well as variety of lengths of time for each offering. In the meantime...


...less than 48 hours have passed since I placed my order for a Peloton bike and downloading the app and seeing the different types of classes and class lengths. In the past 37 hours, I have taken one yoga class, three meditations and two cardio classes. It was as a result of this that I had an epiphany. Before you roll your eyes, let me clarify. I took a 30 minute yoga class, two 10 minute meditation sessions, one 5 minute session, and two 5 minute cardio classes. Brilliant! I am hooked!


So about this balancing flamingo. One of the cardio classes I took that was 5 minutes long was perfect for those of us with a short attention span as well as for those of you with children as I promise that they will love this!


It goes like this:


Start off on one foot with your hands over your head and throw out a flamingo fact (unless you are alone because that would be weird). For example, flamingos are about 4-5 feet tall and only weigh 9 pounds (I know, right??). Hold it for about 30 seconds and switch sides. Then add on by hopping onto one foot and holding it for a few seconds then hopping forward a step onto the opposite foot and holding. Set both feet down and turn around to repeat back to where you started. Next, setting up for a flamingo eating, throw out a fact such as they are pink from the shrimp they eat otherwise they would be white. Now hop like you did before only slowly reach down with one hand towards the floor to pick up a "shrimp" and bring it to your mouth as you rise back up. Don't really touch your mouth though. Once you hop and eat back to the starting point mention that flamingos also need rest. So now, doing the same hop and eat movements, you add on "sleep". Hop on one foot, bend down to eat a piece a shrimp then bring your hands in prayer to the side of your head and lean to one side. "Wake up", hop onto the other foot, bend down to nab some shrimp and then take a nap.


It is making the activity fun that is so appealing and before I knew it the 5 minutes was over and although I felt like I did some activity it didn't take long and I learned some fun facts about flamingos.


Self care doesn't have to be endurance and pushing yourself to your limit. Self care can be having an apple as a snack rather than a bowl of ice cream, or taking time out to be present and focused while you do a chore. It is being present and aware of your actions and inactions. And if you can practice self care while learning fun facts about flamingos, even better!


So as I gather my thoughts about reopening, I carry this with me. What I have learned is we need to expand our offerings as well as the types of offerings to make self care accessible to everyone. Thank you for sticking with us and making time for yourself during these unprecedented times. We look forward to seeng you again soon in the studio or in our virtual studio. Stay well!

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